Addresses the issue of the structure and function of the community emergency operations centre (EOC). There is some confusion among some emergency responders and particularly among public officials regarding the role and function of the EOC. In part this emerges because many EOCs at different levels operate in conjunction with any given disaster. It is argued that the community EOC is best seen as an over‐arching organization into which information from more specialized EOCs – such as those operated by fire and police departments – flows, and from which the overall response to the disaster is directed. There is also a tendency to define the functions of the community EOC narrowly. Such definitions typically understate the importance of such activities as damage assessment and public information, and consequently leave the responsibility for these and related critical functions somewhat ambiguous. Seeks to achieve an explicit definition of the range and content of disaster responsibilities associated with the community EOC and thereby to clarify and contribute more to effective community‐wide disaster response.
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