The threat of a manmade or natural disaster may develop at any time. In cases where the onset of such events is preceded by a warning, it is the responsibility of local agencies to implement precautionary measures to mitigate the anticipated effects of the disaster.
In many cases, however, such events are not preceded by any type of warning. The ability to react immediately must therefore be present at all levels of government.
The Emergency Operations Center may be activated for specific events. The activation level is determined by the event's impact on the community.
Level 5 – Normal Operations – The Williamson County EOC is always activated to at least Level 5 normal operations. This level represents normal operations of day to day activities. Under this level, emergency resources and manpower are not considered to be taxed or in short supply.
Level 4 – Monitoring - Represents an EOC minor activation and is usually limited to WCEMA personnel. Under a Level 4 activation, an event or incident has, or is forecasted to take place which requires a higher than normal monitoring of Williamson County emergency operations and resources. During Level 4, the EOC Operations room may or may not have personnel in it depending on the event complexity, but WCEMA personnel are monitoring events, operations and weather. This level may operate either virtually or staffed and in each case it will be communicated Level 4 Monitoring “Virtual” or Level 4 Monitoring “Staffed”.
Level 3 – Partial Activation – During a Level 3 activation, the EOC Operations room is staffed with key personnel needed to manage the event or incident at its current status. Staffing for Level 3 activation will usually include WCEMA and ESCs. A Level 3 event or incident is one which requires the close attention of evolving events by emergency services and other key personnel to ensure public safety and the continuation of key services and utilities.
Level 2 – Full Activation – During a Level 2 activation, the EOC Operations room is staffed with most, if not all, of the ESCs and Emergency Management staff. During Level 2 activation, the EOC would also initially operate continuously 24 hours a day in shifts. An event of this magnitude would greatly stress county resources and would possibly require outside aid from neighboring jurisdictions, the state and federal government.
Level 1 – Catastrophic Event – (Catastrophic Disaster) A Level 1 Catastrophic Event activation is the highest level to which the EOC can be activated. At this level, resources within the county have been or are being stretched beyond their maximum capacity or are overwhelmed. Significant outside resources and assistance is required. The EOC would be activated 24 hours with complete and full staffing of all positions. Substantial assistance from neighboring counties, the state and federal government would be requested to assist in response and recovery from an event of this magnitude.