Organizing the Emergency Operations Center

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Although the University of Illinois did not need to stand up its Emergency Operations Center (EOC) or Incident Command Post (ICP) for the H1N1 pandemic, the school had a plan in place that would have allowed that to happen quickly.

The EOC is activated when university response requires policy support, joint information releases and/or resources not available through the Incident Command Post logistics staff, said Todd Short, Director of Emergency Planning at Illinois. He emphasized the importance of identifying (in order) several people who have the authority to activate an EOC and/or Incident Command Post.

Two versions of the EOC/ICP diagram allow the response to focus strictly on campus or to connect with Champaign County Emergency Management for logistical support, he added. The county can do the same, because the university's plan was developed as a mirror to the county's, Short noted.

Diagramming the EOC and ICP organizational structure is helpful, Short said, because, "It's really important for people to understand how to react, organize quickly, and manage resources in a crisis."

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