OES is responsible for coordinating with County departments, local cities, and special districts to mitigate against, prepare for, respond to, and recover from disasters. OES is responsible for designing and conducting simulated disaster preparedness and response exercises, and evaluating emergency staff training. OES is also responsible for maintaining the County Emergency Operations Center (EOC) in a state of readiness.
To fulfill the OES mission requirements, the following programs are continuously managed:
Hazard Identification, Risk Assessment, and Mitigation
OES continually identifies situations or conditions that have the potential of causing injury to people, and damage to property or the environment. OES assesses the potential risks and consequences of incidents that could result from exposure to a variety of hazardous situations. This is primarily accomplished by maintaining and updating the Nevada County Local Hazard Mitigation Plan.
The content of this plan is coordinated with all jurisdictions in Nevada County and requires the approval from the California Emergency Management Agency (Cal EMA), and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), and is required to be updated every 5 years to maintain eligibility for Federal Preparedness Grants.
The 2011 update is currently at FEMA for review and approval.
OES coordinates, distributes, and maintains comprehensive emergency management plans. The primary plan maintained and utilized by OES is the Nevada County Emergency Operations Plan (EOP). The EOP delineates the preparation for, emergency response to, and recovery from the effects of a natural disaster or manmade incident occurring wholly within or affecting any unincorporated area of Nevada County.
Direction, Control, and Coordination
OES maintains the capability to direct, control, and coordinate County, City, Town, and Special District response and recovery operations. This is accomplished by managing the Nevada County Government’s response to and recovery from a disaster and providing support to any city, town, or special district responding to and recovering from a disaster.
OES does not execute tactical field operations but instead supports requests from first responders in the field.
The central site for managing and coordinating the County’s support of tactical field operations is the Nevada County Emergency Operations Center (EOC). The EOC is not a “Command Post”; rather, it is a multi-agency coordination point for emergencies affecting multiple jurisdictions or disciplines. During a disaster, the EOC is also the communication link with City/Town EOC’s, Department/Agency Operating Centers, adjacent counties, the California Inland Regional EOC, and other state and federal offices.
To ensure the EOC is in perpetual state of readiness, OES maintains a comprehensive EOC staffing program from a pool of county employees that have been identified and trained to assume each EOC staff position.
During a disaster, OES is responsible for coordinating resource requests from agencies supporting emergency response activities. If resources are not available from partnering agencies located in Nevada County, OES will coordinate these requests with the State Regional Operations Center.
Resource requests may be equipment and/or personnel. OES may fill personnel requests by utilizing the Nevada County Emergency Services Organization (ESO), which is comprised of all Nevada County Government Employees. Per California Government Code, all public employees are considered Disaster Service Workers.
Communications and Warning
OES continually develops and maintains a reliable and effective communications capability to alert and warn public officials and the general public of an actual or impending emergency or disaster. This is accomplished by utilizing all available resources available at the time of the event, to include the media, internet, and telephones.
The utilization of a county funded emergency notification system gives OES the ability to create, target, and send an alert to thousands of residents’ landline telephones within minutes. Residents of Nevada County also have the option of adding their cell phone number and email address to the notification system data base.
OES also makes every effort to post information during a disaster on the County webpage and the OES Facebook page
Training and Exercises
OES implements training and educational programs for public, county staff, and emergency response personnel. To validate this training and emergency response plans, OES coordinates periodic tabletop and functional exercises.
As part of the general public training, the county now has a Home and Family Emergency Preparedness Center. Beginning April 2, 2012, the center will be located in the lobby area of the Eric Rood Administrative Center. This will give the public access to preparedness brochures for many regional hazards, as well as provide information from partnering agencies such as Public Health, The American Red Cross, and the Fire Safe Council. Contact information for the public to receive additional information for specific preparedness activities will also be available.
Finance and Administration
Day to day, OES serves as the coordinating agency for Homeland Security Grants approved for public safety agencies in Nevada County. Following a disaster, OES serves as the coordinating agency for jurisdictions seeking to apply for reimbursement for public infrastructure damages and agency response related costs.
Following a disaster, OES also serves as the serves as liaison between all county public agencies and the general public with Cal EMA, FEMA, and the Small Business Association (SBA)
For additional information on OES programs, contact Victor Ferrera the Program Manager for the Nevada County Office of Emergency Services at: