Emergency Operating Center (EOC)
The original Lincoln-Lancaster County Emergency Operations Center (EOC) was a joint effort by federal, state, county and city Civil Defense officials. Under a federal program that provided 50% matching funds, the EOC was completed in 1969 as part of the then new City-County Building. The original plans for the City-County Building were modified to accommodate the EOC on the lower level with the addition of a roof-mounted radio antenna mast, emergency back-up power, water supply and air handling systems. More than $180,000 of federal matching funds were used to complete the project.
The EOC underwent a major remodel in 1978 to accommodate a new City-County 911 Communications Center. Nearly $135,000 of federal funds totaling were obtained from six different agencies for the renovation. In November 2011, the EOC moved to the lower level of the old Lincoln Police Department building at 10th & ’M’. The facility was fully functional and sustainable with upgraded equipment, technology and support systems. This redundancy ensured continuity of government operations during an emergency.
In December 2018, Emergency Management completed its two-year relocation project and moved to its new home, co-locating with the Lancaster County Youth Services Center. The new EOC is a hardened, self-sufficient facility equipped to ensure uninterrupted operation at all times. This $1.15 million project came in on-time and on-budget.
Purpose & Function
The EOC is designed to coordinate and manage response and recovery operations during a disaster or other declared emergency. It is equipped to serve as the seat of city and/or county government as needed. It provides work space for key government, private sector and volunteer personnel. Operation of the EOC strictly adheres to the Incident Command Structure (ICS) and follows the standardized protocol of the National Incident Management System (NIMS).
The EOC can operate as a stand-alone, self-sufficient facility, independent from the rest of the building. An auxiliary power source ensures the EOC can operate even if public utility services are damaged or interrupted. The air handling system is self-sufficient. A supply of freshwater and other essentials allows for an extended period of operation.
The EOC can be activated for situations other than major disasters. Most often, an activation is triggered by severe weather. The EOC is the coordinating mechanism for storm spotting operations and severe weather tracking to provide timely information and necessary warnings. During these events, the EOC is staffed by representatives of the agencies charged with these responsibilities.