KCDEM provides the emergency management operational capability during an emergency. This support saves and sustains lives, reduces suffering, and protects property. Activities include:
- Coordination of local emergency response operations;
- Response and recovery planning;
- Integration of federal, state, tribal, special district and local disaster programs.
This coordination helps support effective delivery of emergency aid and recovery information.
Response begins with a network of emergency responders. Responders are from local agencies trained against the disasters that could happen here. KCDEM uses the National Incident Management System and the Incident Command System to support and coordinate response. A single “agency with authority” manages the emergency depending on its type. For example, Public Works would manage landslides. Law Enforcement would manage active shooter incidents. In a large or complex disaster, we establish a Unified Command structure. Senior officials from the various agencies involved in the emergency lead Unified Command.
A Unified Command structure was set up for COVID-19 pandemic. Members included Public Health, Law Enforcement, Fire, Kitsap911 and Emergency Management. Members first focused on how to respond to outbreaks. Then, on how to support community members and maintain the health care system. Membership of Unified Command changed after the emergency moved into recovery. Members now include Public Health, Human Services, and Emergency Management. Unified Command is dealing with the longer term impacts of the pandemic.
Response actions could include:
- Report to the pre-designated site to manage department operations.
- Learn what happened, what can be done, and what is needed. Report on assessments using appropriate chain of command.
- Contact KCDEM upon activation of a Command Post or City Emergency Operations Center.
- Take appropriate actions to save lives and stabilize the emergency.
- Activate local volunteers to aid in response.