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Emergency Management Division


Portrait of Donna Boston

Donna Boston
Director of Emergency Management

Mission Statement

The mission of the Orange County Sheriff's Department's Emergency Management Division is to promote, facilitate and support the County of Orange and the Operational Area (OA) efforts to prepare for, respond to and recover from disasters.

The Emergency Management Division provides emergency management and preparedness services to the unincorporated areas of Orange County and supports the efforts of the Orange County Operational Area. There are currently 115 jurisdictions in the Operational Area (OA) encompassing all County departments and agencies, public and private organizations and the general population within the boundaries of Orange County. The Operational Area Executive Board has eleven members. They are responsible for the development, establishment and implementation of the policies of the Operational Area.

The Orange County Board of Supervisors has designated the Sheriff-Coroner Department as the lead agency in matters of emergency preparedness and disaster response. The County's Emergency Operations Center (EOC) is located at Loma Ridge and is maintained in a constant state of readiness by the Emergency Management Division. In emergencies involving earthquakes, tsunamis, civil disturbances, energy crises, nuclear power plant emergencies, terrorism and acts of war, the Sheriff-Coroner is designated as the Director of Emergency Services (DES). Similarly, the Fire Services Director is designated as the DES for a fire, mass casualty incident or hazardous material release. The County Executive Officer is the DES for emergencies including, but not limited to flood, storm, dam failure, a coastal oil spill, a threat or declaration of an epidemic or recovery.

The County Emergency Manager is directed by Board of Supervisor Resolution 08-001 to:

  • Serve as staff to the Emergency Management Council,
  • Direct the daily coordination and cooperation between the emergency management staff and emergency organization of the County,
  • Ensure that a plan exists to provide information on disaster preparedness to the County,
  • Ensure that the Orange County Emergency Plan described in the Emergency Organization Ordinance is developed and maintained,
  • Ensure that personnel who are part of the emergency organization are trained, and arrange for all necessary exercises to prepare for potential disaster conditions,
  • Maintain the Emergency Operations Center in a constant state of readiness,
  • Notify the Emergency Management Council and Board of Supervisors of Emergency Operations Center activation as soon as practical, and keep the Board of Supervisors informed on all aspects of a current emergency situation as soon as information is available.

Orange County Disaster Preparedness

The Orange County Emergency Operations Center (EOC) functions as the communication and coordination center for both the County and Operational Area emergency response organization and disaster preparedness, providing a central point for coordinating operational, administrative, and support needs of the county and Operational Area Members. It also assists in coordination and communication between Mutual Aid Coordinators and the state Office of Emergency Services during county-wide and state-wide emergency response and recovery operations.

The Orange County EOC can be used to gather and process information to and from the County, cities, school and special districts, business and industry, volunteer organizations, individuals, and state and federal government agencies. It has the ability to function as a virtual EOC so that Operational Area Members may communicate between EOCs without co-location.

In addition, the EOC may become responsible for managing the tactical operations of regional resources designed to more efficiently use the pooled resources of Operational Area Members or external resources to benefit the Operational Area as a whole.