Emergency Management Structure

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National Incident Management System (NIMS) and Standardized Emergency Management System (SEMS)

Mendocino County has adopted the National Incident Management System (NIMS) and the Standardized Emergency Management System (SEMS) by local ordinance and is NIMS and SEMS compliant. 

The National Incident Management System (NIMS) is a systematic, proactive approach to guide departments and agencies at all levels of government, nongovernmental organizations, and the private sector to work together seamlessly and manage incidents involving all threats and hazards—regardless of cause, size, location, or complexity—in order to reduce loss of life, property and harm to the environment. The NIMS is the essential foundation to the National Preparedness System (NPS) and provides the template for the management of incidents and operations in support of all five National Planning Frameworks.

The Standardized Emergency Management System (SEMS) is the cornerstone of California’s emergency response system and the fundamental structure for the response phase of emergency management.  The system unifies all elements of California’s emergency management community into a single integrated system and standardizes key elements.

SEMS incorporates:

  • Incident Command System (ICS)
  • Multi/ Inter-agency coordination
  • Mutual aid
  • Operational Area Concept
Operational Area Concept

A component of SEMS is the Operational Area concept. The Operational Area (Op Area) is defined by SEMS as the County and political subdivisions within it, including all cities and special districts.

While County OES works closely with all cities and special districts to ensure a coordinated response, it does not directly oversee the emergency response operations for other jurisdictions. Cities and special districts are still responsible for the emergency planning, response, recovery, and mitigation efforts for their respective jurisdictions.

County Emergency Services Ordinance

Mendocino County Ordinance, Title 7 - Emergency Organization and Functions, is the local law and authority which governs the Mendocino County Office of Emergency and the Mendocino County Disaster Council. 

Related Laws, Regulations and Legal Authorities
Local Ordinances and Codes
State of California