The following overarching operational priorities govern resource allocation and response strategy for the County during an emergency or disaster.

1. Life Safety

2. Reduce Suffering

3. Protect Property

4. Protect the Environment

5. Restore Basic Services

6. Ensure Timely Community and Economic Resiliency


The Monterey Operational Area (OA) Emergency Operations Center (EOC) was nicknamed "The Robbins Nest" in homage of it's visionary, Harry B. Robbins Jr. , Acting Emergency Services Manager, upon completion of the new facility in 2003. 

The Operational Area EOC is the central location for gathering, processing and disseminating information, coordinating overall emergency operations by providing a common operating picture and coordinating both resource management and public information with the coastal region and Governor’s Office of Emergency Services.

The emergency operations center should be activated whenever there is a major incident that causes significant property damage, potential or actual business disruption or has the potential to cause a significant impact on the business.

An emergency operations center (EOC) is a physical or virtual location designed to support emergency response, business continuity and crisis communications activities. Staff meets at the EOC to manage preparations for an impending event or manage the response to an ongoing incident. By gathering the decision makers together and supplying them with the most current information, better decisions can be made. A primary EOC should be established at the main business facility and a secondary EOC should be available at another company facility, a temporary facility (such as a hotel) or through a teleconference bridge established to bring staff together virtually. The EOC supports the following incident management functions. 

  • Activation -Bring knowledge and expertise together to deal with events that threaten the business;
  • Situation Analysis -Gather information to determine what is happening and to identify potential impacts;
  • Incident Briefing - Efficiently share information among team members;
  • Incident Action Plan - Provide a single point for decision-making and decide on a course of action for the current situation;
  • Resource Management - Provide a single point of contact to identify, procure and allocate resources;
  • Incident Management -Monitor actions, capture event data and adjust strategies as needed

An EOC is not an on-scene incident command post (ICP) - where the focus is on tactics to deal with the immediate situation. An EOC is used to support on-scene activities through the prioritization of activities and the allocation of available resources.


The Office of Emergency Services is organized under the County Administrative Office and reports to the Assistant CAO – Governmental Affairs. The County Administrative Officer is the ex-officio Director of Emergency Services. The Deputy Director of Emergency Services (otherwise referred to as Emergency Services Manager) provides general direction, oversight to the staff and functions of OES and the Monterey County Operational Area EOC. The Manager is also designed as the Deputy Director of Emergency Services.


Proclamations are normally made when there is an actual incident or threat of a disaster or extreme peril to the safety of persons and property within the County. The Director can recommend the Board of Supervisors proclaim a Local Emergency when they are in session. When the Director issues an emergency proclamation the Board of Supervisors must ratify this proclamation within seven (7) days, review it every 30 days, and terminate it as soon as conditions warrant. 

Incorporated cities may issue emergency proclamations to the County of Monterey requesting emergency assistance. The proclamation of a Local Emergency provides the governing body with the legal authority to:

  • Request the Governor to proclaim a State of Emergency
  • Promulgate or suspend orders and regulations necessary to provide for the protection of life and property, including issuing orders or special regulations including imposing a curfew
  • Exercise full power to provide mutual aid to any affected area in accordance with local ordinances, resolutions, emergency plans, etc.
  • Request state agencies or other jurisdictions to provide mutual aid
  • Require the emergency services of any local official or employee
  • Requisition necessary personnel and materials from any local department or agency
  • Impose penalties for violation of lawful orders

Inside the Crisis Infographic