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) is responsible for emergency response and coordination within the geographical boundaries. The California Emergency Services Act requires OAs to manage and coordinate these efforts Under SEMS and NIMS; the county is responsible for utilizing ICS management system to standardize response and to ensure that all local jurisdictions follow similar processes and coordination.

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 Office of Emergency Services is located in 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