State Emergency Operations Officers (SEOO)

Background

Since increasing capabilities in November 1995, the Washington Military Department, Emergency Management Division, has provided 24-hour coverage for alert, warning, resource coordination, and notification of emergency events affecting the state of Washington. State Emergency Operations Officers (SEOO) routinely coordinate emergency response activities with local jurisdictions, as well as state and federal agencies to save lives, property, the economy, and the environment. View their monthly reports here. Learn about our state EOC levels here.

Role and Purpose

The SEOO is responsible for the functional operation of the State Emergency Operations Center (EOC) and staff the EOC on a 12-hour rotating shift schedule, 24-hours per day, seven days per week. The SEOO is the initial contact for state assistance from local jurisdictions, private industry, state agencies, and other organizations. Additionally, the SEOO is the initial point of contact for federal agencies responding to an emergency or disaster situation occurring in Washington.

SEOOs coordinate response activities for emergencies that are the result of natural, technological, or human-caused hazards. They routinely make notifications of and coordinate response activities for Hazardous Material, Search and Rescue, and Wildland Fire Fighting incidents, as well as for a wide variety of other emergency situations. State Emergency Operations Officers (SEOO) issue mission numbers to local authorized officials for approved missions or other emergency activities. The mission number provides state liability coverage and reimbursement for certain expenses of registered emergency workers involved in emergency response or training activities. [WAC 118-04-240]

Additionally, SEOOs are prepared to implement contingency plans and provide warning and emergency notification to local, state, and federal agencies in the event of earthquakes, volcanic activity, tsunamis, flood, or severe weather; incidents involving the Department of Energy (DOE) - Richland, the Fixed Nuclear Facility (FNF), as well as many other emergency conditions that could potentially impact Washington state.

SEOOs generally follow predetermined operational procedures for emergency and disaster situations. However, if necessary, they have the authority to initiate needed immediate response or other necessary activities related to unique incidents or those that are time sensitive. They have the ability to dispatch emergency management liaison officers to emergencies or disasters to provide on-site assistance and act as a direct link between the state EOC and local EOCs or Incident Commanders.

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