The Office of Response provides the core, coordinated state operational response capability needed to save and sustain lives, minimize suffering, and protect property in a timely and effective manner in communities that become overwhelmed by natural disasters, acts of terrorism, or other emergencies.
The Response program activities encompass the coordination of all state emergency management response operations, response planning and integration of state, tribal and local disaster programs. This coordination ensures efficient and effective delivery of immediate emergency assistance to individuals and communities impacted and overwhelmed by these disasters, emergencies, or acts of terrorism.
Comprised of Operations, Telecommunications, Field Services and the UAS Program. The Office of Response is responsible for generating state information, warning and alerts, coordinating response efforts and staffing the State Emergency Operations Center (SEOC).
The Operations Bureau is responsible for coordinating support for state and local response in an all-hazards concept. These responsibilities include:
- Alert and notification of an event.
- Activate the State Emergency Operations Center.
- Coordinate all Emergency Support Functions.
- Establish priorities for the allocation of resources through WebEOC.
- Development and publication of the MEMA Daily Update Brief (DUB).
- Development and activation of Daily and Incident Situation Rooms (SIT Rooms).
- The use of WebEOC, a web based incident management and tracking software system, extends the SEOC to all 82 counties and the Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians. The system allows for the immediate tracking of resources, requests and personnel for any events that affect the state.
- The Operations Branch also supports damage assessment after an event and assists with the transition to the recovery phase. These functions are directed toward the goal of minimizing the risk and affect to people, property and the environment.
The Watch Desk is manned by an Operations Officer 24/7 as a part of the State Warning Point. This station is responsible for compiling information from natural and man-made disasters and distributing for situational awareness. As well as monitoring local and national news, social media, weather, resource requests and tracking.
MEMA is the designated State Warning Point, staffed by MEMA Telecommunicators. Operating 24 hours a day, seven days a week, the Telecommunicators have the responsibility of alerting state and local officials to all natural or man-made incidents throughout the state. These alerts include, but are not limited to, severe thunderstorms, tornadoes, hurricanes, earthquakes, flooding or hazardous materials incidents.
The AtHoc Notification System allows for rapid notification of all federal, state and local partners. AtHoc is a multi-device notification system that has enhanced the ability to rapidly communicate essential information to the field.
MEMA’s Area Coordinators serve as liaisons between MEMA and the local emergency managers. They coordinate the deployment of resources during a disaster or incident. They also provide aerial support for local jurisdictions by conducting pre-disaster aerial surveys and post-disaster aerial damage assessments. The area coordinators are part of a certified UAS/Drone program. This program provides real-time situational awareness for missions such as search and rescue.
For more information about Disaster Response, contact the Director for the Office of Response, Thomas Harris at [email protected]