Emergency Action Levels

Contents LOG

Purpose of Action Levels: Provides short-hand method for mobilizing emergency response forces. A responder to an emergency scene estimates the level and notifies the emergency management system.  See example at the bottom of this page.

(Lowest)                                                                                            (Highest)

Level 1

Level 2

Level 3

Level 4

Scope of emergency

Specific location

Local area affected

Wide area disaster

Wide area  disaster

Resources Needed

Local

Regional or Local

State

Federal

Possible emergency event

Examples: Serious fire or accident, multi-agency response needed

Examples: Loss of telephone communications,  multi-agency response, hazardous chemical release

Examples: Wind damage, flash floods, prolonged utilities loss

Examples: Earthquake, dam failure, nuclear attack

Hazardous Materials*

Spills, leaks, or fires of small amounts of fuel, oil or other materials that can be managed using equipment available to first responder operations level, such as SCBA and/or SFPC.

Hazardous chemicals that requires the use of any kind of specialized protective equipment beyond use of Self-contained Breathing Apparatus (SCBA) and/or Structural Firefighter=s Protective Clothing (SFPC), special tools or knowledge beyond the normal scope of a first responders

Jurisdictions

One

One or Two

Two or more

Two or more

Evacuation

No

Possible, Limited Area

Possible, Large Area

Yes, Wide- Scale Area

Multiple sites

No

Possible

Yes

Yes

Mass Care

No

Possible

Possible

Yes

Local EOC activated

No

Yes

Yes

Yes

Local warnings

No

Yes

Yes

Yes

Mass warnings

No

No

Yes

Yes

State EOC activated

No

No

Yes

Yes

Federal EOC activated

No

No

No

Yes

Example: What actions should occur when a responder estimates a Level 2 emergency?

1. EOC Activates.

2. EOC analyzes the situation to confirm the estimated Action Level of the emergency.

3. EOC mobilizes resources by a) anticipating & alerting potential resources according to Action Level and b) alerting potential evacuation & mass care resources.  If HAZMAT is suspected to be beyond Level 1, contact the State.

See Next Page

* For more detailed definition of hazardous materials action levels, see Annex A, Tab i.

Examples of Emergency Action Levelstc \l3 “Examples of Emergency Action Levels

Level Four.  This is the worst case scenario for a disaster.  All local, regional, state and federal response and management resources are needed to handle a disaster.  Wide area evacuation and mass care activities characterize this level.  Hazardous materials may be involved.  Emergency Operations Centers at all government level are coordinating resources.   Incidents involving hazardous chemicals are the same as Level Two.

Level Three.  State response and management resources may be needed to assist local and regional response.  Local area evacuation and mass care activities characterize this level. Hazardous materials may be involved.  Emergency Operations Centers at state and local level are coordinating resources.  Incidents involving hazardous chemicals are the same as Level Two.

Level Two.  Resources that are immediately available to Incident Commander are exhausted.  Local Emergency Operations Center (EOC) is activated to manage and coordinate related, multiple, low level emergencies in different locations.  Some precautionary evacuation may be necessary.  Incidents involving hazardous chemicals require the use of any kind of specialized protective equipment beyond use of Self Contained Breathing Apparatus (SCBA) and/or Structural Firefighter=s Protective Clothing (SFPC), special tools or knowledge beyond the normal scope of first responders.

Level One.  Incident Command System is necessary to direct and control emergency response forces at an incident site.  Incident Command Post and staging areas established.  Incident Commander able to control emergency without additional assistance or Emergency Operations Centers (EOC).  Incidents involving spills, leaks, or fires of small amounts of fuel, oil or other materials that can be managed using equipment available to first responder operations level, such as SCBA and/or SFPC.