The Columbia County Emergency Operations Center is located at 263 NW Lake City Ave.

911 Addressing/GIS, Emergency Management, and the 911 Dispatch Center are all housed in this building. Office hours are 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday thru Friday (excluding holidays). The Phone number is (386) 758 - 1125.

EOC Activation Levels

There are three levels of activation for the Emergency Operations Center (EOC):

LEVEL 3 -- Monitoring Activation: Level 3 is typically a "monitoring phase". Notification will be made to the State Warning Point in Tallahassee and the Division of Emergency Management. Local Emergency Support Functions (ESF) staff will be contacted and some will report to the EOC in Lake City.

LEVEL 2 -- Partial Activation: This is a limited activation. During this type of activation all primary, Emergency Support Functions are notified. The State Division of Emergency Management personnel are contacted and the necessary Emergency Support Functions.

LEVEL 1 -- Full Activation: When the EOC is fully activated, all primary and support agencies under the county Comprehensive Emergency Management Plan (CEMP) are notified. The State Division of Emergency Management personnel and all Emergency Support Functions are contacted also.

 

 

What is Terrorism?

The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) defines terrorism as "the unlawful use of force against persons or property to intemidate or coerce a government, the civilian population, or any segment thereof, in the furtherance of political or social objectives."

Terrorist acts are intended to:

  • Produce a psychological effect such as fear.
  • Foster distrust of the government or the government's ability to protect the populace.
  • Coerce a decision or action from leaders.
  • Disrupt the economy.
  • Produce casualties among a select group, or to create "mass casualties."

What are the most likely targets?

  • Public assembly areas
  • Public and governement buildings
  • Mass transit
  • Places of high economic impact
  • Telecommunications facilities
  • Historic or symbolic places
  • Amusement parks
  • Special events
  • Large structures and bridges

Visiting these places is part of our way of life.You should not avoid them, but have a heightened sense of awareness when you visit them.

How can I help local authorities?

Law Enforcement, Public Safety and Public Health officials have plans and procedures for responding to all types of hazardous situations.The most dangerous situations involve Weapons of Mass Destruction.It is critical to be well informed and remain watchful of things around you that appear suspicious or out of the ordinary.

How should I report suspicious activity?

Call 9-1-1 and provide the details.9-1-1 operators will make sure that the proper authorities are notified.Please do not over react.Think through the situation and try to determine if what you saw is truly out of the ordinary or just a common occurrence that you never paid attention to before.If in doubt, report it.

What protective measures should I take?

Have a family disaster plan:

  • Discuss the type of hazards that can affect your family.
  • Determine escape routes from your home and a place to meet.
  • Have an out-of-state friend or relative as a family contact point.
  • Post emergency numbers by your phones and in your wallet or purse.Make sure children know how to use 9-1-1.
  • Familiarize your family with evacuation routes and public shelter locations.
  • Have a transportable Disaster Supply Kit stocked with essential non-perishable supplies.

Be Prepared In Your Workplace:

  • If you have disable co-workers, plan and practice procedures to evacuate them from the building.
  • If you leave work, tell someone, and let him or her know when you will return.
  • Keep a small flashlight and whistle with you.
  • Introduce yourself to people you don't know in your area.If they don't belong, they will probably leave after being noticed.
  • Know the locations of fire exits, fire extinguishers and the phone number for security.
  • Know procedures for reporting suspicious packages and people.

If there is a fire:

Stay low to the floor and exit the building as soon as possible.Use the back of your hand to feel the lower, middle and upper parts of closed doors.If the door is not hot, brace yourself and open it slowly.Do not open a door if it is hot.Seek another escape route.Cover your nose and mouth with a wet cloth, if possible.

If there is an explosion:

Take cover if heavy debris is falling.Don't panic and don't waste time searching for personal items.Leave the building by the safest way possible, as soon as possible.Never take an elevator if there is a fire or if you question the structural integrity of the building.Use fire escapes and leave large items behind.Assist all handicapped employees and custumers to evacuate.

If you are trapped in debris:

Signal rescuers by tapping on pipes or walls.A whistle is also very effective.You should consider keeping one handy at work or at home.Cover your mouth and nose if possible.Shout as a last resort.Shouting can cause a person to inhale dangerous amounts of dust and exhaust your oxygen supply.

Personal Identification

Be careful of the type personal information you reveal to strangers.Identity theft is one of the fastest growing crimes.Take extra care to protect against it.At work, secure your identification.Wear it when you are there and take it off when you leave.If you lose any of your identification items, report it to security immediately.Be guarded with Social Security numbers, financial account numbers, driver's liscense number and other official identification.Always report lost credit cards immediately.

Internet Security

The Internet is as public as you will find and you never know who is watching.Never give your password to anyone and never use your credit card unless the site has encrypted security.Be careful with the personal information you give in chat rooms and e-mails.Remember, once you send information over the Internet, you never know who will see it.

When You Travel

Don't be too open about your travel plans except with those who need to know.Pack light and don't carry bulky luggage.Distribute the weight around and leave your hands as free as possible.Keep your identification papers in a secure place at all times.Cooperate with officials who are responsible for security inspections.If you see something that does not look right, report it to proper authorities.

What goes in my disaster kit

Disaster supply kits for storms and non time sensitive evacuations include an extensive list of comfort items covered in other areas of this guide.However, you should keep a small kit of essential life saving items at home, in the car and at work for emergencies.Some recommended life saving items include:

  • Small first aid kit
  • Small battery powered radio
  • Small flashlight with batteries
  • Whistle with a neck cord
  • Small knife

Stay Informed

It is important to learn about terrorism and the weapons they employ.We can protect ourselves from many hazards if we act quickly and correctly.Knowledge is one of the most powerful weapons we, as individuals, have in this fight.For additional information or questions, contact your county Office of Emergency Management, www.dhs.gov or www.ready.gov.