When emergencies or disasters occur in North Dakota, local governments have initial responsibility for response given their proximity to events. Emergency managers play a key role in coordinating response and recovery efforts on a local level as well as obtaining state and federal resources, in coordination with the Incident Commander, when local capabilities, to include mutual aid, are exhausted.
The Operations and Planning Section coordinates state response for emergencies and disasters such as wildland fires, hazardous materials, potable water shortages, missing persons, AMBER Alerts, downed/missing aircraft, train derailments, flooding, severe winter storms, tornadoes, power outages, and hail, rain and high-wind storms.
The State Emergency Operations Center (SEOC) utilizes the Incident Command System (ICS) and serves as a central location for coordinating technical and resource assistance from state, federal, private, and voluntary agencies in support of local government. WebEOC, which aids coordination and interoperability of response and recovery activities among affected jurisdictions, is used in the SEOC to report and track information in order to provide situational awareness to responding agencies and jurisdictions. In addition the SEOC uses EmerGeo, a GIS mapping software tool that interfaces with WebEOC, to develop a common operating picture.
The section maintains a 24/7 duty officer who monitors day-to-day incidents, activities, and events throughout the state. The Duty Officer also serves as the primary contact for incident reporting and requests for state and federal assistance.