Information for Businesses
During a disaster, Santa Rosa County Emergency Management may activate the Emergency Operations Center to support the responding agencies through the Incident Commander. The Emergency Operations Center is staffed and operated by the employees of Santa Rosa County, representatives of municipalities and other key response and recovery organizations.
The agencies and department representatives are organized according to the function that they are tasked to support, such as energy, food and water, firefighting, etc. These functions are called "Emergency Support Functions (ESF)."
Emergency Support Functions represent functional groupings of types of assistance that jurisdictions are likely to need. A single agency is charged with responsibility for ESF operations. Many other agencies support the primary agency. An agency may be designated as primary for an ESF for a number of reasons. The agency may have a statutory responsibility to perform that function; or through its programmatic or regulatory responsibilities, the agency may have developed the necessary expertise to lead the ESF. In some agencies, a portion of the agency's mission is similar to the mission of the ESF; therefore, the skills to respond in a disaster can be immediately translated from the daily business of that agency. For whatever the reason an agency is designated as the Primary Agency, that agency will have the necessary contacts and expertise to coordinate the activities of that support function. Further, a single agency may be involved in more than one ESF.
When the EOC is activated, the designated ESF lead agencies send a representative to the EOC to coordinate that ESF. The Primary Agency has discretion as to how many, if any, support agencies they will require to support them or represent that ESF in the EOC. Due to the limited space available in the EOC, the attendance of support agencies should be closely coordinated.
The Primary Agency for the ESF will be responsible for obtaining all information relating to ESF activities and requirements caused by the disaster and disaster response. This information gathering will frequently require the Primary Agency to step outside traditional information gathering protocols. Within the SRC EOC, requests for assistance will be tasked to the corresponding ESF for completion. The Primary Agency will be responsible for coordinating the delivery of that assistance to the disaster area.
The Santa Rosa County ESF system is distinctly different from the one used by FEMA. Santa Rosa County's ESF system mirrors the ESF system used by the State of Florida, in order to maximize communication and ensure consistency with the next higher level of government. Each ESF at the County EOC interfaces with the corresponding ESF Agency at the State Level. This ESF process is also used by the State of Florida to respond to local requests for assistance. Therefore, if the State of Florida makes the determination to adopt the system currently used by FEMA, Santa Rosa County is fully prepared to transition as well. Until such time, however, Santa Rosa County will continue to use the existing system. There are eighteen ESFs in Santa Rosa County, each with its own ESF Plan
Purpose: The purpose of ESF 18 is to provide guidance and coordinate issues with Santa Rosa County's business community in all phases of emergency management - preparedness, response, recovery and mitigation - in a sustained effort to reduce the vulnerability of this key sector to the effects of disasters, to more economically and efficiently utilize local resources, and to expedite response and recovery when a major disaster does occur.
For more information on ESF functions, see Part 1 of the Comprehensive Emergency Management Plan for Santa Rosa County here. Download PDF.