The civil defense origin of emergency management was redefined in California by the 1991 East Bay Hills Firestorm. State Senator Nick Petris sponsored legislation to establish a Standardized Emergency Management System (SEMS) in California. SEMS is a requirement for State agencies and a state program compliance requirement for local agencies. SEMS is comprised of the following five elements:
Incident Command System (ICS);
Multi-Agency Coordination System (MACS);
Master Mutual Aid Agreement;
Operational Area concept (OpArea or OA); and
Operation Area Satellite Information System (OASIS).
SEMS regulations authorize each Board of Supervisors to designate an Operational Area (OpArea) lead agency: the County of Butte Office of Emergency Management (County OEM) has been designated the OpArea Coordinator in Butte County.
The Operational Area includes special districts and the cities/towns of; Biggs, Chico, Durham, Gridley, Oroville, Magalia, Paradise.
In an emergency, County OEM may be contacted and requested to activate. The role as OpArea Coordinator is to coordinate among local "political subdivisions" and act as a single-point-of-contact for state and federal agencies. If two or more jurisdictions are affected, the OpArea activates automatically. The level of activation is dependent upon scope of the event.
Activation of the Emergency Operations Center facilitates the sharing of information and resources between the county, the Operational Area cities, and other agencies. This allows EOC staff to efficiently:
meet the immediate needs of people (rescue, medical care, food, shelter, clothing);
work towards temporary restoration of facilities essential to the health, safety, and welfare of individuals (sanitation, water, electricity, road, street, and highway repairs); and
meet the rehabilitation needs of people (temporary housing, food stamps, employment).