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What is the Office of Emergency Services?

January 2019

Our Mission

The County of Santa Cruz Office of Emergency Services (OES) protects lives and property and builds capabilities and resilience within our communities.

We achieve our mission through effective collaboration for preparation, protection, response, and recovery to mitigate the impacts of all hazards and threats.

Who We Are

The OES is a division of the County’s General Services Department (GSD). Rosemary Anderson is the Emergency Services Manager and Karen Adler is Emergency Services Staff.

Paul Garcia, a Geographic Information System (GIS) Analyst with the County Information Services Department, works frequently in the OES to provide crucial mapping and analysis of geographic data.

We also host a dedicated volunteer group of amateur radio operators, also known as ham radio operators, who provide important auxiliary communications services.

Utilizing GIS allows the OES to better mitigate, prepare, respond and recover from emergency events. In addition to digital apps, maps and data, we maintain a wide assortment of hard-copy maps in the Emergency Operations Center.

What Does the OES Do?

  • Builds and maintains core capabilities and disaster resilience
    • Conducts training and exercises for County staff, Cities, community partners, and businesses
    • Addresses all phases of emergency management and preparedness
  • Provides information and guidance to the public and elected officials, including emergency warning and alerts
  • Utilizes the County Emergency Operations Center (EOC), a central facility that provides regional coordinated emergency response
    • Activates the EOC during significant County emergencies
    • Provides coordination of key agencies and partners, including fire departments, law enforcement, Department of Public Works, the Human Services Agency, PG&E, the Animal Services Agency, and multiple community-based organizations to plan and execute efforts to mitigate, rescue, repair, and recover from disasters
  • Creates and maintains emergency operations plans and preparedness programs for the County of Santa Cruz
  • Conducts emergency preparedness and education campaigns
  • Serves as the emergency management point of contact for government officials; public safety; nonprofit and community-based organizations; and city, county, and private industry partners and stakeholders
  • Prepares and manages a variety of grants that fund projects for law enforcement, fire services, health services, and community partners
    • Grants provide planning resources, equipment, and training to prevent against, mitigate, respond to, and recover from emergencies and disasters
  • Supports community service providers and Community Emergency Response Teams (CERT) 

The Emergency Operations Center (EOC) in action


Members of our fearless volunteer auxiliary communications team Gary Watson, Jerry Inman, and Cap Pennell with the new antennas they installed to improve emergency communications.

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