The Emergency Response Coordination Center (ERCC) is the core of the EU Civil Protection Mechanism. It is responsible for coordinating the provision of assistance to countries affected by a disaster, such as relief items, expertise, civil protection equipment, and specialized equipment. Emergency response coordination involves strategies and actions to plan, prepare for, mitigate, manage, and recover from major emergencies. These can be man-made disasters (e.g.
riots, terrorist attacks) or natural disasters (e.g. wildfires, earthquakes, weather events) that can cause loss of life, injury to people or property, or financial losses at the local, regional or state level. Emergency preparedness coordinators are responsible for making key decisions related to disaster response, such as when and how to evacuate. They also communicate with public officials and the media to ensure that the public receives accurate information. Transportation agencies and first responders work together to execute a coordinated response with clearly defined functions and trained personnel that activate emergency operations centers and implement coordinated and pre-planned response plans. Positions in emergency management or public safety can help individuals develop important management skills and teach them how to work under pressure - a vital skill for emergency preparedness coordinators.
In addition to planning for disasters, emergency preparedness coordinators are also responsible for implementing preparedness and response plans. Emergency management is based on collaboration between many agencies involved and a coordinated response is essential for it to be effective. The emergency response plan should be tested and updated regularly, including coordination with other organizations as appropriate. As a result, emergency preparedness coordinators must know how to delegate responsibilities in order to manage any surprise. This element is met when the organization has an emergency response plan that is appropriate for the size and complexity of the organization.
Preparing for a major emergency with non-traditional partners requires advanced planning and training in order to plan and provide a coordinated response during an emergency. At a minimum, emergency preparedness coordinators need a degree in emergency management or in a related field such as public health or national security. For example, during a hurricane response simulation, emergency response coordinators may realize that a plan did not allocate sufficient resources to evacuate residents who have mobility problems. To ensure that emergency plans on paper work in real life, emergency preparedness coordinators set up practical exercises. Partner agencies work together to plan, define functions and practice responding to major emergencies before they occur.
The plans created by emergency preparedness coordinators are used to establish policies and procedures that disaster response teams must follow during emergencies. Emergency Response Plans (ERPs) are designed to ensure an orderly and efficient transition from normal to emergency operations, including the assignment of emergency responsibilities and the delegation of authority.