Emergency Coordination Center (ECC) Overview

What is the Emergency Coordination Center (ECC) and what is its purpose during the COVID-19 emergency?

During large-scale emergencies, the City activates the Emergency Coordination Center (ECC), a centralized, secure location to coordinate emergency response and recovery activities. This is staffed by people from many City bureaus, both in person and virtually. It follows FEMA Incident Command Structure and the City’s Basic Emergency Management Operations Plan and annexes. For more information, please visit the Bureau of Emergency Management’s webpage.

During the COVID-19 emergency, the City is also following a new Pandemic Response Plan. The ECC is currently focused on City operations and supporting Multnomah County because they are the region’s public health incident leader. This is why we continue to direct everyone to visit the Multnomah County COVID-19 webpage for any and all health-related information.   

Effective March 17, 2020, the City’s readiness and coordination level is at Full Activation. Full Activations are for significant, complex incidents requiring multi-bureau and agency coordination, usually accompanying an emergency declaration made by the Mayor. Unified Command, the leaders of the response, consists of the Portland Bureau of Emergency Management (PBEM) Operations Manager and a rotating Bureau Director or Incident Commander. The PBEM Director is also part of the City’s COVID-19 Policy Team, along with the Chief Administrative Officer, Human Resources Director, and the Mayor’s Office senior representative.

The City ECC is responsible for:

  • Coordinating between City Command, the Disaster Policy Council, county, state and federal agencies
  • Establishing and maintaining situational awareness 
  • Determining response priorities across the City and developing action plans to achieve our objectives
  • Collecting situation status information and report back to stakeholders
  • Acquiring, allocating, and tracking requested resources (people, supplies, equipment etc.)
  • Facilitating emergency declarations
  • Centralizing public and internal communications coordination

The ECC is a critical link in the emergency response chain. It enables Incident or Unified Command to focus on the needs of the incident, serve as a conduit of information between to the Disaster Policy Council, county, state and federal agencies, and promote problem solving at the lowest practical level. 

Bureaus are responsible for:

  •  Implementing continuity of operations (COOP) plans for continuation of essential functions
  • Creating procedures for employee accountability and recall
  • Assessing and reporting situation to the ECC
  • Providing staff to the ECC if needed
  • Submitting COVID-19 related resource requests to the ECC