Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Disaster Science


Disaster Science

First Advisor

Dr. Jan C. Thomas

Second Advisor

Dr. Ronald Wakeham

Third Advisor

Dr. Michael J. Wriston


The emergency operations center organizational model used by the Charlottesville/Albemarle/University of Virginia (CAUVA) Emergency Management Agency is organized around the various departments that staff the center. The EOC model has been used to coordinate small scale natural disasters and training exercises, but has never been used to coordinate a significant actual event. After-action reports of previous events and exercises have highlighted several functional deficiencies and have led some local and state officials to doubt the model's ability to coordinate a significant event... The research process involved a literature and extant document review which discovered that there were four recognized EOC models. A survey of CAUVA EOC staff members was conducted and revealed that eight EOC functions needed improvement. A benchmark study was conducted of like-sized Virginia localities and it was determined that the incident command system/emergency support function (ICSIESF) EOC model was best the performing model. The final phase involved surveying the same group of CAUVA EOC staff members, presenting them with the list of deficiencies, the current CAUVA and best practice EOC models, and asking participants to choose which best practice components could be adopted to address found deficiencies. The survey results revealed that the ICSIESF EOC model was selected to be the model of choice for a growing, midsized city-county region. Although additional plan development and staff training will be required, the ICSIESF model may prove to be a more effective method to deal with a challenging natural or man-made disaster.