State and major urban area fusion centers (fusion centers) and emergency operations centers (EOCs) serve distinct, but complementary roles in supporting the country’s homeland security efforts; fusion centers empower homeland security partners through the lawful gathering, analysis and sharing of threat-related information, while EOCs primarily provide information and support to incident management and response/recovery coordination activities.
Fusion Centers vs. Emergency Operations Centers
Emergency Operations Centers
Information sharing hubs that provide resources, expertise, and information to support terrorism and crime prevention, as well as public safety efforts across multiple disciplines.
Temporary or permanent physical locations where the coordination of information and resources to support incident management activities normally takes place.
Owned and operated by state and local authorities. All maintain consistent staffing levels to provide ongoing information sharing coordination and support.
Primarily staffed by state and/or local partners with minimal federal participation. Some have limited steady-state personnel, but augment staff during periods of crisis or EOC “stand-up.”
Focused primarily on terrorism, all-crimes, and/or all-hazards prevention efforts.
Focused primarily on multi-agency coordination of information and resources to support incident management activities, including incident or natural disaster responses and short-term recovery efforts.
Collaborative Efforts of Fusion Centers and EOCs
Continued collaboration between fusion centers and EOCs enables both to carry out their individual missions more efficiently:
- Fusion centers can provide situational awareness to EOCs on emerging or potential threats so that they may be appropriately informed and prepared for activation;
- Fusion centers can provide information and intelligence to support the incident management or response activities in EOCs during activation;
- Fusion centers may provide personnel to serve as liaisons to EOCs during incidents so that EOCs have access to appropriate information and intelligence that may inform their operations; and,
- EOCs can provide fusion centers with situational awareness and warnings that support ongoing all-hazards prevention and protection efforts.
For further guidance on coordination between fusion centers and state and local EOCs, the joint Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and Department of Justice (DOJ) Fusion Process Technical Assistance Program published The Comprehensive Preparedness Guide (CPG) 502: Considerations for Fusion Center and Emergency Operations Center Coordination.