Strategic Plan

News & Media

​Message from the Director

​​​​I am proud to present the California Governor’s Office of Emergency Services (Cal OES) Strategic Plan Summary for 2014-2018. This Strategic Plan builds on existing efforts and sets a course for Cal OES to make improvements that will enhance the services we provide and the efforts we undertake to ensure that California remains a leader in emergency management and homeland security.

In years past, Cal OES’ primary focus was exclusively on emergency management, but over the last decade, our
mission has expanded to include responsibilities in criminal justice, victim se​​rvices, homeland security, and public safety communications. To further government streamlining and efficiency efforts, Cal OES carried out legislative and executive actions to merge with the former Governor’s Office of Criminal Justice Planning (2004) and the Governor’s Office of Homeland Security (2009) forming the California Emergency Management Agency (Cal EMA). In 2013, Cal EMA was restructured and brought into the Governor’s Office, becoming the California Governor’s Office of Emergency Services (Cal OES). That same year, the Public Safety Communications Office was merged into Cal OES.

​As Cal OES grew and evolved, it became challenging to convey one unified vision and mission to those we serve, our partners, and our stakeholders. However, by implementing strategic objectives and through our consolidation efforts, we ensured that all of our directorates share the same internal and external focus: to maintain emergency response readiness, coordinate efforts that protect lives, and minimize the impact to property and the environment.

Our employees work tirelessly to help enable our customers’ and partners’ success,​ to improve our products and services, to value teamwork, and to make Cal OES a great place to work. By engaging employees throughout all of our program areas, we created a strategic vision with these overarching concepts in mind. We fully expect when we look back at our accomplishments in future years, Cal OES will be a model organization with great partnerships providing superior services and products.

This plan could not have been created without the valuable input of our employees. Their voices are reflected in our Vision, Mission, Values, and Goals. Because the strategic planning process was collaborative, I have high hopes that those we serve—our partners, stakeholders, and our employees—will clearly see their values reflected and will embrace this opportunity to continue to develop and foster a united workplace in which we can all be proud. The strategic process will guide our efforts toward positive change and continuous improvement.

While Cal OES has doubled in size over the last decade, our core mission has remained the same, and we continue to protect lives and property, build capabilities, and support our communities for a resilient California.
​​Mark S. Ghilarducci, Director Governor’s
Homeland Security Advisor

​Executive Office of the Director

Office of the Special Advisor

Assists the Director and Chief Deputy Director on matters relating to emergency management and homeland security program implementation, agency policy, and department-wide initiatives.
Office of Tribal Coordination
​​Improves and maintains communication and collaboration, and assists with informed decision-making between Cal OES and all Native American Tribes in California. Educates internal and external partners on the cultural settings of California Native Americans, their emergency management and homeland security issues, and cultural sensitivities.

Office of Private Sector, Nongovernmental Organization (NGO) Coordination
Designs, coordinates, and implements statewide outreach programs to foster relationships with businesses, ​associations, companies, and universities, as well as nonprofit, nongovernmental, and philanthropic organizations. Works within Cal OES to maximize the inclusion and effective use of private sector, philanthropic, and NGO staff and resources in all phases of emergency management.

Office of Access and Functional Needs
Identifies the needs of people with disabilities before, during, and after a disaster and integrates disability needs and resources into all aspects of emergency management systems and planning. Provides support and technical assistance to other state agencies, local governments, and public and private partners in planning and response, and serves as a liaison for the disability communities and Cal OES.

Office of Crisis Communications and Media Relations
Provides the media and public with information about Cal OES, its programs, policies, and projects. Conducts Cal OES’ disaster preparedness campaign and other public events, as well as provides comprehensive crisis communication training. Manages the Joint Information Center during large-scale emergencies.
Office of Legislative and External Affairs
Represents Cal OES before departments, the Legislature, Congress, and various community groups on legislative issues, tracks state and federal legislation, and prepares briefing documents for the Director’s speaking engagements or major events.

Office of Legal Affairs
Advises and advocates for Cal OES programs and administration to navigate through legalities associated with emergency services, homeland security, public safety communications, and all phases of disaster management.

Office of State Military Department Liaison
Provides expertise in the full spectrum of military support capabilities to Cal OES’ senior leadership in order to effectively coordinate and integrate defense civil support capabilities across all emergency management functions.

Office of Civil Rights and Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO)
Provides proactive training and consultation to Cal OES employees to ensure a workplace free of discrimination, oversees the EEO complaint process, and is committed to the appreciation of diversity and ​​inclusion.

​Response Operations Directorate

Responsible for the immediate protection of life, property, and the environment. The Response Division includes the State Operations Center, Regional Emergency Management Operations, Mutual Aid Programs/Coordination, Fire and Rescue, Hazardous Materials, Law Enforcement, Homeland Security and Counter-Terrorism, Infrastructure Protection and Mitigation, California State Warning Center, and Emergency Telecommunications and Continuity of Government.

Response Operations
Coordinates and supports critical emergency response activities including State Operations Center (SOC) activations. Coordinates resources, supports Regional Emergency Operations Centers (REOCs), Business and Utilities Operations Center, Executive Duty Officer Program; and oversees the use of the Emergency Management Assistance Compact which allows the sharing and receiving of emergency resources throughout the nation.
​​​​​Coordinates the Operational Readiness Teams; CalEOC design, development, and implementation; and Emergency Functions and external partner integration into California’s emergency management system.

Administrative Regions
The Administrative Regions, led by Regional Administrators, consist of the Inland (Sacramento Office/Regional EOC [REOC]), Coastal (Walnut Creek Office), and Southern (Los Alamitos Office) Regions. Regional operations work directly with Operational Areas (counties) and support the administration of all Cal OES emergency management and homeland security functions statewide. Regional Emergency Services personnel coordinate with the 58 county emergency management offices, local governments, and regional state agencies to ensure immediate and rapid communication, coordination, and deployment of personnel and resources when emergencies strike.
Fire and Rescue
Coordinates the statewide response of fire and rescue, and hazardous materials mutual aid resources to all hazards, emergencies, and disasters in cooperation with local, state, and federal fire and rescue agencies.

Responsible for the statewide implementation and local government oversight of hazardous material emergency management programs, plans, and team typing.

Coordinates and manages the FIRESCOPE Program which includes the Incident Command System and the Multi-Agency Coordination System, and serves as the Executive Secretary to the FIRESCOPE Board and State Fire and Rescue Service Advisory Committee. Manages and coordinates the State Urban Search and Rescue (US&R) Response System including regional, state, and national US&R Teams, Swift Water and Flood Rescue, and Hazardous Materials capabilities. Manages the sale of surplus fire apparatus through the State Assistance for Fire Equipment Act Program. Facilitates statewide fire and rescue training at the California Fire and Rescue Training Authority.
Law Enforcement and Homeland Security
Works with all local, state, and federal law enforcement agencies including the Department of Homeland Security; Federal Bureau of Investigation; Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives; Secret Service; and the State Department.

Implements and facilitates the state’s homeland security and counter-terrorism strategy, including maritime, port, rail, transit, border, and large venue security.

Coordinates the Law Enforcement Mutual Aid System used to restore order during emergencies, coordinates state mutual aid for wilderness search and rescue, and manages the Coroners’ Mutual Aid and Mass Fatality Management Planning Program.

State Threat Assessment Center (STAC)
Serves as California’s primary fusion center in an all-crimes/ all-hazards capacity with partner agencies. Operates as the state’s information-sharing clearinghouse for strategic threat analysis, counter-terrorism, situational awareness reporting, and case analysis for statewide leadership, agencies, and public safety community.

State Threat Assessment System (STAS)
Helps safeguard the communities of California by serving as a dynamic security nexus comprised of the State, four Regional and one major urban area Fusion Centers. The STAS assists in the detection, prevention, investigation, and response to criminal and terrorist activity; disseminates intelligence; and facilitates communications between local, state, federal, tribal agencies, and private sector partners, to help them take action on threats and public safety issues.

Critical Infrastructure Protection
Focuses to help protect, secure, and mitigate vulnerabilities to California’s critical infrastructure assets and systems by using risk-based methodologies, vulnerability and physical security assessments, and information-sharing practices and tools with all levels of government, security managers, asset owners, and operators.
Coordinates emergency communications services, systems, and planning with local, state, and federal emergency operations staff, and acts as subject matter experts on communications issues. Provides guidance to local governments regarding communications planning, frequency coordination, and disaster communications strategies; supports Cal OES in all areas regarding communication needs and assessments; manages communications assets and systems that support the statewide network of satellite, land, mobile radio, and the fleet of communication vehicles that provide disaster services support statewide. Provides for continuity of government in support of local and state agencies.
California State Warning Center
Provides 24/7 situational awareness and analysis of natural or human-caused events that may have emergency management impacts, and informs, communicates, alerts, and notifies executive leadership 365 days a year. Operates as the emergency information coordination focal point for all Cal OES and State Agency Duty Officers. Monitors and functions as statewide during the 1997 floods on the American River answering point for emergency conditions including seismic activity, hazardous material spills, severe weather, and nuclear power plants; and provides timely notifications, alerts, and warnings of emergency events to local, state, and federal agencies.

Recovery Operations Directorate

Manages recovery and reconstruction efforts to areas in California impacted by disasters. Facilitates and coordinates reimbursements to and from other states or the federal government; and is the lead for monitoring, updating, and implementing the California Disaster Recovery Framework.

​Recovery Infrastructure

Public Assistance
Administers state and federal Public Assistance programs, such as the California Disaster Assistance Act, Fire Management Assistance Grants, and the Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act, which provide disaster- related financial assistance for emergency protective measures, debris removal, permanent restoration of public facilities and infrastructure, and certain mitigation measures.

Technical Assistance Programs
Provides assistance to Cal OES, other state agencies, local governments, and the private sector on issues requiring technical expertise, such as engineering, geology, and environmental and historical subjects. Responsible for managing and coordinating the Safety Assessment Program, providing training to engineers, architects, and certified building inspectors to perform safety evaluations to impacted structures after an emergency. Also responsible for assisting local jurisdictions with disaster debris removal issues and plan development; training and coordinating joint FEMA/state preliminary damage assessments; Emergency Management Assistance Compact reimbursement processing; and the Sacramento/San Joaquin Delta program issues.

Hazard Mitigation Grant Program
Administers the Hazard Mitigation Grants Program and provides subject matter expertise to local governments and other eligible applicants regarding mitigation activities, application development, and grant management.


Individual Assistance​​
Coordinates with local, state, federal, and voluntary/nonprofit entities to provide recovery assistance following a disaster impacting individuals and households, businesses, and/or agricultural communities in California. Conducts preliminary damage assessments, coordinates staffing for Local Assistance Centers, coordinates with federal disaster assistance programs, and provides referral information. Acts as the statewide Voluntary Agency Liaison for voluntary and faith-based organizations and Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster, and is Administrator for the California Portal of the National Donations Management Network.

​Planning, Preparedness, and Prevention Directorate

Develops and maintains emergency plans, conducts training and exercises, and maintains prevention and mitigation.

Planning and Preparedness
Develops and maintains all-hazards emergency plans and guidance; administers the Standardized Emergency Management System Maintenance System, coordinates the State’s activities in the federal National Incident Management System, and provides technical assistance in radiological-nuclear and homeland security areas.
Also develops and maintains the State Emergency Plan and its annexes, and assists local and state agencies in developing their own emergency preparedness and response plans.

California Specialized Training Institute (CSTI)
Supports statewide training, exercises, and education in emergency management, public safety, homeland security, hazardous materials, disaster recovery, and crisis communications for local, state, and tribal governments, emergency management personnel, and private-sector customers. Responsible for California’s Executive Education Program for senior-elected, career-government, and private-sector officials, and conducts an annual Capstone Exercise on a statewide or regional basis for a catastrophic disaster scenario.
Earthquake and Tsunami
Coordinates with multiple local, state, and federal agencies to manage statewide earthquake and tsunami readiness; raises awareness of earthquake and tsunami hazards; enhances collaboration among elected officials, emergency managers, professional associations, and the news media; builds and maintains earthquake and tsunami communities; promotes hazard mitigation planning; facilitates the California Earthquake Prediction Evaluation Council and oversees California’s implementation of the Early Earthquake Warning System; and supports and facilitates efforts among agencies and organizations involved in earthquake and tsunami response and recovery.

Consists of plans and projects that are permanent, long-term solutions to repetitive damages resulting from natural disasters. Identifies local policies and actions that can be implemented over the long term to reduce risk and future disaster-related losses; develops and maintains the State Hazard Mitigation Plan (SHMP); administers federal Pre- Disaster Mitigation and Flood Mitigation Assistance grant programs that provide funding for eligible mitigation activities that reduce disaster losses and protect life and property from future disaster damages; and assists local agencies in implementing state priorities by training, reviewing, and providing technical assistance with Local Hazard Mitigation Plans. Maintains the Statewide Dam Inundation Program and participates in the development and implementation of State and Federal Climate Adaptation initiatives and strategies.

​Logistics Management Directorate

Provides mission and organizational support across three areas: Disaster Logistics Planning and Coordination, Information Technology, and Public Safety Communications.
Disaster Logistics Planning and Coordination
Develops and implements the Cal OES Continuity of Operations and Continuity of Government plans focusing on essential functions and ensuring continued operations during emergencies. Maintains mission-critical operations after any emergency or disaster. Provides logistical planning, synchronization, accountability, and delivery of resources to support California’s Catastrophic Disaster Plans.​

Procurement and Logistical Services
Provides day-to-day operations of business services and facility support, including property management, facility leasing, records and forms management, courier services, shipping and receiving, and reproduction services. Also responsible for fleet administration, contracting and procurement, and property inventory control.
Information Technology
Provides all necessary Cal OES information technology systems including enterprise applications, desktop and mobile PCs, mobile and desk phones, spatial data analysis and map products. Provides email, remote access, network printing, CalEOC, file sharing, and web services to the public, partners, and staff.

Public Safety Communications
Responsible for design, installation, maintenance, and repair
of the statewide microwave network and public safety radio communications systems used by the state’s public safety agencies’ first responders on a 24-hour/365 days-a-year basis.​ ​Responsible for oversight and support of the 9-1-1 network serving the state’s 452 Public Safety Answering Points. Operates as the point of contact with the National First Responders Network Board of Directors to implement the National Public Safety Broadband Network and consists of the following three branches:

Radio Communications
Provides public safety communications used by public safety agencies within California and consists of Client Engineering and Operations Services. Responsible for planning, engineering, installing, maintaining, repairing, and operating the state’s Public Safety Communications radio systems, as well as the state’s microwave network. Supports 25 statewide analog, digital, and trunked radio systems. Provides services to all federal, state, and local public safety agencies through the RadioCal program.​
California 9-1-1 Emergency Communications
Provides oversight of the 9-1-1 system used by California’s first responders citizens, which serves over 38 million residents and visitors in 58 counties. Provides administration and funding for equipment and network services related to the routing and answering of 9-1-1 calls handled by approximately 452 police, fire, and emergency medical dispatch centers, also known as Public Safety Answering Points.

Telecommunications Governance and Services
Provides strategic planning, direction, and coordination to client agencies for public safety communications. Strengthens public safety communications governance through open forums as stated in the Statewide Public Safety Radio Communications Strategic Plan, and ensures all public safety entities have a voice in the process while continuing to leverage existing infrastructure to improve interoperability in California.

​Finance and Administration Directorate

Provides administrative, accounting, financial, human resources,
labor relations, and grant management services. Includes the Administrative Services, Grants Management, Financial Accountability and Compliance, and Performance Management Offices which collectively administer and manage the department’s budget and supports its employees. Responsible for administering and monitoring all federal grant funds, including homeland security, criminal justice, victim services, and emergency management. Assures directorate objectives are in compliance and alignment with the departmental strategic vision, mission, values, and goals. Ensures accountability for program performance measures.
Administrative Services
Provides administrative policies and procedures as well as advice, service, and support needed to manage Cal OES employees and external customers. Administers a wide array of services, including fiscal management and accounting services, budget and federal grant analysis, human resources and employee services, and labor relations.

Grants Management
Administers federal and state funds for criminal justice, emergency management, victim services, and homeland security programs. Develops and manages grant programs that provide services through government agencies, community-based organizations, and nonprofit organizations. These grants enable, improve, and enhance effective prevention, detection, victim services, and response and recovery efforts.

Grants Processing
Processes all federal and state funding obligations, reimbursement and advance payment requests, and debt recovery functions for Cal OES grant recipients.

Criminal Justice and Emergency Management
Concentrates on suppressing criminal activity, reducing gang activity, lessening crime lab backups, and performing post-conviction DNA testing; and provides funding for critical assistance to sustain and enhance state and local emergency management capabilities.

Victim Services
Provides a wide range of support services for victims and their families including direct services, advocacy, training, and technical assistance in four areas: Domestic Violence, Sexual Assault, Children’s, and Victim/Witness.
Homeland Security & Prop 1B
Provides funding through preparedness grants programs in the areas of homeland, urban areas, transit, and border security. These grant programs fund a range of activities that support the building, sustainment, and delivery of core capabilities through a whole community approach.

​Financial Accountability and Compliance
Responsible for ensuring the department’s financial integrity and compliance with federal and state rules and regulations, establishing accountability and transparency, as well as safeguarding state assets and providing financial technical assistance. Coordinates all international affairs such as assisting with policy recommendations regarding emergency management, coordinating international delegations, and collaborating on bi-national memorandums of understanding with various countries.

Grants Monitoring
Provides fiscal and administrative oversight to more than
70 different federal grant programs, comprised of approximately $1.4 billion in federal awards administered by Cal OES, through review of an organization’s processes to ensure compliance with the rules, laws, and guidelines governing federal grant awards. Annually reviews approximately 500 subgrantees to ensure fiscal and administrative compliance with federal and state policies and regulations.

Internal Audit Office
Performs audits on Cal OES’ internal operations to ensure effective and efficient operations; compliance with state and federal rules, laws, and regulations; and the reliability of Cal OES’ financial reports.

Provides financial analysis and consultation on state operations to the various directorates including monitoring and reconciling monthly budget expenditures and allocations to ensure they are operating within their budget allotments.

Office of Performance Management
Develops, implements, and maintains Cal OES’ Strategic Plan, reviews departmental quarterly performance, and generates executive reports. Leads the employee-driven Idea Ambassador Corps program which directs and oversees special projects for Cal OES.


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