SC Emergency Management officials implement new OPCON levels

State - Regional
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COLUMBIA, S.C. (WCBD) – The South Carolina Emergency Management Division and county emergency management officials are updating the state’s emergency operational condition levels, or OPCONs.

Levels were previously ranked from 5, normal day-to-day operations to 1, which meant a disaster or emergency was in full effect. Local and state agencies will now coordinate, prepare and respond to major emergencies based on just three levels of readiness.

  • OPCON 3: Normal Daily Operations. Agencies coordinate, plan, train and exercise as warranted. Incidents are monitored by the State Warning Point and local emergency managers.
  • OPCON 2: Enhanced Awareness. A disaster or emergency is likely to affect the state. Emergency Operations Plans are implemented. The State Emergency Operations Center is partially activated if necessary.
  • OPCON 1: Full Alert. A disaster or emergency is imminent or occurring. The State Emergency Operations Center is fully activated. All agency personnel are activated or available for activation.

“Residents can expect to see a streamlining in the way we activate state and local resources, particularly the state and local emergency operations centers,” said SCEMD Director Kim Stenson. “The new system brings us more in line with how other states operate and simplifies the steps we take before a major emergency is in full effect.”

Its important citizens know and understand these operational condition levels, especially as we enter the 2019 Hurricane Season. These levels will change based on timing and impacts from storms or emergency events.

All State Emergency Response Team agencies and county emergency managers in all 46 counties have instituted the new OPCON levels.

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