Virginia Emergency Operations Center (VEOC)

The Virginia Emergency Operations Center (VEOC) hosts the Virginia Emergency Support Team (VEST) and the Commonwealth’s Emergency Support Functions (ESFs), which respond to calls for assistance from local governments throughout the Commonwealth.

Virginia Emergency Support Team (VEST)

Comprised of more than 300 credentialed members, the VEST draws its staff from more than 40 State Agencies, dozens of NGOs, and private sector companies such as Verizon and Dominion. During steady state operations, VEST training is conducted nearly every week on a variety of emergency management topics. Introductory training is also conducted on a regular basis for new VEST Staff in a full day course – VEST 100.

During VEST Activations, some staff may be physically present at the VEOC while others may or may not be activated. The VEST has four levels of activation designated by colors.

  • GREEN (Steady State): During steady state, emergency operations plans and procedures are developed and maintained. Training and exercises are conducted periodically as required to maintain readiness.
  • YELLOW (Increased Readiness): During increased readiness, multiple resources are required to mitigate or prepare for an incident. The incident is generally limited to one operational period and response is handled by VDEM Regional Staff with support from the command and general staff.
  • ORANGE (Partial Support): During partial support operations, some or all of the Command and General staff positions are activated, the incident may extend into multiple operational periods, and ESF support is required.
  • RED (Full Response): During full response operations, all Command and General Staff positions are filled, branches are established, and most, if not all, of the ESFs are required.

Situational Awareness Unit (SAU)

The SAU is staffed 24 hours a day, seven days a week to coordinate day to day situational assessments, alerts and warnings, resource management, operational planning, reporting, and external emergency communications for Virginia’s state and local emergency response agencies.


Search and Rescue (SAR)

The SAR program manages and deploys an organization capable of an efficient and integrates response to lost and missing person reports.


Hazmat Coordination Center

The HAZMAT program administers statewide hazardous materials (chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear, and explosive) emergency response to protect life, critical infrastructure, property, and the environment.