The State Emergency Operations Center (SEOC) is a central location from which all local, state and federal partners can provide interagency coordination and executive decision-making in support of any incidents or planned events occurring in the Commonwealth. The Comprehensive Emergency Management Plan, is an all-hazards plan, developed to guide the Commonwealth’s response to an emergency or disaster.

The facility is located at MEMA Headquarters and is often referred to as the MEMA Bunker.

The SEOC operates at three levels:


Steady State/Monitoring

Steady State/Monitoring: MEMA is operating with normal 24/7 staffing. The Director, Response and Field Services Section Chief, Regional Managers, and MEMA Communications Center are monitoring conditions and events throughout the State and region.  Staff is available to assist municipalities and state agencies if the need arises.

Partial Activation

Partial Activation: Additional staff is on duty at the SEOC.  Some General and Command Staff and some Emergency Support Functions have been activated.Enhanced operations and planning activities are taking place.

MEMA anticipates limited requests for assistance from state agencies and municipalities and that state resources and capabilities will not be exhausted.  A need for federal or interstate support is not anticipated.

Full Activation

Full Activation: The SEOC if fully operational. All needed General and Command Staff positions are filled and all needed Emergency Support Functions are activated. A FEMA State Liaison Officer or IMAT may be present in the SEOC and the FEMA Region 1 RRCC may be activated.

The Governor has declared or is likely to declare a state of emergency and has requested, or is likely to request a federal emergency or major disaster declaration.

MEMA anticipates numerous requests for support from municipalities, state agencies, and organizations.  Resource requests may exceed state capabilities; mutual aid via EMAC or IEMAC and/or federal assistance is anticipated.

The MEMA Regional Emergency Operation Centers (REOCs) maybe activated at their locations or at the SEOC.

The Emergency Support Function (ESF) Team is comprised of state, federal, volunteer, public, and private sector partners and organizations. Representatives from these agencies and organizations come together at the SEOC to support response coordination and recovery impacts when the Commonwealth is impacted by a disaster.

The ESF concept is part of the National Response Framework and designed to help agencies work together in response to an incident. The ESF Team meets on a quarterly basis and participates in numerous exercises throughout the Commonwealth to stay prepared.

The Massachusetts ESF Team is broken down into 16 emergency functions:

ESF-1 Transportation
ESF-2 Communications
ESF-3 Public Works and Engineering
ESF-4 Fire Fighting
ESF-5 Business and Industry
ESF-6 Mass Care, Emergency Housing, and Human Services
ESF-7 Volunteers and Donations
ESF-8 Public Health and Medical Services
ESF-9 Search and Rescue
ESF-10 Hazardous Materials and Environmental Protection
ESF-11 Agriculture, Animals, and Natural Resources
ESF-12 Energy
ESF-13 Public Safety and Security
ESF-14 Recovery
ESF-15 Public Information and External Affairs
ESF-16 Military Support

A community can access resources in many ways:

  • Use jurisdiction-owned or contracted resources of municipal departments
  • Activate mutual aid and assistance agreements
  • Request resources from caches established by the Homeland Security Councils
  • Request state assistance through MEMA (when all other options have been exhausted)

Requesting State Assistance

Communities can request additional resources from the Commonwealth by:

  • Calling their MEMA regional office
  • Calling their MEMA REOC (when it’s activated)
  • Calling the MEMA HQ Dispatch (when their MEMA regional office is unavailable)
  • Sending a Resource Request through WebEOC

When requesting state assistance from MEMA, please specify your mission needs, rather than a specific resource.

For more information on requesting resources, contact your MEMA Regional Office or MEMA Headquarters Dispatch at 508-820-2000.