The principal objective of the Office of Emergency Services (OES) is to reduce vulnerability to hazards and crimes through emergency management, homeland security, and criminal justice to ensure a safe and resilient California. The OES responds to and coordinates emergency activities to save lives and reduce property loss during disasters and facilitates/coordinates recovery from the effects of disasters. On a day-to-day basis, the OES provides leadership, assistance, training, and support to state and local agencies and coordinates with federal agencies in planning and preparing for the most effective use of federal, state, local, and private sector resources in emergencies. This emergency planning is based upon a system of mutual aid whereby a jurisdiction relies first on its own resources, and then requests assistance from its neighbors. The OES's plans and programs are coordinated with those of the federal government, other states, private sector, utilities, and state and local agencies within California.
During an emergency, the OES functions as the Governor's immediate staff to provide guidance and coordinate the state's responsibilities under the Emergency Services Act and applicable federal statutes. It also acts as the conduit for federal assistance through natural disaster grants and federal agency support. Additionally, the OES is responsible for the development and coordination of a comprehensive state strategy related to all hazards, including terrorism, that includes prevention, preparedness, and response and recovery.
Further, the OES improves the criminal justice system in California by providing financial and technical assistance to local governments, state agencies, and the private sector for homeland security, public safety, and victim services.
Since department programs drive the need for infrastructure investment, each department has a related capital outlay program to support this need. For the specifics on the Office of Emergency Services' Capital Outlay Program see "Infrastructure Overview."