In 1993 the County of Los Angeles (LAC) began construction on its unique, approximately 29,000 square feet Emergency Operation Center (EOC). This facility was the first to be fully dedicated to being a central command and management point in the event of a disaster in the County of Los Angeles. While the original EOC facility was designed to survive a nuclear attack, this new $22-million EOC is being designed with a more modern goal: the ability to survive a major earthquake. As the central command and management point in the event of a disaster in the County, the EOC must remain fully functional after a disaster and LAC is located in an area with high seismic activity, so the threat of a disastrous earthquake is always looming. These factors made the LAC EOC an ideal candidate for base isolation. Thus, the EOC is fitted with 28 high damping rubber bearings designed to withstand an earthquake with up to an 8.3 Richter scale magnitude. To better put this into perspective, this facility was designed to withstand an earthquake with a Return Period of Occurrence in excess of 100,000 years (Maximum Credible Earthquake-MCE), much greater than that required by CA Title 24. The facility was designed to be fully elastic under these MCE conditions, meaning that the facility is expected to sustain no structural damage if the MCE were to occur.
The facility is designed with a dormitory that can house up to 224 people, as well as a dining area, lockers, and showers. The EOC has diesel generators that can support the facility in the event of a power outage. The facility will house representatives from several county agencies, Caltrans, FEMA, the Red Cross, California Highway Patrol, major utilities, and municipal government liaisons in the event of an emergency.
EUR’s president and founder, Mr. Eloy U. Retamal, S.E., served as the lead structural engineer for the design and construction of this project.