From the letter of William L. Carwile, III to FEMA: "During the July 2009 Regional Administrator's Conference, we discussed a number of priorities and initiatives that will help advance the mission of the Disaster Operations Directorate and FEMA in the coming months and improve our ability to prepare for and respond to all hazard events. One such initiative involves the creation of FEMA Operational Centers of Excellence (OCOE) demonstrating expertise in discreet operational response functions. FEMA Regions regularly and consistently respond to the same types of disasters, based on their geographic location and susceptibility to specific hazardous conditions or unique weather patterns. These regions could become Regional OCOEs or, combined with other regions, could form Territorial OCOEs for specific disaster response functions. In this capacity, the OCOEs could serve as a centralized body of subject matter experts responsible for leading the development of specialized guidance and best practices for the specific response function identified. Each OCOE would leverage the existing knowledge base and response, training, and exercise experience in a particular functional response area and share this expertise. For example, Regional and/or Territorial OCOEs could be established on a regional or territorial basis for earthquakes, hurricanes, flooding, tornados, cold weather, biological, man-made, or other response functional areas."
Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA): http://www.fema.gov/