Situational Awareness is the ability to identify, process, and comprehend the critical information about an incident.
More simply, it is knowing what is going on around you.
Situational Awareness requires continuous monitoring of relevant sources of information regarding actual incidents and developing hazards.
A common core function of EOCs is gaining, maintaining, and sharing Situational Awareness and developing a Situational Picture (SitPic) that is shared between ICS, EOC, MAC Group, and JIS participants in the incident.
In the early stages of activation the EOC will obtain Situational Awareness. This is important because accurate, timely information will enable more informed, effective decision-making.