Showing posts from March, 2011

DavisLogic - Blogging on Emergency Management: What is an EOC information management system?

What is an EOC information management system?

What is an Emergency Operations Center (EOC) information management system?  With all of the talk about the use of Social Media in Emergency Management and the use of new technologies for "Situational Awareness" and a "Common Operating Picture" it is important to remember the basics.  After all, EOC management is all about information and resource management. So I thought I would share a summary of EOC information management issues that we recently prepared.

The EOC needs an effective information management system to work.

INFORMATION MANAGEMENT PROBLEMS DURING A DISASTER The following problems are often seen at all EOC levels:

Activation takes place after the fact resulting in a “catch up” process.Lack of good and complete information at the beginning.Possible loss or degraded communications capability.Possible loss or late arrival of key, trained staff.Often a shortfall of resources available to meet demands.Lack of inter-agency coordination.
Information management is…

DavisLogic - Blogging on Emergency Management: Is E-Mail Still the King of Social Media?

Is E-Mail Still the King of Social Media?

I just realized that our "Emergency Management Mail List" (a Yahoo! Group) is now over ten years old! It made me think about the importance of e-mail as a medium and how far we have come from the early start of communication across the Internet and where things stand now... First, about this 10 year milestone:  I have been so busy that I missed our list's birthday (it was actually back on Feb 17th). In the ten years (and a month) since our start in February of 2001, we have shared almost 20,000 messages among our group of over 2,300 emergency management professionals.  Milestones, such as ten year anniversaries, are a time for reflection and thanksgiving. My reflections include remembering back to when I had more time to do things like starting up a mail list. And also back to the early days of the Internet and how much things have changed.  And that, how now, in a day of Tweets, Blogs, and Facebook pages, e-mail is still the king in communication in my book.

The difference…
Why Have and EOC? Emergency Managers know that bad things happen. Whether it is an accident, earthquake, fire, flood, storm, or act of violence or terror, your community is at risk of a disastrous event. That is why planners plan; they work to save lives, prevent damage, and to ensure continuity of operations. After conducting a hazard vulnerability analysis, detailed plans are constructed to describe response and recovery actions. Planning to manage these emergency events involves mitigation, preparedness, response, and recovery efforts. A critical part of this planning process involves preparing to operate an Emergency Operations Center (EOC.) Good response and recovery management requires a good “Concept of Operations” and a robust approach to communications, coordination, and information management. EOCs hold the key to successfully managing potential problems associated with any disaster.
So what must an organization do to successfully address the response to an emergency? In addi…

Lost in Translation: Getting out of Japan after the Earthquake

I’m sure that the recent earthquake in Japan affected each of us in some way; if for no other reason the loss of life and devastation, as shown in the remarkable video reports from Japan, was mind-blowing.  I think we all understand the power of a tsunami, and we have seen several recent examples, but the pictures from Japan displayed a new level of shock and awe for the world as to the power of natural hazards.
Here is the story of my day and how the quake impacted it.... but more importantly, it is a story of the power of our network.
I saw the earthquake alerts as I read my e-mail while waiting to board a plane.  I did not have much of an idea of the impact; but, since a tsunami was predicted, I certainly started thinking ahead to possible impacts on the US Pacific states and territories.  So with limited situational awareness, I was watching events unfold on my iPhone and wondering if we would be called to help.  As I took a morning flight and disconnected for a few hours, I reflect…