The Emergency<br />Operations Centre<br />Prof. David Alexander<br />D.Alexander@alice.it<br />
Emergency<br />co-ordination<br />plans<br />Emergency<br />procedures<br />The emergency<br />environment<br />Contingenc...
 Policies <br />Command systems<br /><ul><li>operations centres
 task forces
 communications
 chains of command</li></ul> Plans <br /> Procedures <br />Results<br /> Operations <br />
Two models of organisation<br />of civil protection services<br />Command function principle: allocating<br />tasks accord...
P<br />ESTOR<br />Policies/Ethics<br />Strategies<br />Tactics<br />Operations<br />Results<br />Technical<br />emergency ...
The command function (PESTOR)<br /><ul><li>based on command and control
a clear division of responsibilities
a residual component of authoritarianism
hierarchical decision-making processes
possibly not compatible</li></ul>with collaborative models.<br />
The support function principle<br /><ul><li>non hierarchical and based on networks
encourages fllows and</li></ul>cascades of information<br /><ul><li>it is easy to identify the managerof a</li></ul>partic...
Strategic command<br />operations centre<br />conference room<br />Management<br />system<br />Mutual<br />assistance<br /...
Mobile command structures<br />
Mortuary<br />area<br />First aid<br />medical post<br />Primary<br />assembly<br />area<br />Medical post<br />for rescue...
Emergency<br />Operations<br />Centre (EOC)<br />"When disaster<br />strikes, the<br />best protection<br />is to know<br ...
Definition:-<br />"A central structure of command and<br />control which exercises the principles of<br />planning and man...
Definition:-<br />"A physical locality housing elements<br />of the organisation that<br />co-ordinates emergency response...
Operations centres are of two types:<br />always open (24hr) or to be<br />activated in the case of an emergency.<br />In ...
Emergency<br />operations<br />room<br />Rest and<br />recreation room<br />Emergency Operation Centre<br />Conference<br ...
Conference room, DPC, Rome, Italy<br />
The location of the<br />Emergency Operations Centre (EOC):-<br /><ul><li> in  a congestion-free area
usually outside the city centre (?)
at a communications node
where telecommunications are good
 in a building that is not at risk.</li></li></ul><li>The operations centre is responsible for<br />the strategic manageme...
As it is the focal point<br />of civil protection, the<br />emergency operations<br />centre is used as a<br />laboratory ...
Things to know in the EOC:-<br /><ul><li>the local emergency plan
local cartography and topography
the services infrastructure
hazards and vulnerability of</li></ul>the local area under surveillance<br /><ul><li>monitoring networks
procedures and protocols to be</li></ul>followed in the case of emergencies<br /><ul><li>communications systems.</li></li>...
registration</li></ul>  - of decisions<br />  - of actions.<br />
Some functions of the EOC:-<br /><ul><li>collect and evaluate information</li></ul>on developing situations<br /><ul><li>d...
compile a daily situation report.</li></li></ul><li>Communications systems:-<br /><ul><li>used to collect informationon th...
Decision-making and<br />monitoring processes should:-<br /><ul><li>be easy to use and efficient
collect information on breakdowns,</li></ul>inefficiencies and failures in order<br />to respond rapidly to contingencies<...
comunicate over a wide geographical area
document everything.</li></li></ul><li>Software for emergency management<br />should offer support to the following<br />f...
evaluate events and determine</li></ul>  priorities for action<br /><ul><li>register events and decisions
assign tasks to operational units
assign resources and monitor their use.</li></li></ul><li>Software for emergency management<br />should offer support to t...
 executive briefing
documentation of</li></ul>emergency response actions<br /><ul><li>a "virtual operations centre" for</li></ul>  distance co...
The information management<br />system should be able to provide:-<br /><ul><li> bidirectional communications
a well-structured mechanism to</li></ul>send and receive information<br /><ul><li> some automatic responses
responses that conform</li></ul>to management protocols<br /><ul><li>a system for alerting personnel.</li></li></ul><li>Bo...
Essential elements of the EOC<br />
Management structure:<br /><ul><li>scope and objectives for the</li></ul>management of emergencies<br /><ul><li>order of p...
documents and reference</li></ul>instruments for management<br />(emergency plan and protocols).<br />
Responsibilities:-<br /><ul><li> executive commission or committee
group or task force</li></ul>  for emergency management<br /><ul><li>operations management</li></ul>(support functions or ...
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Emergency Operations Centres

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Emergency Operations Centres

  1. 1. The Emergency<br />Operations Centre<br />Prof. David Alexander<br />D.Alexander@alice.it<br />
  2. 2. Emergency<br />co-ordination<br />plans<br />Emergency<br />procedures<br />The emergency<br />environment<br />Contingency<br />planning in<br />real time<br />Spontaneous<br />improvisation<br />
  3. 3. Policies <br />Command systems<br /><ul><li>operations centres
  4. 4. task forces
  5. 5. communications
  6. 6. chains of command</li></ul> Plans <br /> Procedures <br />Results<br /> Operations <br />
  7. 7.
  8. 8. Two models of organisation<br />of civil protection services<br />Command function principle: allocating<br />tasks according to level and objectives<br />of decision-making <br />(strategic, tactical, operational).<br />Support function principle: allocating<br />tasks according to functional sector<br />(e.g. communications, logistics, utilities).<br />
  9. 9. P<br />ESTOR<br />Policies/Ethics<br />Strategies<br />Tactics<br />Operations<br />Results<br />Technical<br />emergency services<br />General<br />public<br />Administrators<br />and politicians<br />
  10. 10. The command function (PESTOR)<br /><ul><li>based on command and control
  11. 11. a clear division of responsibilities
  12. 12. a residual component of authoritarianism
  13. 13. hierarchical decision-making processes
  14. 14. possibly not compatible</li></ul>with collaborative models.<br />
  15. 15. The support function principle<br /><ul><li>non hierarchical and based on networks
  16. 16. encourages fllows and</li></ul>cascades of information<br /><ul><li>it is easy to identify the managerof a</li></ul>particular function in a different unit<br /><ul><li>difficult to apply the principle of</li></ul> command, which is poorly articulated<br /><ul><li>difficult or impossible to integrate</li></ul>with command function-based systems.<br />
  17. 17. Strategic command<br />operations centre<br />conference room<br />Management<br />system<br />Mutual<br />assistance<br />agreements<br />Communications protocols<br />Tactical command<br />operations centre<br />operations room<br />Tactical command<br />operations centre<br />operations room<br />Communications protocols<br />Operations command<br />command post<br />Ops command<br />command post<br />Operations command<br />command post<br />Communications protocols<br />Task force<br />site of incident<br />Task force<br />site of incident<br />Task force<br />site of incident<br />
  18. 18. Mobile command structures<br />
  19. 19. Mortuary<br />area<br />First aid<br />medical post<br />Primary<br />assembly<br />area<br />Medical post<br />for rescuers<br />Incident<br />command<br />post<br />Triage<br />area<br />Secondary<br />assembly<br />area<br />Road block<br />Ambulance<br />loading area<br />Rescue<br />loop<br />Minor<br />injuries<br />treatment<br />Mass<br />media<br />post<br />INCIDENT<br />WITH VICTIMS<br />Helicopter<br />External<br />cordon<br />Main cordon<br />
  20. 20. Emergency<br />Operations<br />Centre (EOC)<br />"When disaster<br />strikes, the<br />best protection<br />is to know<br />what to do."<br />- FEMA<br />
  21. 21. Definition:-<br />"A central structure of command and<br />control which exercises the principles of<br />planning and management of major events<br />at the strategic level in crisis situations<br />or other emergencies with the objective<br />of ensuring continuity of operations<br />for public and private organisations."<br />
  22. 22. Definition:-<br />"A physical locality housing elements<br />of the organisation that<br />co-ordinates emergency responses,<br />allocates resources and<br />conducts recovery actions."<br />
  23. 23. Operations centres are of two types:<br />always open (24hr) or to be<br />activated in the case of an emergency.<br />In an emergency or crisis it is important<br />to activate the EOC as soon as possible<br />such as to initiate the decision-making<br />process promptly.<br />
  24. 24. Emergency<br />operations<br />room<br />Rest and<br />recreation room<br />Emergency Operation Centre<br />Conference<br />and decisions<br />room<br />("situation<br />room")<br />Architecture of an<br />operations centre<br />
  25. 25. Conference room, DPC, Rome, Italy<br />
  26. 26. The location of the<br />Emergency Operations Centre (EOC):-<br /><ul><li> in a congestion-free area
  27. 27. usually outside the city centre (?)
  28. 28. at a communications node
  29. 29. where telecommunications are good
  30. 30. in a building that is not at risk.</li></li></ul><li>The operations centre is responsible for<br />the strategic management of the event<br />- the "big picture": usually, it does not<br />have direct command of operations at<br />the site. Thus it is not an incident<br />command post.<br />A well-designed operations centre that<br />is well run will be a major asset<br />in the management and co-ordination<br />of emergency operations.<br />
  31. 31. As it is the focal point<br />of civil protection, the<br />emergency operations<br />centre is used as a<br />laboratory for all<br />activities in the field.<br />
  32. 32. Things to know in the EOC:-<br /><ul><li>the local emergency plan
  33. 33. local cartography and topography
  34. 34. the services infrastructure
  35. 35. hazards and vulnerability of</li></ul>the local area under surveillance<br /><ul><li>monitoring networks
  36. 36. procedures and protocols to be</li></ul>followed in the case of emergencies<br /><ul><li>communications systems.</li></li></ul><li>Functions of the EOC:-<br /><ul><li>management</li></ul> - direction of operations<br /><ul><li>monitoring and direction</li></ul> - of situations<br /> - of the safety of operations<br /><ul><li>communication</li></ul> - directly (bilateral)<br /> - through networks<br /><ul><li>co-operation and co-ordination
  37. 37. registration</li></ul> - of decisions<br /> - of actions.<br />
  38. 38. Some functions of the EOC:-<br /><ul><li>collect and evaluate information</li></ul>on developing situations<br /><ul><li>determine the responsibilities in</li></ul>various sectors, including private sector<br /><ul><li>maintain constant contact</li></ul>with other operations centres<br /><ul><li>understand and update procedures.</li></li></ul><li>Some functions of the EOC:-<br /><ul><li>compile a daily report on</li></ul>events as they take place<br /><ul><li>update the registration of</li></ul>damage to people and things<br /><ul><li>produce press briefings and reports
  39. 39. compile a daily situation report.</li></li></ul><li>Communications systems:-<br /><ul><li>used to collect informationon the</li></ul> developing situation and relay<br />instructions and strategic orders<br /><ul><li>should be equipped with a</li></ul>good measure of redundancy<br /><ul><li>should be robust regarding the risk</li></ul>of deterioration of its capacity:<br />saturation of networks, damage to<br />equipment, incompatible frequencies, etc.<br />
  40. 40. Decision-making and<br />monitoring processes should:-<br /><ul><li>be easy to use and efficient
  41. 41. collect information on breakdowns,</li></ul>inefficiencies and failures in order<br />to respond rapidly to contingencies<br /><ul><li>track multiple incidents and resources
  42. 42. comunicate over a wide geographical area
  43. 43. document everything.</li></li></ul><li>Software for emergency management<br />should offer support to the following<br />functions:-<br /><ul><li>operate a network of alerts
  44. 44. evaluate events and determine</li></ul> priorities for action<br /><ul><li>register events and decisions
  45. 45. assign tasks to operational units
  46. 46. assign resources and monitor their use.</li></li></ul><li>Software for emergency management<br />should offer support to the following<br />functions:-<br /><ul><li>snapshop of state of operations
  47. 47. executive briefing
  48. 48. documentation of</li></ul>emergency response actions<br /><ul><li>a "virtual operations centre" for</li></ul> distance collaboration and co-ordination<br /><ul><li>sharing of data through</li></ul> Internet and other networks.<br />
  49. 49. The information management<br />system should be able to provide:-<br /><ul><li> bidirectional communications
  50. 50. a well-structured mechanism to</li></ul>send and receive information<br /><ul><li> some automatic responses
  51. 51. responses that conform</li></ul>to management protocols<br /><ul><li>a system for alerting personnel.</li></li></ul><li>Both the event and the emergency<br />responses need to be followed in<br />real time: resources will be scarce when<br />requests for help are accumulating<br />rapidly.<br />A register of decisions and operations<br />is essential to document, follow and<br />manage the response to a great number<br />of simultaneous events. It is preferable<br />to have this in digital form, which is<br />flexible and easily shared.<br />
  52. 52. Essential elements of the EOC<br />
  53. 53. Management structure:<br /><ul><li>scope and objectives for the</li></ul>management of emergencies<br /><ul><li>order of priority of actions
  54. 54. documents and reference</li></ul>instruments for management<br />(emergency plan and protocols).<br />
  55. 55. Responsibilities:-<br /><ul><li> executive commission or committee
  56. 56. group or task force</li></ul> for emergency management<br /><ul><li>operations management</li></ul>(support functions or sectors).<br />
  57. 57. Processes of activating the EOC<br />or starting an emergency phase:-<br /><ul><li>criteria for emergency activation
  58. 58. how to estimate damage</li></ul>and harm to people and things<br /><ul><li>priorities in recovery
  59. 59. allocation of resources
  60. 60. information flows
  61. 61. progress report onoperations</li></ul> and the status of the emergency.<br />
  62. 62. Key information:-<br /><ul><li> contact numbers and addresses</li></ul>(internal and external) of key personnel<br /><ul><li>information to contact materials</li></ul>suppliers, with alternative sources<br /><ul><li>roles and responsibilities for transport,</li></ul>data management, communications, etc.<br /><ul><li>warehousing, retrieval</li></ul>and use of equipment<br /><ul><li>computer modules and programs.</li></li></ul><li>While some parts of the EOC may be<br />noisy and full of activity, a principal<br />function is to wait and watch<br />(i.e. to monitor the situation).<br />
  63. 63. Physical layout of the operations centre<br />The physical form of the EOC<br />should reflect the organisational<br />processes going on within it.<br />There are five or six possible models.<br />
  64. 64. "Direction room": the staff of the centre<br />are grouped around a single table or a<br />few tables with an oval or horseshoe<br />form that faces the centre.<br />
  65. 65. "Direction room"<br /><ul><li>emphasises interaction and collaboration
  66. 66. good for groups that are not too large
  67. 67. the focal point is the end of the table
  68. 68. the bigger the group, the more</li></ul>important is the head at end of table<br /><ul><li>screens, blackboards and pinboards at</li></ul> end of table behind chairman's seat<br /> or opposite so that he or she can see it<br /><ul><li>a very popular form of layout.</li></li></ul><li>"Mission Control"<br />
  69. 69. "Mission control"<br /><ul><li>a military model used in the</li></ul>management of space missions<br /><ul><li>each participant sits next to another,</li></ul>with screens, etc., on the wall in front<br /><ul><li>human interactions are mediated</li></ul>through information technology.<br />
  70. 70. "Mission control"<br /><ul><li>interaction processes are dominated</li></ul>by electronic communication methods<br /><ul><li>inspired by the classroom layout
  71. 71. facilitates technical tasks but is</li></ul>a poor set up for human interactions.<br />
  72. 72. "Market place": various tables<br />distributed in a large space<br />
  73. 73. "Market place"<br /><ul><li>each desk has a particular function
  74. 74. co-ordination occurs through</li></ul> physical movements(walking<br /> from one table to another)<br /><ul><li>emphasises strict collaboration</li></ul> between specialists sitting at<br /> each group of tables, with flexible<br /> interaction between groups<br /><ul><li>helps to maintain the autonomy</li></ul> of groups and needs management<br />by moving between the tables.<br />
  75. 75.
  76. 76. "Bull's eye": the desks of various<br />units are organised in a concentric<br />form around a central table.<br />
  77. 77. "Bull's eye"<br /><ul><li>the head of each section</li></ul> sits behind a representative<br /> at the central table<br /><ul><li> appropriate to the centralised</li></ul>management of a series of large<br /> organisationswith many participants<br /><ul><li>facilitates consultation between</li></ul> organisations with the participation<br /> of each one's suppoer staff<br /><ul><li>requires large phsyical spaces.</li></li></ul><li>"Virtual": some participants are not<br />physically present and are thus<br />integrated into the structure of the<br />operations centre by telephone,<br />video-conference or computer.<br />The "anchor desk"<br />
  78. 78. "Virtual"<br /><ul><li>very rarely an alternative</li></ul>to a normal operations centre<br /><ul><li>adds an element of flexibility</li></ul>in the composition of task forces<br /><ul><li>comanders at the site can be</li></ul> included directly in discussions<br /><ul><li>participants can be added</li></ul> to the groupone at a time.<br />
  79. 79. "Tin of sardines": too many people<br />in too small a physical space.<br />
  80. 80. "Tin of sardines"<br /><ul><li>desks and chairs at maximum density
  81. 81. wires everywhere, likewise documents
  82. 82. once set up, it is difficult to change.</li></li></ul><li>
  83. 83.
  84. 84.
  85. 85. Some challenges for EOCs:<br /><ul><li>concerns about the reliability and</li></ul>security of support technologies<br /><ul><li>limits on the availability of connections
  86. 86. loss of the human factor of</li></ul>communication as a result of<br />the use of electronic means<br /><ul><li>it is not easy to manage groups on line.</li></ul>[x]<br />
  87. 87. Thank you<br />kindly for<br />listening!<br />d.alexander@alice.it<br />

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