Latest Trends: Emergency Operations Centres Are Changing!

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An emergency operations centre (EOC) is responsible for the strategic overview, or big picture, of an incident . A variety of external forces are acting to make the creation and subsistence of a traditional EOC challenging and those pressures are increasing, particularly in the rapidly evolving world of data.

There are now more new sources of information available than ever before. Currently, this potentially valuable information remains mostly unused by decision making staff, mainly because the sheer amount of information cannot be handled efficiently as it enters a command setting.

Traditionally, an EOC is the central command and control facility responsible for carrying out the principles of a response at a strategic level in an emergency or crisis situation, and ensuring the continuity of operation of a company or other organization. The common functions of all EOC's is to collect, gather and analyze data; make decisions that protect life and property, maintain the continuity of an organization, and disseminate those decisions. However there are now growing trends in the way people want to receive this information and manage their incidents;

From Central toward Dispersed

Organizations can find that they've key employees dispersed across large geographic areas. In order to reduce incident lengths and protect brands, there is a need for people to immediately join the incident response without actively attending the EOC.

From Command toward Collaboration

EOC's traditionally where the command centre. However, scenarios on the ground change so rapidly that as incident commanders are making decisions quickly in these dynamic environments. That information received to an EOC can often be out dated or a snapshot of stage of the incident that has already passed. This is driving the need for modern decision making tools, ensuring collaboration between the command in an EOC and the people on the ground.

From Fixed toward Mobile

Mobile command options are not only a cost-effective way of providing an alternate to a fixed EOC, they also can deploy at all incidents that would not traditionally require such sophisticated capabilities. This ensures continuity of response across all incidents.

From Periodic toward Continuous

The rapid onset of many incidents, the growing costs of delayed response and the risks to brands. These are the costs encountered during transitions from normal to emergency modes of operation. Now there is a want to shift towards an always on system that scale up or down as required but never entirely deactivate.

For an organization to have an effective information management strategy it must provide timely and accurate information in all phases of an incident. Forming a unified communication system intended to optimize communications during emergencies, will aid in capturing your organization's communications in a single source.

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