Lesson 1 - Introduction







Welcome to the E.O.C.

Welcome to the Introduction to the Emergency Operations Centers eLearning course. This course is designed to help organizations prepare their E.O.C’s and E.O.C staff. Each lesson is broken down into a number of topics. Some topics have a short quiz at the end. At the very end of the course there will be a short test. Upon completion of the test you can download your PreparedEx E.O.C eLearning course certificate. Thank you, and good luck.

The Emergency Operations Center

Please play the videos below to get started on the background scenario.

Video 1 Script

You were asked by a long-time friend to come in and reorganize a struggling manufacturing company that is being expanded to increase its production output. The second day on the job your friend/boss informs you that he was notified this morning that the company has just been awarded a large contract. Your ability to successfully fulfill the terms of the contract will, in large part, determine the future of the company.

During your initial meeting with your senior managers you find out that the expansion of the production capability and the training of new personnel to run the equipment is behind schedule. It now becomes clear that in order to fulfill the production terms of the new contract and existing contracts you will have to conduct operations around the clock (i.e., 24/7) until the new capabilities come on line.

That evening, while watching the evening news you see the long-range weather report forecasting a series of winter storms that are projected to track close to the main manufacturing location over the next two weeks. The initial assessment is that your area can expect power outages and possible road closures. You send out text messages and emails to your managers informing them that there will be a meeting early tomorrow morning to go over the company’s business continuity plan. In particular you are concerned about the ability of your team to coordinate an effective response to potential disruptions that could occur during the coming storms.

During the meeting the following morning you are pleasantly surprised that the business continuity plan does address the type of challenges the coming storm may present, but the plan lacks details in the area of coordinating response activities. In particular there is no mention of a emergency operations center to manage the overall response to the potential challenges that the storms may present.

Video 2 Script

Following the meeting you call one of your military friends who worked in your former military command’s combat information center and who now works for a company that helps companies and agencies develop and exercise emergency management operations. He agrees to send you an overview of the basic design of an E.O.C and the key elements that go into the management and operation of an E.O.C. During your discussions he mentions that in advance of the coming storm the governor will probably activate the state’s E.O.C and many of the cities will also activate their own E.O.Cs. He goes on to suggest that your own E.O.C should be designed so that in the event that an incident at your company escalates and you need additional assistance from city or state first responders, the setup within your E.O.C will allow for a seamless interface with those responders.

As he closes the discussions he provides two links to help you better understand NIMS (the National Incident Management System) and the relationship between the E.O.C and the on-scene command through I.C.S (the Incident Command System.) He explains that although NIMS is a US incident management system that many other countries have adopted a similar approach to incident management and the basic framework is worth understanding especially as it relates to how governments and corporations work together during emergencies.

He understands that you will not be able to establish a sophisticated E.O.C within a couple of weeks, but recommends that for this present emerging contingency you find a large conference room and concentrate on ensuring you have multiple communication nodes, backup power supply, and the capability to display situational awareness. The overview of E.O.C design and key elements of management and operations arrive that afternoon.

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