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Collaborative Tools for Emergency Management Operations Centers

Crisis response and emergency management can bring together federal, state, and local agencies to join forces for the public good; since seconds count in critical situations, effective decision making is crucial. Having the right tools in place can make the difference in how quickly a situation can be properly assessed.

“Effective incident management of catastrophic events requires coordination of a wide range of organizations and activities, both public and private.”

– FEDERAL RESPONSE TO HURRICANE KATRINA

Shared situational awareness can be complex in emergency management. There can be organization and geographical borders to work around to make a crisis team function seamlessly. In addition, there is the high level of unpredictability as to how an incident will unfold so teams must be resilient and have access to real time information.

Constant Technologies understands Emergency Operations Centers and has assisted clients around the world with their designs and integrations. In addition to audio/visual systems and furniture systems, Constant offers collaborative tools adept at improving operational coordination and decision-making.

One powerful tool that Constant integrates into command and control rooms is Mezzanine™ by Oblong Industries.

Mezzanine enables real-time shared situational awareness and response across teams and locations. It integrates face-to-face communication with simultaneous content, application and data sharing through a unified operational space. There is no custom integration required. Authorized individuals can connect to a Mezzanine workspace on any device to gain valuable insights and share information for complex problem solving.

By uniting multiple deployable and stationary Mezzanine locations in a shared workspace of video, images, applications, and devices, operations with in-room and distributed end-points significantly improves. Additionally, those outside a Mezzanine environment can connect and contribute to the workspace via their laptop or mobile device just as if they were in the room. Imagine the agility and speed of response and recovery if your boots on the ground could work with remote subject matter experts as effectively as if they were on site. This content and information-centric means of collaborating across distance is so much more than traditional telepresence, we refer to it as Infopresence™, and it is only available with Mezzanine.

A Unified Operational Environment Surrounds Decision-Makers with Critical Information

A typical Mezzanine environment includes multiple HD displays—typically 6 or more—surrounding the room to enable emergency responders to grow situational awareness. Imagery, live video feeds, social media feeds, interactive analytic dashboards, and other live applications, can be shared, moved and scaled throughout the room without the need for a complex switching device. A standard Mezzanine also includes a conventional white board where brainstorming of Courses of Action can be easily pulled into the digital workspace.

BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) Overcomes Boundaries

In critical incident response, you can’t afford for anyone to be a passive participant. Mezzanine makes it easy for anyone to grow the operational picture by sharing their screens from any device simultaneously. Directly plug in your laptop or bypass wires entirely and stream your content with the Mezzanine Screencast application, speeding situational awareness to make the entire response force more productive, dynamic, and interactive. Every user and device is an equal citizen with full capabilities to control and contribute to the Mezzanine workspace.

Archiving Captures Decisions and Briefing Intelligence

Mezzanine allows you to save and download the content from your digital portfolio so that you have an artifact capturing the current status of the situation, the action plans that were generated, and the decisions that were made, allowing you to email or hand carry a pdf document to those outside the operations centers. You can also return to your saved workspace and resume exactly where you left off, reducing set-up and recap time.

Contact Constant Technologies today for a free analysis or your emergency operation center. We can work with you to see how powerful collaborative tools like Mezzanine can increase your situational awareness and improve your unified response.

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February 12, 2016