cars driving through winter storm

Winter Weather and Emergency Operations Centers

The holiday season may be over, but it’s still winter, which means that we can expect some storms in the coming months.

In a typical winter season, winter storms most often reach “naming criteria” — that is, covering at least a population of 2 million or an area at least 400,000 square kilometers — from late January through February.

Emergency operations centers in winter

Emergency operations centers play a vital role before, during, and after blizzards and other winter weather events. EOC operators track and predict weather patterns to measure the potential impact of a storm. Operators use a central video wall to rapidly share data and insights. Locally-based emergency operations centers work with larger operations on state and national levels to coordinate efforts and share information and resources. In addition to the coordination of immediate response efforts at the height of the storm, EOCs also coordinate responses to incidents that can occur later as a result of the storm,s uch as flooding caused by melting ice and snow.

How design plays a role in emergency operations center performance

Successful EOC performance is the result of quality data and the persistence of the emergency operations team. Emergency Operations Center design should allow for quick and efficient coordination and response. As the central hub of incident preparation and response,EOC operators must be able to gather and share critical information, coordinate response initiatives, and manage personnel across various departments. Emergency operations center design should not distract from the vital roles that need to be performed. Instead, it should make those roles easier to perform.

Public safety in the event of a winter weather event can depend on an EOC running at peak efficiency. Staff in the emergency operations center must be able to display a variety of data on the  24/7 video wall so that information can quickly be aggregated, analyzed, and shared to make life-saving decisions. The technology within an EOC must be unfailingly reliable with redundancies in place to prevent information loss during a storm. Emergency operations centers’ tasks are critical. That’s why it’s important to work with an AV integrator that can recommend the most reliable products so your technology lasts through the toughest conditions.

The furniture solutions used in your EOC installation can also contribute to efficiency. Space design and furniture arrangements should enable coordination between operators. They should also allow a clear view to the video wall for everyone in the room. Additionally, the shifts during an emergency can be long and grueling. Furniture and video wall positions should be decided with ergonomics in mind so that operators can work without the added distraction of avoidable discomfort. Constant conducts sight-line analyses to ensure optimal viewing positions to reduce any potential eye and neck strain.

Given current conditions with the COVID-19 pandemic, design should also consider how to integrate social distancing measures. Whether you’re building a new space or working to adapt an existing space, Constant has a number of ways to de-densify your operations center space.

Make sure your emergency operations center is ready for round-the-clock use as winter continues in full force. Contact us today for a free budget and design consultation.

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About Constant:

Constant Technologies, Inc. provides AV integration for 24/7 video walls and custom operation center furniture. With 30+years experience we can work with sensitive environments in the public and private sectors. Constant designs and installs projects of all scopes and sizes around in the world. We also offer long-term service and support. We create solutions with the highest levels of security, aesthetics and functionality in mind.