How Knoxville-Knox County EMA is Operating Their EOC Remotely During COVID-19
In most cases, in-person meetings in a physical EOC are standard practice during an emergency. However, with the outbreak of COVID-19, Knoxville-Knox County Emergency Management Agency needed to create a virtual EOC environment to ensure the safety of their staff and partner agencies. Here's how they achieved this with D4H Incident Management.
The Knoxville-Knox County Emergency Management Agency (KEMA) is the central point of contact for local government for all major emergencies and disasters in the Knoxville City/ Knox County area. KEMA works in partnership with local state and federal agencies as well as industry and volunteer organizations during emergencies to ensure an effective resolution.
The KEMA Emergency Operations Center (EOC) is the central meeting point for the City and County Mayors, Police, Fire, Emergency Medical Services, American Red Cross and others to coordinate response and recovery efforts following a disaster. In most cases, in-person meetings in a physical EOC are standard practice. However, with the outbreak of COVID-19 came restrictions around social distancing to limit the spread of the virus. To ensure the safety of their staff and partner agencies, KEMA needed to create a virtual EOC environment where they could communicate and collaborate on their COVID-19 response remotely.
KEMA had recently deployed D4H Incident Management to manage their standard EOC operations, with the outbreak of COVID-19 they customized their account as a COVID-19 virtual EOC solution. The real-time incident management software allows KEMA to easily create a common operating picture, communicate objectives, and collaborate on a resolution using forms, tasks, logs, maps, and status boards.
The software provides an overall single source of truth for their COVID-19 response. They are currently using status boards to track all COVID-19 cases in their county as well as the state of Tennessee. They keep an update log to track all new information as it comes in and they use the software to track which county facilities are open, closed or operating on limited service. KEMA also uses the incident management platform to track resource requests for PPE and other logistical items by the police and other departments within the county. The software is cloud-based which means that staff can access this information from anywhere, on any device, enabling them to maintain safe social distancing while carrying out their duties.