Designing an Emergency Operations Center
Wikipedia defines emergency operations centers as “central command and control facilities responsible for carrying out the principles of emergency preparedness and emergency management, or disaster management functions at a strategic level in an emergency situation and ensuring the continuity of operation of a company, political subdivision, or other organization.”
This definition more or less sums up the strategic importance of emergency operations centers and the staff entrusted with the responsibility of operating it. It’s easy to gather from the description of an emergency operations center that the design and content of the center are key to a coordinated response in event of an emergency. A well-designed operations center incorporates space planning, modern ergonomic furniture, and audiovisual systems that monitor real time activities outside of the center.
In this backdrop, the role of a control room furniture manufacturer and systems integrator are crucial. The choice of furniture design, and video wall systems will ensure that vital activities such as training, coordination, command and control, and dispatch are carried out efficiently. An experienced furniture manufacturer and video wall integrator that has the required experience in outfitting emergency operations centers will likely fulfill all of the parameters.There are even a few companies that will offer complimentary design services to kick-start the process.
Here are a few things to consider when designing an emergency operations center.
- Furniture design and layout: End users should be involved in the design process. The specialized furniture should be designed to meet individualized operational objectives and be arranged in a manner that promotes productive interaction between individuals and groups. At the same time, the layout needs to be flexible enough to be rearranged and expanded as requirements changed.
- Dispatch consoles: Dispatch furniture is often a critical component for designing an emergency operations center depending on the concept of operations. Tailor made dispatch consoles facilitate the seamless integration of communication systems and networks without compromising the comfort of the operator. The dispatch console should have modern ergonomic features that lend themselves to long periods of time sitting and standing.
- Video wall systems: During emergencies, emergency managers must to be one step ahead of the latest developments. Video wall systems with DLP-LED or LCD displays stream in news and information so that collective decisions can be made quickly and accurately.
Each of these components emphasizes the importance of investing in customized solutions for individualized concepts of operation because no two facilities are alike. Contact an experienced company in operations center design and implementation to assist you with your vision.