Texas Emergency Management ONLINE2010 Vol. 57 No. 3

ABCs of WebEOC

Kevin Lemon
Kevin Lemon, TDEM’s Technical Operations Specialist at the State Operations Center.
Photo by Rachel Jordan-Shuss

The State Operations Center has been offering training to state agency personnel and others in the use of WebEOC during disasters and emergencies. WebEOC is a server-based program that is accessible on the Internet. It is intended to improve communications during all phases of emergency management when there are multiple participants involved. It also can be used regularly in non-emergency periods.

Kevin Lemon, Technical Operations Specialist at the SOC, explained that WebEOC “is not just a crisis-management software. You can use it day-to-day. It means you do not have to be at the State Operations Center to see what’s going on. If you’re on the third shift at the SOC during a disaster, you can log on and see what’s going on before you show up down here.”

WebEOC provides a mechanism with which to track statewide incident information, as well as to support deploying and tracking of resources and personnel. Functions include requisitioning of resources, tracking resources and missions – and tasking state agencies when their resources are needed to support response operations.

In addition, WebEOC is used to track daily operations, administrative data and statewide incident information. In Texas, WebEOC is used on a daily basis by several state agencies, private sector companies and local jurisdictions. It is used in the daily operations of the health services community, the airline industry, resource management and others.

“WebEOC is used across Texas, the nation and the world,” Lemon explained. “It can be used in all phases of emergency management to enhance intra-agency and multi-jurisdictional (local, state and federal) communications during all incidents, regardless of the size or complexity.”

In March, the SOC began to provide training for personnel who use the TDEM WebEOC system. The sessions are divided into two parts. The first provides a basic overview of WebEOC. In the second session, users work with simulated messages, resource requests or other types of information needed during an operation. The aim is to give users more practice working with the type of information they might be required to provide – or that they might need to request from other areas – during an actual SOC activation. So far, more than 250 state agency personnel have attended these training sessions.

“The key to success with WebEOC is to ensure that personnel are trained prior to an activation of the Governor’s Emergency Management Council. It allows users to become familiar with the program in a training environment, instead of during an emergency situation,” Lemon said.

For more information on training opportunities at TDEM, visit:
http://www.txdps.state.tx.us/dem/preparedness/generalTrainingInformation

Front Page Photo: Kevin Lemon, TDEM’s Technical Operations Specialist at the State Operations Center, instructs a class on the basics of WebEOC. Photo by Nicole Murray.


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