Hurricane Harvey and the Importance of a Coordinated Response

In light of the continuing and record-breaking deluge brought by Hurricane Harvey — as of this writing it lingers along Gulf Coast and continues to flood wide areas of Texas and Louisiana — I asked Brad Herrick, vice president of the Control Room Group for AVI-SPL, for his thoughts about the importance of command centers as hubs for coordinating emergency operations in order to rescue those stranded or threatened by catastrophic storms.

“We know at least one Texas agency whose emergency operations center we designed, integrated, and continue to service that went active over the weekend,” said Brad. “And one major federal government EOC that we designed, integrated, and service went active as well, all in response to Harvey.”

The images we’ve seen from Texas show the immense damage that Harvey has caused and continues to cause, and how important emergency responders are at a time when resources struggle to cope with the enormity of this disaster. Response teams from across the nation — the Texas National Guard, the Coast Guard, FEMA, local police, and a host of other organizations have converged to rescue those trapped by the storm.

That urgency is perhaps enhanced by the forecast that Harvey will track back over southeast Texas on Wednesday. Before it dissipates, weather forecasters expect it will end up soaking the area with more rain than Hurricanes Katrina, Sandy, and Andrew combined. By Thursday, the Houston metro area will have likely received more than 50 inches of rain.

“Tragedies like Harvey call upon those heroes who serve in emergency operations to save lives and then help rebuild communities,” said Brad.  “It is an honor to serve these customers and support their mission in this capacity.”

Brad also recommended a LinkedIn post about the storm,  where Jon Litt of Christie Digital noted, “We have been in contact with our customers in the greater Houston area, including regional emergency management, law enforcement, traffic management, government regional communications, utilities, medical, and more, and the reports we are getting back are that the Christie Control Room solutions are working beautifully and helping a great deal.”

AVI-SPL’s Control Room Group integrates modern, advanced solutions like those from Christie so that agencies can receive the live feeds and data they need to understand disaster situations and coordinate response teams. Is your region’s emergency response team prepared for a crisis like that posed by Hurricane Harvey? Contact the Control Room Group at 888-619-9083 to speak to one of our experts about your challenges.

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