During a major disaster or event, the Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC) is required to activate an Emergency Operations Center (EOC) to support the needs of regional transportation agencies and the emergency management community. MTC EOC staff are responsible for collecting, analyzing, and disseminating regional transportation information that may impact local and regional emergency response decisions.
In order to effectively manage unpredictable events in real time, the EOC needed an incident management application with a clean, intuitive interface optimized to streamline the collection of incident data, as well as the display of incident locations relative to other critical data sets. The application needed to provide a means for spatially registering incidents, tracking their status, and generating reports that summarize the events, responses, and impacts associated with these incidents. In addition, this application needed to promote coordination between small teams with minimal training, and facilitate the distribution of data to various agencies during time sensitive emergency situations.
Farallon created a robust web-based incident management application that incorporates all of the functionality of MTC’s previous desktop application, but adds enhanced availability, speed, and ease-of-use, as well integration with mapping visualization services like Google Maps and Microsoft Virtual Earth.
Farallon developed the application using Microsoft’s .NET and ESRI’s ArcGIS technology with an ArcSDE connection to Microsoft’s SQL Server. The application’s geocoding engine uses MTC’s own GIS street data to ensure rapid registration of incident data. Support for common geodata formats such as shapefiles and KML, enables easy data sharing with partner EOC’s, as well as other agencies.
Users register emergencies on a map in the form of markers, which are color coded red, yellow, or green based on the status of the incident. Incidents causing severe damage to the transportation network are coded red, while incidents that have been cleared of transportation network delays are coded green. The application also provides the ability to add new bus routes, ferry docks, freeway detours onto local roads, emergency shelters, and make-shift hospitals, as well as to denote areas affected by fire or other damage.
The web-based incident management application allows users to easily perform routine tasks, such as flagging incidents that require response, while simultaneously eliminating a single incident being reported multiple times. Summary reports can then be generated from the mapped incident data with comments regarding the nature of the incidents, as well as the responses and impacts associated with them. This management tool allows the EOC to effectively manage and assess large volumes of continuously generated data in real time, and to quickly provide the same comprehensive data to its regional stakeholders.
In addition, this application will also facilitate enhanced coordination between transportation agencies, and make it easy to distribute regional information to various agencies during time sensitive emergency situations.