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Monday, February 27, 2012

Let's Hear It for Option B

One of those reoccurring themes you have seen in this blog is our quest to get people prepared for emergencies by doing some planning.

We’ve put our money where our mouth is.

Last week the Arizona Division of Emergency Management (ADEM) dedicated a new Alternate State Emergency Operations Center (EOC) in east Mesa. We partnered with ASU years ago on this project. The school will use the Alternate EOC as a “lab” for their emergency management program day to day, and when needed ADEM can use the facility for training, exercises or to respond to a real emergency. [Photo: Dr. Danny Peterson (ASU) on left, Lou Trammell (ADEM) on right]

ADEM’s primary EOC is located at Papago Park Military Reservation in Phoenix. The EOC is activated during state-declared emergencies and disasters and serves as the hub where government representatives coordinate the State response.

ADEM is fortunate to be co-located with the Arizona National Guard on a military base. Of course, that does not mean our location is immune from disasters. If the primary EOC would be untenable, our plan B is to use this great new facility at ASU Polytechnic campus.

Of course, no plan is going to work unless it gets tested and practiced.

We have tested the equipment in the new location (hats off to our communication and IT folks) but the next hurdle is fully staffing the facility to see how things operate. We have a few small exercises scheduled for the summer and then a large scale exercise in September.

In the meantime, the State EOC will get a little workout this week when we conduct the annual Palo Verde Preparedness exercise.

What about your plan? When was the last time it got a little workout?

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