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Emergency operations Centers (EOC) 101 - for Pandemics

by: Kobie

Tue Sep 30, 2008 at 14:21:25 PM EDT

  Emergency Operation Centers (EOCs) take over becomming the brains of any disaster response. They can be pressure cookers for even short term events. A good EOC facilitates command and control during a pandemic without spreading H5N1.

 As hurricane Ike blew through many news crews showed local EOCs in action on portable tables and news cards taped to laptops.

 There is a better way to plan for a pandemic which will last longer with less help.  

Kobie :: Emergency operations Centers (EOC) 101 - for Pandemics
 Normally disasters are short term events with longer term recovery. A train collision, a tornado, earthquake or even 9/11. All happened within one day but took weeks to months to over a year to recovery from.

 During a Pandemic the Emergency Operations center EOC will operate for weeks or months - not just days or hours. Rolling black outs, overwhelmed hospitals, school closures, business closures, having a third or more of city and public safety staff not show up and dealing with a public that was kept in the dark will be a challenge. A challenge the local leaders can make easier or worse starting

 Its unclear which cities will and which will not activate their EOCs. Some EOCs may open early to monitor H5N1 in surrounding cities, airports, farms and hospitals. The EOC may also start laying in supplies and calling in people. The EOC may end up as fall back position.

 How ever the EOC itself should be a help - not a hindrance. It should facilitate the use of information not be pressure cooker that wears down EOC personnel. What is hard is that the EOC should not help spread H5N1.

 In September 2008 news crews Covering hurricane Ike  showed several EOCs from several states. Unfortunately they had many things in common. They where small rooms temporally set up for two reasons. 1) To gather and distribute information while coordinating relief efforts amongst local authorities. 2) Send reports up to state and federal authorities and wait for help to arrive.

 The rooms themselves had folding desks with names tapped on portable laptops while wires and cables snaked around the floor. A few had large screen projectors. None had large comfy office chairs one could spend hours or days in without becoming fatigued. I'm not sure what the vending machine and cafeteria where like.

 None of rooms looked like mission control or the CIC center of an aircraft carrier or a war room. Granted most emergencies are quick and unpredictable. A hurricane, a riot, a flood or terrorist attack. Each disaster has little warning, an disaster that lasts hours and is followed by a few months of relief that tapers off from chaos to an organized relief solution.

 What if the emergency had years of warning. The disaster would grow slowly and then start taking out parts of the city.  What if no relief was coming but the state, federal government and world health organization all need accurate and timely reports. Then what if the recovery also took months.

 Temporary EOC that becomes a temporary pressure cooker would become a long term pressure cooker. Also think about 40% of the staff not showing up. Worse the makeshift room is not much different from a densely packed school room. How will they do social distancing? How will surfaces be cleaned? Can the EOC store and prepare its own food? Restaurants and such will be closed.  

 Most EOCs have their own power, their own communications to fire, police ham radio and the news media. Now they are adding pager and telephone alerts. Hopefully all of these systems have a designated and trained staff with backup or alternate staff. That if 40% of the people do not show up things will continue to run and be repaired. Remember - business can shut down during an emergency; an EOC can not.

 What would make a good EOC? Information and comfort. Even the Spartan seating of a war room does not bear down on the human. It is there to provide information and comfort. There is room to walk around. The consoles are ergonomicly designed, not temporally thrown together.

 Comfort is one part. Information is another. Both NASA's mission control center and those demolishing a building with implosion have situational awareness, contacts with other agencies and a plan. It is the lack of awareness that leads to failure - not how big the screen is nor how fancy the office.

  For NASA not listening that an O-Ring could fail in cold weather and not knowing a tile had
been damaged lead to failure. Imploding a building or stadium can go wrong when undocumented supports or reinforcement keep a section from falling.

  For an EOC not to know what is going on is just as bad. Here things happen at a much slower pace but over a much wider range. Power, sewer, water, schools, hospitals, restaurants, grocery stores, people who need help, jails, the list is huge. It all becomes one very large interconnected puzzle where people need to know ahead of time what to do. Plans have to be made hours in advance.

  What do you want your EOC to be?

  EOC - 101 - Emergency Operations Centers are to run even when other systems departments and business have failed. They are often seen as short term temporary activations for a passing disturbance.

  A pandemic is a totally different animal. It lasts for weeks to months in an area creating problems few know how to deal with.

  Who shows up?
  Fire - Police - Mayor - City Council - EOC manager - GIS - Public health    School board - Ham Radio (ARRL) - Tech support - Public Utilities Public works - Public communications - Call intake - Water treatment

  A pandemic might need CERT, flu bloggers, an onsite power representative onsite telephone representative, onsite cable representative, an onsite natural gas, business people, social and mental health, construction electrical, HVAC, and plumbing companies. For during a pandemic it is unclear which business can stay open and which can not. It is clear that things will need to be repaired.

  "Failure is not an option" - failure is always a possibility. "Even the best laid plans of mice and men often go astray" - "Of Mice and Men"

  Next is "What do have to work with and what is our situation" Will the EOC know who to call on for fuel, power, road clearing, water problems, food shipments, food preparation, etc. Of the people the city calls on for services to itself and its citizens who has left town, who is sick, who is still factional. IMO many cities do not have a call list nor have they notified the business to be prepared. Oh yea they have the list in the form of business licence file.

 The three support questions are:
   How many cities have talked with local supply & service companies and know their current level of preparation

  How many of the companies know their suppliers level of preparation? What good is a working company that can not get supplies?     How many companies have tested their teleworking and pandemic plans?

 In case of gas or diesel shortage - how many fuel tanker trucks are in the city that they could call on?
 In case of a power outage how many gas stations have backup generators so they can still function and do business?

 In case of water treatment plant failure how many potable water tankers can the city use? Please do not count the national guard. They are a great group of people but respond and function at the state level. The national guard may be called upon to help a city in even worse shape.

 In case of water main break, how many backhoes do people own? In the country people do own this kind of thing.

 In case of an emergency who can be called upon to run a food distribution site? First shift, second shift and third shift. Also how well trained are they at their job? The jobs of material handler, storage, logistics, security, traffic control, etc require practice.  How will distribution be handled? Can a person pick up their share and get right back in line for another? Can a person pick up three shares, one for them and two shut in neighbors? If stuff is to be delivered have they practiced this? How do citizens report a missed delivery?

 For the second part - who is here?
 How many situations need help? How many need oxygen, diabetic medicine, ADHD meds, antidepressants? The list goes on. Without violating peoples privacy - how many need services and what are those services?

 In conclusion the EOC is command and control to mitigate a disaster. This can not happen with out tools to work with, an idea of what needs to be done and a list of who to call on. For those working in the EOC will not do the work. Others distribute food, fight fires and clear streets. Those working in the EOC are the brains of the project, not the hands nor the eyes nor ears. They need others sending in reports to be the eyes, ears and hands of the EOC to protect the people of the city: the heart of the city.

 It is the pain and suffering of those people, or the lack of it by which an EOC is judged.Those in charge can follow all the rules and make all the right calls - but only if maningful change takes place can it be deemed a success.

 Last thought - those who are prepared put far less of a strain on city services. EOC folks need not wait for the alarm to sound. Let lose and encourage the many in your city who wish to prepare for a pandemic.

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So it is long
  Ok, the diary is long.

 Any post to say:
 too early for this,
 I read it,
 I ignored it??


excellent diary
I read it, I read it again, and then again.

Then I talked to my husband about it.
He agreed that he could see the need, and could see how this could all come together. As a retail manager for 34 years he could see how this could work in a community.

Kobie, this is one of the best diaries ever.

Now, I am going to read it again.

Pray for all people and rulers
1Timothy 2:1-4

(Extending the culture of life.)


[ Parent ]

  Thank you.

  When the pandemic happens "who are you gonna call?" ;-)

  This is no chemical spill or localized dirty bomb / flood. IMO the effects of the padnemic will hit before the virus because eastern countries will suffer first.

  Please let me know what you think. The EOC should not become a fortified bunker keeping the folks its trying to save out. The EOC should be an independent nible hive of coordination living in each city and town.

  I did not find anything on this in HHS "Take The Lead". What bothers me that most fire, public safety and EMS folks are trained to do the right thing. Well - there is not much training for this.  

  With 30,000 cities (Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/P... and 12 people needed (3 shifts per day with two people per week is 6, allowing for 50% absenteeism) that is 360,000 fully trained flubies trained in water, sewage, power, logistics, mass burial, vent triage, adjuvinates, virus transmission, mitigation, hygine, communication and SIP and prepping.

  So far so good. There are alot of good people out there who want to help. We only need let them. No one wants to suffer when they can learn how not to.

  Please read and comment.


[ Parent ]
30,000 cities, 360,000 individuals
Great, Kobie!

We need the new ideas and also a sense of scale.  Can't have one without the other.

In this thread you have shown both.

Thank you for stretching my/our thinking.

So, numbers matter.  How much information and prepping for 360,000 individuals?  Could anyone run the numbers and see how there could be some movement to go about it?  How far are we from the "fully trained" bit?

You arm yourself to the teeth just in case.  You don't leave the gun near the baby's hand.

[ Parent ]
10,000 average.

 Hi, good to see you post.

 10,000 is an average for the us (300,000,000 divided by 10,000 is 30,000)

 Some towns are smaller and some, like the burroughs of N.Y. and sections of LA, are much larger.

 I figure it this way. 10,000 is about 1/6 of what a super bowl stadium holds (apx. 63,000). Now if we can park, feed, entertain, rest room facilities, medical and security for that many folks for over four hours when alcohol is involved at a game, then a city should make it.

 If a city is 300,000 then tripple the number of people. I think this will work for other places. Hawaii, Guam, Latvia, Tongo, Peru, Siapan, Philippines, Japan, Azores, Portugal, Ukraine, UK, even the Orkney Islands.

 BTW, Hawaii is not a foreign country but they are way out there and isolated.

 How do we go about it?  Lugon - we are going about it. I'm sure there is a great government program by FEMA or Homeland security. Well since it affects us we should have out imput too.

 The flubloggers have alot to offer.

 Please post your thoughts, ideas and concerns. Ohh and fears. Good or bad it should be on the table. See what we have to work with and what we are up against.


[ Parent ]
EOC my humble thoughts

I think that it is a wonderful idea. And you are right about the training for a pandemic. There really isn't any training for what is ahead. The more people have responded to disaster situations the better but that does not guarantee success in dealing with a pandemic. A disaster that takes 18 months or so to wreak its havoc is going to take a different skill set and a whole lot of endurance and resilience.

I think that the people who make it through this disaster will be entirely different than who they are right now - on many levels.

I do remember the stories that my mother and grandmother told me about how my great grandmother was after the 1918 pandemic. People did not lose their humanity but they were changed in other ways.

You are going to need people who can learn from others, who can process information rapidly, who can coordinate and organize a variety of responses, or choose the right people to lead the response, and that is the best case.

There will be NO response in some cases. There will be no one TO call sometimes, no one to coordinate in some situations especially in some of our rural areas.

Whoever mans the EOC will have to be able to think pretty creatively searching for a solution. There has to always be effort put forth otherwise people will lose hope even if that solution means encouraging and enabling those seeking solutions from without to find them within.

This is just not done now. Right now we have solutions at our fingertips and enough personnel to come to our aid. Help from the public is frowned upon in our litigious society. We will have to get over this. Anyone working in an EOC will have to be shielded from lawsuits later but that protection leaves room for other problems that I won't mention here.

There are going to be situations when there will be no easy answers.

When the time comes will there be enough people who have the best interests of others as their primary objective to man EOC's?

The way things are going though I am concerned about the staffing levels.

I know that right now is not a good indicator of who will respond to this disaster. Although I have not seen this information myself I have heard that many medical personnel are already stating that they will not work in a pandemic. I do not believe that people should be compelled to respond. Although conscription may be an inevitability. Initially, will there be enough people to man at the depth you mention. And then when the full realization of what we are dealing with hits them, will they back off?

When the virus is highly transmissible and the CFR is also high (10-30% or worse) not many people will choose to put themselves in harms way, then again, people surprise me all of the time and in very good ways.

People have not yet turned their focus on the problem. As people do, there may be more who will step forward to help out. But will they be ready to respond when the do?

Now its time for coffee my friend...

Pray for all people and rulers
1Timothy 2:1-4

(Extending the culture of life.)


[ Parent ]
Sketching out what is needed

 Coffee, pad and pencil.

  I like how your post shines a light on may topics that need to be handled not only at the hospital layer but at the local and state level.

  If we are prepard for 60% CFR then we are also prepared for a 30% or 10% or a small 2% CFR. I agree with you that many will rise to the ocasion. Its knowing who they are and getting them prepared beforehand that is tricky.

  Its going to be intersting. Pandemics are rare. Balencing vertical command and conrol protocol against lateral communication and coordination will be a challenge.

 On Septermber 11th the lack of cross department communicaiton was disasterouse. Fire medical and police wanted to work together but culd not. Also on that day the FAA had no protocal to ground all flights at the nearest airport but by trusting and working with locals the did. Eeven countries not affected where very hospitable to those who needed toland. People where saved, equipment was not damaged. Chaos did not take over.

 What I get out of those stories is how people who work together develop a sense of understanding and respect. Those in the EOC should not only have that with eachother but with local business and state officials.


[ Parent ]
I am just rambling--it's early Saturday
Kobie, I think that we cannot overlook that every response is going to be very local. Anyone at the national and state levels may end up responding at their own local level. It is a natural and understandable response to draw inward and circle the wagons where we live, where are families are, where our heart is.

God bless those who are called to serve and leave loved ones at home to fend for themselves. I would never ask anyone to do that for me, yet I know that they do every day when people serve in the military and elsewhere. Where would we all be without these people? And this is a crisis that will call for people to do that, but responding must come from within that person.

Those with expertise at the national and state levels should be able to respond at least verbally if not physically and good communication tools will be key to this success.

Interconnectedness and interdependence does not mean that we have to run to and fro solving each others issues at the local level. Look at how we have learned from each other within the flubie community! So many different people doing different jobs from all over the world. The key to the success has been good communication and the desire to learn from anyone who can teach a new topic or skill no matter who they are.

I learned self deprecation and compassion from someone who had Down's syndrome. Imagine that. I was 12 at the time. We can all learn from each other if we can communicate and we are willing to listen. Solutions do not always come from the obvious or expected sources.

[It was dusk time when a man had a flat tire right in front of a mental health hospital. After unscrewing the four nuts of the flat tire, he noticed that a hospital patient is watching him from over a nearby embankment. He managed to step on the hubcap in which he had carefully placed the nuts. To his dismay, the nuts went flying into the grass on the side of the road. So he got on his hands and knees and started searching in vain for the nuts in the semi-darkness.

A few minutes later he heard the mental patient chuckle, so he shouted at him irritably, "What are you laughing at?"

The other guy explained: "Well, you have three other tires, each of which has four nuts... If you were to take one nut from each, you'll end up with four tires being held in place with three nuts per tire. This should be safe enough for you to drive to the next town over, where you can buy a new set of nuts."

Embarrassed, the poor car driver couldn't help asking, "How come you're so clever and you're in a mental hospital?"

The patient replied, "I may be crazy, but I'm not stupid!"]

My point is - there is a purpose to each life on earth at any given time. There is value and worth to each life. We have to reach in as leaders and look to each person to find their own purpose during this disaster. We have to be willing to include and learn from everyone and anyone.

Good communication will mean that we can draw on each others strengths and bolster each other where we are weak even from a distance - if there is good communication.

Having a good working relationship with all members of the community (large or small) will determine the success of any endeavor. If you like pointing the finger of blame and have done so in the past you may have trouble getting through what is ahead. A finger pointed in blame should only be pointed towards oneself in my humble opinion.

None of us have all the answers. When I listen to Osterholm, Leavitt, Gerberding, and others I hear this loud and clear. We have to be willing to try to make a difference. Even when taking those first steps are taken in complete darkness. If we are willing to learn, we can build the response like we have built the flubie community. But if people have to fear being blamed for trying and failing they won't step forward even when offered the best of communication tools.

When forging new territory mistakes are inevitable. The important thing will be to learn from each success, failure and from each other each step of the way. Having an adversarial relationship with any member of the "community" that you are working within will be a hindrance to the greater effort of mitigating the effects and helping people to find their own resilience.

I have run out of paper, my pencil is dull and I need another cup of coffee :)

Pray for all people and rulers
1Timothy 2:1-4

(Extending the culture of life.)


[ Parent ]
they need to eat.

Tell the truth

[ Parent ]
Starvation is not an option for anyone. And we cannot set up a have and have not's sort of situation which would encourage a different sort of abuse.

Goju, what about people who cannot work, should they not eat? Who will have the time to make that determination?

Who would want the responsibility of judging anothers ability to serve? We used to do that during a military draft. People were classified by their ability to go to war. That is a huge system in its own right, and one that we abolished in favor of an all volunteer military.

I was thinking....those that serve in the military get paid a wage.

That seems about the best incentive.

No, I don't think that food can be the incentive, at least the way that I am looking at this.

Pray for all people and rulers
1Timothy 2:1-4

(Extending the culture of life.)


[ Parent ]
i meant food
as in feeding the people who will be manning the centers.

obviously everyone needs to at... and whoever has the ability to prep food for themselves should to decrease the burden on TPTB food lines.

But that's not going to happen. TPTB dont want that to happen and with the economic realities facing the man on the street, its doubly not going to happen.

somewhere, someone decided that the american public would lay exposed to a monstrous virus without food.

Tell the truth

[ Parent ]
Will work for food

  during WW-II one incentive was "we can not tell you what you are working on but we can tell promise you will eat steak" - That was good.

 One question in the diary says "Can the EOC store and prepare its own food? Restaurants and such will be closed."

 Our EOC caters out for food. This may not be an option during a pandemic. Each EOC should be able to feed itself. A new twist of feeding the workers families.

 Prepping this much food gets troublesom. Assuming that one will get fed becasue "rank has its privliges" does not sit well with volunteers. The EOC folks may or may not get fed.

  Yes I see your frustration and raise you one level. It may not be just teh public but those working to save the public who go hungry due to an avoidable lack of planning.


[ Parent ]
just wanted to make sure
Goju, thanks for clarifying. I had said extra food as an incentive in my original post. Yes, I agree with you. I just didn't want people to think we meant a work or starve sort of thing.

BTW, I would not be eating any food during a pandemic except that which comes right out of the package. Restaurant or catered food? No way! But that's just me.

Because of this diary, and my own big mouth, I am probably in big trouble now. I blogged numbers. Not my strong suit. But I just want people in my town to understand what I am talking about. It was time to speak honestly, clearly, almost harshly. We are not talking about a bad cold here or walking pneumonia. So thank you Kobie for prodding me into it. I don't think anyone from Monson is actually reading the blog anyway. People from all over the world and the country are, even the state of MA, just not my town. Time for me to crank out some business cards and leave them in places like you suggested.

I know one thing for sure, all that is being discussed here, I don't think much of any of it will be accomplished after the pandemic has begun.

Pray for all people and rulers
1Timothy 2:1-4

(Extending the culture of life.)


[ Parent ]
Restaurant or catered food?
once the pandemic starts?
there wont be any.

what about JIT disruption and bare shelves dont people understand?
no restaurants and no takeout.

Tell the truth

[ Parent ]
JIT disruption
My hubby being a retailer...I know how bare the shelves will get and how quickly. I keep asking him "what will you do when" questions. Scared and angry people...and a retailer saying its all gone and we won't be resupplied, we know the dangers Goju and we know what bare shelves will do to people.

But bare shelves can happen before the pandemic starts. I think this is why the message has had an increasing intensity. Like turning up a dial until people start to act. Too much action and we have a problem. Measured action and we all just might become prepared, assuming of course that people are listening, which I am still not seeing in my town.

It will not take long for the population of my little town to wipe out what is on the shelves unless the purchase quantities are limited to x# per family. And even then we would only be putting off the inevitable by a few hours.

If every local market in every town was in need of resupply even before the pandemic there would not be enough in the pipeline to resupply everyone.

Pray for all people and rulers
1Timothy 2:1-4

(Extending the culture of life.)


[ Parent ]
News stories dropping off

  I'm seeing more in the stories but people are still looking for shoes far more than H5N1 even though there are few shoe stories source:http://www.google.com/trends?q=bird+flu%2C+H5N1%2C+shoes&ctab=0&geo=all&date=all&sort=0

 Bird Flue, H5N1, avina flu, pandemic falls behind cigar. for searches but gets more news stories

 Basicaly there needs to be a huge spike in public awarness. H5N1 is not an academic problem.

 Its interesting to see that those countries with H5N1 infections have the largest number of searches.


[ Parent ]
Writing on the wall

  I would hope there ware some website hit numbers to show people are reading the blog.

  It is important stuff and when things start to go bad there will not be alot of time to stop, read and discuss. It can be frustrating. Atfirst no one read this diary and I had to ask for comments.

  Hopefuly this is a labor of love and passion. Its not doen for the nice office, perks, salary or status :-} ha ha ha

  If numbers are not your strong point then post your guess and ask for help. It gives others a chance to show off their numerical prowess.

  You can do it for yourself. I like your blog and hope it continues. "Money does not make you happy, it lets you do things you like to do. If you can do what you like to do then you are well off" - kobie

  There are alot of lurkers out there who read but do not comment. That is ok. I whish them to say hi but want them to comeback often to hear us talk & debate. Those who write newspaper articles rarly get feedback.

   Let your light shine and always be StandingFirm.


[ Parent ]
Kobie, this is staggering; so much to think about.
I'm wondering if my city has covered all these points.  I'll print this out and ask the director.  

Thank you!

"The truth does not change according to our ability to stomach it."  Flannery O'Connor

Jane - thank you.

 Hi. Glad to know it was read.

 Hope it helps.

 Pandemic is gonna be a long hard fight, might as well get comfertable and well prepared for the duration.

 Do your best.

 Please let me know if there are any corrections. I really want us to do this right the first time.



[ Parent ]
One thing:
Put the definition of EOC at the very beginning.  I didn't know what it was when I started reading.  "Equal Opportunity something", ? no, not logical.  :-)

"The truth does not change according to our ability to stomach it."  Flannery O'Connor

[ Parent ]
I hope Kobie forgives me
but I went ahead and added the definition at the beginning.  I had the same problem -- I had to read down quite a ways to figure out what an EOC was.  Once I figured it out, I really appreciated all of the information.  I plan to talk with my city's emergency planning manager about this.

[ Parent ]
Forgive and appreciate.

 Thank you and it is fixed.

 Sometimes words and acronyms are tossed around so much they become engrained.

 EOC is not in the forum Shorthand section.

 AlohaOR this is some of the help I need to help others.

"A disaster is not the time to stand around exchanging business cards asking "So what do you do?" - Kobie


[ Parent ]
No forgiveness needed.

 Hi. In re-reding this I might be too sensitive but no forgiveness needed as you did nothing wrong.

 If you do talk with your emergency planner I'd like to know what they think about who will show up to work at the EOC? It might be interesting to know who they would like to have. Someone with three years community pandemic preparation?  

 Some flubloggers who know H5N1 real well may help. The EOC folks have to, IMHO, keep a positive mental attitude. They may be making descsions to buldoze a neighborhood or park to create a mass grave.


[ Parent ]
Jane - done :-)

 Thank you and it is fixed.

 My fault as the term is EOC bantered around like a real word. I just noticed EOC is not in the forum Shorthand section.

 Please make any other suggestions. Imagin H5N1 has hit your area. FEMA, the RedCross, Salvation Army and National guard are overwhelmed. The military is on its way but unable to cover every city or town. Outside calls for help are coming in. In in reality YOYO.

  How do you want the local government, or what is left of it, to respond?

  The event will take months running 24x7x90 (twenty four hours a day, seven days a week for ninety days- not a quick 'forty days and forty night')

"A disaster is not the time to stand around exchanging business cards asking "So what do you do?" - Kobie

[ Parent ]
I sharpened my pencil and wrote a few more thoughts Kobie
"A disaster is not the time to stand around exchanging business cards asking "So what do you do?"

Right off the bat you have to make it known that there will be no knights in shining armor, no national guard, no state militia but only armed response would be one that a community forms itself. It will also be the only way that we will be able to trust each other. (I would be willing to bet that homeland security will thrilled to have successful communities who can manage to keep everything together for as long as possible. I don't see any grab for power and control. I see a willingness to help).

You also make it known that the only way that the community will survive is to establish a very deep bench (and hopefully that process has already begun). There will be a very small window of opportunity where people may be receptive to listen and be led. They have to know at that point that the only way to get through this is to circle the wagons. The only communities who will successfully defend themselves will be the ones who manage to mount a united defense. If this point in time is lost a community may not recover. People who are involved and take ownership of a problem will be the most resilient people. Encouraging action from the start, even if it is only on a very small scale will help between waves(assuming there will be waves).

Volunteers must also receive some benefit for their service. Whether it is an extra food voucher or something of that nature. I am not sure what but there has to be an incentive for service.

For there to be trust within the community EOCs should be under the control of the citizens within the catchment area of the center. The further away in proximity the less accountability there will be. What I mean is, someone managing the center from a remote distance would be looked on with suspicion. No ties to the community, no trust from the community.

Even within the community there must be accountability - no checks and balances, no trust.

What local government is trying to say by their apparent lack of response is that they are already overwhelmed, at least from what I can tell in my area. Local government can't respond just like state can't respond to towns and national government can't respond to state. We are on our own!

The best that we can do is mount a citizen response to the needs that arise. Citizens have to be ready to pick up the slack and cover shortages in the town departments. We, the citizens, have to be the ones to keep the lists, find the volunteers, discover their gifts and talents, help people to understand what is happening and how to help themselves and others, if possible --- and they have to know that sometimes it won't be possible to help everyone.

If the pandemic is off the charts in severity the best response and perhaps the only response possible will be between waves --- unless people are fully protected and very skilled at PPE protocols.

Since we do not have these available to us here in this town that I am aware of, and in the quantity that would be needed, the response will be limited to yelling across to a neighbor from door to door and making contact via the internet or by phone, if they are available.

The only statistics that we will be able to keep will be by the burial agents who come to bury the dead and are able to ask questions of the family after the fact unless we have other means of communication.

[And all of this is in large part due to not being able to carry a message of importance to the public in a way that allowed them to hear and prepare ahead of time.]

An aware and prepared populace changes everything for them and for those responders who desire to help.

Preparedness has always been the key to our resilience. Failure to prepare by the majority will hurt us all.  

Pray for all people and rulers
1Timothy 2:1-4

(Extending the culture of life.)


[ Parent ]
People to call on

 I agree with you thought "You also make it known that the only way that the community will survive is to establish a very deep bench"

 On the surface it looks like a perfect fit. During a pandemic many business (movie theaters, concerts, resteraunts, amusement parks, shopping malls, hair salons, tanning booths may close. Yes people could go three months without a haircut.)

 So with all these business closed it seems logical that they would be put to work. Not to replace trained HCW or fire cheifs but to help run things. Flipping burgers one day - distributing food the next. Giving out movie tickets one day - processing relief forms the next. Clening movie toilets one day - cleaning hostpital ones the next.

  As for burial certificats - that takes traing certificaition. Identiy theft may be bad now, worse during a pandemic. IMHO, things may be done or tolerated out of necessity during a pandemic but afterwards people will have questions. Insurance will be paid out.


[ Parent ]
But -
In a high CFR pandemic, even things like burial certification would become irrelevant.  Mass burials could become commonplace, or mass cremations.

That line, "Bring out your dead" - it isn't fiction.  It was reality for some people.  There was no one waiting to write out a certificate or fill out a form of any kind.

In a mild pandemic, yes - insurance may be paid out.

In a catastrophic pandemic, you can forget it.  People will be too busy trying to stay alive to bother with things like insurance.

The world would be a very different place - so different that I think even many here have difficulty accepting just how bad things could be.

Which isn't to say don't do anything - just to say don't expect today's standards always to apply in a future that's difficult for us to even comprehend.  

In a world where a can of pork and beans could be worth its weight in gold, nobody's going to be assigning anybody to be flipping burgers on alternate Tuesdays.  And movie tickets?  C'mon . . . movie tickets???????

[ Parent ]
"cleaning movie toilets"?
"cleaning movie toilets"?

And if the worst thing we will face during a pandemic is that people may have to go three months without a haircut, we should all just close up shop here now and donate the rice & beans to the nearest facility that can make use of them tomorrow.  

Has the focus been lost? Are we going to give the impression to new people checking in that movie theatres will be open but that maybe their hair cutting schedule might be affected by the pandemic we are talking about?  

I'm more than confused. Movie tickets??

[ Parent ]
Kobie was indicating that what people do before a pandemic
might not be what they are doing during or afterwards.

There needs to be a way of assigning those who are prepared (or can be induced) to work with work that needs doing.

[ Parent ]
Clearly a pandemic will lead to unemployment,
to changes in employment, yes.  

During a virulent pandemic, there will be new jobs opened for some of the displaced workers, but I think it is misleading to posit that some of them will find gainful employment during a pandemic working in movie theaters handing out tickets or cleaning the toilets.

To paint that picture - of simple shifting around of today's jobs amongst workers - may be misleading to newcomers to the subject of panflu.  

[ Parent ]
I don't think that was what he wrote, just the opposite n/t

[ Parent ]
Not shift - but re-assigning

  There wil be alot of folks working pay-check-to-paycheck who will be shut down by the pandemic.

  Some places plan to renavate while the rec center is closed. they have no idea what a real pandemic is.

  As UK-Bird said - it would be good to put these idle hands to work. Not only to get things done but so they can feel like they are doing something. So they do not feel so victimized and helpless.

  The problem is knowing the skill set and their criminal background. Paper work for someone with a drug history is different than pharmacy work.

  Some skills do not translate - passing out movie tickets. Other skills like cleaning do carry over.

  Hopefuly those in the EOC have a profile of the cities work force and know who they can call upon.


[ Parent ]
Idle hands . . .
My hands will not be idle - they will be busy doing what I think must be done.  I don't need somebody to tell me what to do so I can feel like I will be doing something - that would do nothing but keep me from doing what I need to do.

I want any committee to have profiled me, nor do I want them to call upon me.  When you talk about EOCs knowing skill sets, etc., you're talking about people I don't know accumulating way too much data about people like me.  If something like an EOC knows too  much about me, and demands that I fulfill what I perceive to be nonsense tasks designed to prevent me from feeling helpless/victimized, then is when I truly would be helpless, and truly would be a victim.  

Things would be so different - that's what I was trying to say last night.  We must develop entirely new ways of looking at things and doing things, 'cause if we persist in the notion that the world as we know it must continue along familiar paths, we're doomed to failure before even starting.

I understood perfectly well what you meant when you said that 2/3rds of this or that would be done - but I don't think you understood what I was trying to say, which is that in the event of pandemic, it will be 100% of some things not getting done, not 1/3 of things.  On the other hand, there will be far more than 2/3rds of the things that really need doing being done.  

[ Parent ]
(...skip if you get easily upset.) Clawdia,
I don't mean this is a challenging sort of way. I am curious about what you think you may be doing. How do you think your Day 1 will be...Day 2 and so on?

It is useless to think of ourselves as dead, as far as this conversation goes. I could be dead before we even get to the pandemic.

How you are motivated to live your life is your decision. No one that I am aware of is compelling anyone to act in any certain way. You are free to be on your own. No one is telling me what to do either. I am on no ones payroll and if there are secret meetings i am not invited. I blog and try to encourage some kind of organization withing my town....and this is why.

In order for me to plan a way I do pull from the worst scenarios.

I just do not give voice to what I think. I just try to speak of what conclusion it is that I come to in trying to make best use of whatever meager gift and talent i may have. Sometimes I get it wrong. I misjudge and I don't always express what is in my heart.

For me, "your on your own" isn't going to work and this is why.

For me to be on my own, I may gain my life but in the process I will lose my soul. Maybe this is just my warped way of viewing the world. We all have our ways.

I truly do know how bad human behavior can get. I know that disasters bring out the worst in people, and sometimes the best in people. It is rare that behavior is consistent within a person so we all will display a mix. I dread whatever will be my bad times but I know they will be there. I don't think myself a bad person. And I know that evil exists, it has slapped me in the face before. I don't think myself above the crowd. I hope to minimize my own mistakes by being with others and being accountable to each other.

I know that, for instance, children suffer more from rape during disasters. The strong tend to prey upon the weak. If I have breath left in my body I want to shield any child in need from this.

I know that people will be foraging, foraging brings on looting and violence. People will be desperate. And that will be in between waves when survivors are basically healthy till the next wave. During that inbetween time scared helpless starving people will follow whoever promises them anything. Human nature right? Again the strong evil person will prey upon the weak. As long as I have breath in my body I want to be a part of helping my neighbors to prevent this from happening within our area.

I know that during a disaster of this magnitude families may even turn on each other.

A disaster of the magnitude that I am expecting, (or else why would I spend and have spent 40+ hours a week for years and years now trying to break through the digital divide) will bring chaos, confusion, anger, hatred, death, despair, dysfunction, despicable things. Do I want my loving hands to be idle?

I picture my worst case scenario as being the only survivor of my household. My will to live at an all time low because so many people are dead and gone. My town in a shambles with people who are like shells of walking wounded who have also almost lost the will to live. I picture us almost starved and becoming numb to the evils going on around us. To feel, we will fear, will crush us so we become numb.

In the worst case I picture life never returning to what we once enjoyed=-what we know right now. I picture us not even being able to recall happy times or the life we once had.

And that is if we are all intact of mind. I could go on and on in that department. The absolute worst case scenario would be to be cognizant of the hell around me and paralyzed from reaching outside of my box. I know what living in hell is like.

Clawdia, if this was the scenario that we are to face do you not want to have something set up now where you will be able to go so that you can have someone, even if it is one person, who will not turn you away, who you will not have to fear? Who has a place to crash even for a night where you won't have to fear for your life, where you don't have to watch the doors and windows. Where, if you are ill and dying, you can die without fearing being raped in the process.

And that would be between waves. What happens if this all happens the first wave. Towns distribute what meager resources that they will have - they won't hold on to anything for the next wave. There will be too much public outcry to hold anything back from people. Then what?

Will you stay in your home alone? How long will you be able to hold out? How long will you be able to watch your doors and windows all by yourself. Others will be foraging and they may bring infection.

We could go on and on in this dance of death doom and destruction.

Or we can attempt to put in place something now where this type of thing will have less a chance of happening even if it only delays the inevitable for a few months or weeks.

And then maybe the pandemic will not BE greater than a category 5 like I am expecting.

Maybe you can hold out for years of this. I know that I cannot. I know that I will need other people to talk to. I will need the friendship and kindness and I know others will too.

I know that abused and alone children will need some place to go especially if they have just lost their single parent or both parents. I know that the elderly who cannot fend for themselves will need a place where someone can watch for them. I know that we may not be able to offer much. At times just an hand or a shoulder to cry on. But it is something.

One person, five people, a hundred people, will never be enough to meet the need.

Idle hands...

As for me...this is not some project or exercise or some pollyanna vision of goody goody do gooders singing their hippy happy song...this is an attempt to stand firm until the end by doing what is right.

No one is recruiting anyone into anything. Whoever comes forward, they are all volunteers.

Anyone wishing to stand may, sit out, no condemnation.

All of our efforts may turn to dust one week in----but at least we remain true to the drummer that we hear and live life trying right up until we could not try anymore.

That is how I see an EOC

Pray for all people and rulers
1Timothy 2:1-4

(Extending the culture of life.)


[ Parent ]
Thanks for not "pulling any of your punches"

  I feel TPTB will not tell of such things because "the public can not handle such things"

 You said alot about the 800 pound gorilla in the room no one wants to talk about. Identity theft, abuse, crime, spread and release of other incurable disese - so many things beyond me to fix.

 No one should be idle - if they can help.

 Good post.


[ Parent ]
are they punches
they may hurt like punches...truth does that.
Failure to look at the truth never helped anyone. Not really.

So maybe it is not a punch but an arm around the shoulder and a whisper in the ear.

Trouble is coming and to not prepare puts your family and loved ones at grave risk. Literally and not figuratively at all.

There is so much that I want to say and I hold back.

Kobie, I learned a little bit about how we absorb information that we do not want to acknowledge. I didn't want to mention this personal stuff but it IS instructive.

I have these health issues that could be major and could be quite minor and just something to watch. When you have had serious health issues before in your life you carry the threat in the back of your mind constantly, you just don't focus on it or "keep it alive" or else you would stop living. But having already gone through the stages that one goes through in learning to live on despite the serious challenges. Thankfully, I have realized many years of good health. Strong as a bull, robust, I was that for a long time.

Recently my doctor said that all my years of hard living have caught up with me. That is about all I will say on this for now because I don't want to steal attention away from the point of all of this.

The blessing in all of this was that I was able to observe the reactions within my own family as they too were dealing with the possibilities. Me, I saw right through to the end. I took every argument head on, looked at every nuance, prepared for some possibilities, even brought in some folks from outside the family who would help my family to cope. I prepared. I prepared deeply. Once again, I prepared spiritually, emotionally, and physically.

My family did not fare as well. My husband went into denial mode, but not entirely. Our eyes would lock and we would both cry thinking of our plans for the future that we may not realize. One son would not speak to me, only indirectly. We are very close and he is at that age where he is fully a man but remembers being a child too acutely. One son, took the information in stride. He is a lot like me but he is also distant in miles, clear across the country. My daughter, my princess, admitted that she too could not look at the possibility.

To me, this was a graphic representation about how we all deal with this pandemic information. I don't care about what is happening to me because every single one of us is living under the same threat. Some of us just cannot look at this. Did I love any family member more or less for not being willing to see? No and I don't look at those who will not look at the threat of a pandemic that way either.

It is funny in a way. I prayed for years to understand how to break through so people could look at this issue and prepare because I really believe that lives can be saved if more people are ready to face this. I prayed about how to give them the permission that they need to look at it. That is what I needed to do with my family.

When my family members saw that I was not a basket case over what was/is happening with me they were able to see more. When I brought it up they listened. They dealt with it a little more. When they saw that I believe that God is in control of my life and that I also believe that he will prepare me and use me despite what my body is doing, they were able to see even more. When they heard me speak of how much I love them and always will, that I am comfortable and unafraid, they became that way too.

Our relationships grew stronger. We circled the wagons. We are still circling the wagons.

And I was able to show each one of my family members that how they deal with this information is how they have dealt with the pandemic threat.

It is good and valuable to know how we deal with information. When each of us know ourselves we have a blessed opportunity to be able to push our own limits. Perhaps overcome some shortcomings. I had to learn the hard way by being the one in the thick of the problem, that is my shortcoming.

So lest you worry too much and take what I am saying with too much drama, I do not know yet entirely what is going on with me. It may be nothing, just something to watch closely and something that will cause a lot of pain but will not kill me. It isn't important. It really isn't. I will deal with it no matter what.

What was important was that my prayers were answered. I learned how to give permission to look at the things we fear most in life to my loved ones.

You look them straight in the eye and without flinching you tell them the truth but you tell them the rest of the truth. We will endure this together.

I am fine, you are fine, and for today that is enough. We love and when tomorrows challenges inevitably come, we will deal with them together.

We prepared together.

Pray for all people and rulers
1Timothy 2:1-4

(Extending the culture of life.)


[ Parent ]
"Failure to look at the truth never helped anyone. Not really. " - great quote
Standing firm,

 Hi. It hurts some but it is good. I meant it metaphoricaly to punch or wake others up to reality.

 I read but have little to add to your post.



[ Parent ]
how can I not smile
When prayers are answered, they aren't always answered the way we think is the best way.

No need to add a thing Kobie, my friend. Life is what it is and it is always challenging. Those challenges are in our lives so that we will grow. It is wonderful to be so privileged and it is wonderful to finally know first hand why we do not take in this information easily.

It stems from deeply caring but not knowing what to do or how to help out. We don't know what to say. We don't know where to turn so we turn off.

This is the heart of what I meant Clawdia, about action helping us. When we begin to walk in a direction we quickly learn whether or not it is the right direction to go in. It is when we are faced with information and freeze up that we have all of these conflicts. Giving people the opportunity to discover a path to take is not wrong to my mind. I don't think that it is a manipulation if it is a small push in a direction. It is the sustained shove that we have to be concerned about. Just my opinion.

[And about the other post. A friend from the flubie community is my accountability partner on what I have said. I have signed a release so that he can verify what I am saying if that need arises. I am just sensitive about this because I know others have made claims that seem pretty outrageous... those claims hurt the community. But I don't want to make more of this than it is either. To me it was an answer to prayer.]

Pray for all people and rulers
1Timothy 2:1-4

(Extending the culture of life.)


[ Parent ]
100 not 1/3

 You are right - some things will not get done at all.

 People see the repair vans, power crews and such each day but during a pandemic they will not get done.

 I'm thinking about the issue of privacy. The city has a list of business lic. to call upon people to see if they would work. Hence calling upon people would fall under the EOC - things have to be really bad. Also to limit who has access to the information. You put drivers lic, business lic/certificate, school info to gether and that is alot of personal info.

 The downside of not getting people to work is the city stops functioning faster.

  Force labor is never a good answer. I have heard citi officials before and IMHO I'm not sure they know how to inspire citizens to be all they can be.

 Let me think on this some more. To make a good case for why.


[ Parent ]
If "things get really bad"
even the simple work of surveillance and case counting will be neigh impossible.  

Post hurricane Ike, the officials in TX have simply stopped looking for or even counting the people that are still missing.  


..."Hundreds of people remain missing three weeks after Ike's assault on Texas. Local and city officials are no longer keeping their own count of missing residents"...

During a virulent panflu, and the confusion will be just as great as that facing Galveston officials.  Even counting will be difficult.  Even counting.  

[ Parent ]
Overwhelmed documentation.

  Good point. As things stand today that is how it may paly out. I have no answer - yet. Loosing track of who died and who did not or "waiting to sort out the survivors afterwards" does not sit well.

  As things get bad the city, TPTB, should know who is dying, who is sick and who has died.

  Sounds like you found an oppertunity for improvement, by somebody.

  It seems like a problem of rescources, not a technical problem.

 BTW - the censuss beuro was looking at palm device for the 2010 census to help automate the process.

 I can not see why someting like that can not be made. That it can scan the barcode on Drivers Lic or take a thumb print.

 There are privacy issues to guard and should be overlooked.


[ Parent ]
Clawdia - Hopefully volunteer or paid but ....

 Hopefully people will either volunteer or be paid to work.

 I'm iffy on tracking hours and paying people part. We have the technology - just no plan or preparation.

 As for what behind door #3 - forced labor I'm hoping there will not be enough national guardsmen nor police to cause that.

 In my mind I weigh out the good of the society v.s. the individual v.s. "is that a soceity we want to make"  Is forced labor under a disaster part of what we want as a country. I'm thinking no.

 Ohh yes we have a draft in case of war - but will folks be drafted into pandemic fight?

 Would it help? Think about it.

 Clawdia I look forward to your post and hope you respond. Feel free to be a downer. Best to see the problem from all angles.


[ Parent ]
Privacy, being compelled,...
clawdia, check out my facebook page. I am not the Town of Monson's Unofficial Pandemic Emergency Operations Center - my door is always open

I am a very private person typically...so this is all pretty amazing to me. I know why I want to do this. But to think that I can, now that is something. I really mean it when I say that if I can do this anyone can if they have the will to do it.

I am not being compelled or forced and no carrot is dangling in front of my nose. I simply care and want to do what I can. Most of the time I don't even know if I am doing the right thing, saying the right thing. I am trusting and moving forward.

So this is a shameless advertisement. It is my attempt to invite others to find their gift or talent and help out if the urge suits you or if you are moved to do so.

God bless us - every one.

Catherine Mitchell

And no lie, Charlie and friends who have paid attention to my life's story over the years really do know to call me "Jackie".

Pixie, Clawdia, (....oh my, I could keep going on and on with the names), please keep talking. Your wisdom shines through!

Pray for all people and rulers
1Timothy 2:1-4

(Extending the culture of life.)


[ Parent ]
Insurance Bailout ?

 Hi. The original post talked of putting displaced employees to work. I made some suggestions at to where and how.

 If we are not prepared for it, it will not get done. If we are are prepred for it then it should get done.

 Unlike 1918 this is an electronic age where the government has us use social security numbers. It should be much easier for us to trak all the information.

 As for the insurance companies "you mean the government will not bail the insurance companies out with $700 billion dollar plan?"  (I do not know if I should laugh or cry at the moment. Wait there is a knock at the door. Its DHS. What... I'm telling the truth. Patriat Act section four point what???  Ahh let me turn my PC off. oooooohhhh nnooooo! ;0 just joking. I'm still here. ) $700 billion would not cover it. 100million (1.0 10x8) times 30 thousand avg life insurance policy (3.0 10x4) is 3 trillion (3.0 10x12).  "Its only money"

 Clawdia There will be a staggering number of dead as H5N1 seems far more deadly than 1918. With all the new technology and planning it should be unsurmountable. "Bring out your dead, with ID tags and forms.", "I'm feeling better....."

"If the other side you see you must anwer me these questions three.
1) What is the total national debt plus 5 trillion dollars when GDP fell 12% for six months?
2) What is the life span of social security when retirees lived through the pandemic but those paying in (age 15 to 30) did not?
3) How do you restart an economy when the working survivors do not know how to use a mouse and the majority of those than can use a PC are still three years from High school graduation?"

[ Parent ]
It is long, includes too many issues to put in one reply
My first thoughts - the EOC as a crises meeting place for fire chiefs, doctors, government types, etc.

Should there be a central location where key people meet, exchange ideas and the virus? Not if you can help it.

As a regular participant in meetings I can confirm that 99% of what is discussed in a meeting can be done via email or phone. It would take a fraction of the time and increase productivity.

If the remaining 1% of discussion took place outdoors you'd reduce the chances of infection and dissuade those involved from lingering over the coffee.

Crisis centres are also places where you lump together all the documentation you might need when a crisis arrives so that you're not scrabbling round trying to find them. There are electronic alternatives to piles of dusty documents. DVDs + laptops, personal organisers, ebooks, etc.

In this day and age of global warming (ha) we ought to be learning to use the teleworking options that save CO2. Then they'd be second nature to us should a pandemic break out and we need to keep apart.

As a central location for the public to learn news or ask for help, that's a use that's not appropriate to a pandemic.

My question in return would be, what does the EOC do that can't be done another way?

Chicago has a crisis center that I saw on tv news.
It's mainly communications, getting reports and dispatching help, as I understand it.  They were at work during and after the heavy rains of a few weeks ago.  Possibly dispatching truck-loads of sand and piles of bags for volunteers building walls against flood waters, and getting reports of people trapped in their homes or cars by flood waters and sending boats or large trucks or excavators to rescue them.  In a pandemic, Streets and Sanitation can bring barricades or large trucks to help protect hospitals by channelling crowds, perhaps.

I'm trying to imagine how different departments might have to work together in a crisis, when usually they have separate responsibilities.  I'm not picturing dozens of people in and out in an EOC.  They'd probably have very long shifts of department heads and deputies, plus the comm./IT people.  (guessing again).  

"The truth does not change according to our ability to stomach it."  Flannery O'Connor

[ Parent ]
I can see the value of a crisis centre in a short term incident.
It brings together all the things you might need in a hurry. Maps of the town, tvs and radios, portable radios, chemical sheets, phone numbers, weather resources (wind direction), interview suites, power backed up computers, etc.

Key people assemble at the crisis centre because there's nothing more important than dealing with the immediate events. They need to exchange knowledge and decisions quickly, you can't wait for them to read their e-mails.

However, a pandemic isn't a sudden crisis, it unfolds over weeks. Most services (fire, police, military, hospitals, etc) have their own HQs. That's where the bulk of their operational data/equipment will be. Is there value in removing vital people from their familiar work zone?

The need for overarching management will come as departments run out of people. While there might be a need for some planning meetings you can't tie up key people in an artificial environment.

[ Parent ]
preparedness center, distributed response?
we need a few brain transplants done, i think


To be practical, I think the manual would include meeting in a center until cases start to appear, then go into distributed mode.  So one of the first things they must think about is about going all distributed.

Can someone write the fictional recount for this, please?  What would it look like in an average town, one of the 36,000 entities mentioned by Kobie?

You arm yourself to the teeth just in case.  You don't leave the gun near the baby's hand.

[ Parent ]
It depends where the resources are and how they are normally managed.
I'm not sure of the set up in the US but here in the UK not every area has it's own services. EG there might be ambulance stations or fire stations dotted around the place but they're managed from a much larger semi regional centres. In an emergency you don't always get served from the nearest 'supplier'. They might be already allocated to a job or you may need specific services that not all provide, eg few hospitals take all types of patients.

US cities probably resemble the UK set up.

I agree that an initial get together of key players would be vital (not least because they will never get to the point of having planned it properly beforehand).

The big decisions that will arise during the peak of the pandemic will be "where do we get more people from and what resources (fuel, meds, etc) can we get hold of?" I'm not sure that any of the key services will have spare people to loan to other areas/services. The decision makers will be looking beyond the existing services for solutions/people. EG many busineses especially chemical companies often have fire fighting equipment and personnel. Do you go through business to call up those people or do you appeal to them directly through the media?

[ Parent ]
Common view

  Good point.

  Because a pandemic is not "business as usual" having all the people together to share one view of the city, of the situation helps.

 In this way mayors/city council are seeing what the fire departmen, health department, hospitals, RedCross, FEMA(if any) and power companies are. Hence the ldeaders all share the same view. This not only helps make future plans but they can, hopefuly, give the same report to the news and radio stations.

 Conflicting stories from different leaders or departments only adds to confusion and tension. Having people spread out in their offices delays communication adn descision making.

 Having people in one room helps. If power goes out or there is a rolling blackout then the hospital folks, fire, sewage (neighborhood lift station), water, business know about it. If there is a water break or outage then the fire department can see it at the same time police, fire and others.

 Yes this does shift staff around. During a pandemic it will not be business as usual. Things will move much faster. Yes there will be IMHO a need for more staff. Sadly one can not create fire cheif or police seargent over night. One solutin is not send the highest person but the second or third in command.

  Why? - Its all about communication and co-ordination. If they are planning to distrubute food at the shopping center v.s. a school how does that affect traffic, the logistics, the national guard, the volunteers who manhandle the boxes and trash cleanup.

  Just dealing with the hospital, logistics, bodies, supply distribution will be tricky IMHO. This will be an on going event.

 Even when alot is not happening there will be situatin updates and many "what if this happens, how does it affect everyone. Why? People need to be told hours in advance. People do not turn on a dime. If fuel will be delivered the people need to know where. If there are rumors they need to be squashed. Hence if something is going to happen at noon the people need to be told hours ahead of time and the local authorities need to discuss and decide a few hours ahead of that.  

 TPTB have not told the public to really prepare so this makes things worse.

 UK-Bird I hope this makes sense.

  Please do tell me what you think.


[ Parent ]
I actually think it will happen the way you describe at first
because everyone tends to try and lump pandemics into 'all hazards'.

But in the long run it's not practical to tie up skilled people on what is essentially just for advice.

An ambulence chief is best able to inform you that there are no more ambulence crews free from the dispatch office/HQ. He's not necessarily the right person to go looking for more people/vehicles to solve the problem.

What you might do is make a list of people and equipment you could co-opt in a pandemic. However such lists are notorious for becomming obsolete. Is the answer to put a call out on local media for help or call an employment agency?

Do you then bring the employment agency to your EOC, maybe if their offices are without power but otherwise they'll do a better job from their normal location.

[ Parent ]
Satalight work

 First I respect your thoughts and see your point.

 We both agree the lists of alternative equipment become obsolete.

 If someone says "Hey I have a buss we can use" there will be questions on how to use a school buss v.s. a charter buss. How many paramedics to cary. Who is qualified and certified to drive. The concern that a volunteer looking over the sick turn out to be a rapist or child molester is real.

 If those descisions are to be made then having them in the room or on a conference call when all can share in the conversation at once.

 The descicion becomes a one step process insted of a multi-step "let me check with ____ and get back to you."

 UK-Bird you have not mentioned it but having people in their office also reduces the spread of H5N1. It increases social distancing.

 If we do not have a NASA like Missin control or battle group CIC can it all be done as tele conference?

 We work pretty good here on just a wiki - but it is not real time.

 Please help ;-) (smile)


[ Parent ]
Your ideas are great, they make sense :-)
And triggering thoughts is essential to finding solutions.

I've actually trained in a small scale EOC so I know some of the problems that crop up while you're in them. You usually discover you need stuff from your own PC, office, etc or need people that weren't chosen to be on the team. It can end up limiting what you do.

You're right about spread of infection. By putting all your eggs in one basket you could lose the lot in one go.

[ Parent ]
Not quite home

  Small scale EOC - you are one up on me.

  I like what you said about "You usually discover you need stuff from your own PC, office, etc or need people that weren't chosen to be on the team. It can end up limiting what you do."

  That is a good point. Even with putting files on key fob or USB drive, things are still missing. My favorites on web browser, odd things kept in the desk like a scissors or stapler. Old books for when someone calls saying 'I am still using this old __, and its not working".

  Plus there is just a comfert level at the desk.

  I would hope the EOC would become just as good.

  Your point about "Just call the fire chief" to relay the message. I had to think about that.

  A couple of thougths. Frist is a cheap shot - the fire cheif is either out sick or taking care of family. Second the power and phone lines may be down.

  Just like we consider 63% CFR when TPTB put a limit of 2%. I would like to have an EOC that can take a licking, that can take a pounding and still be kind to those working there.

  More on that later. There are two ideas in this post. Keep responses simple ;-)



[ Parent ]
Cheap shot in reply ;-)
The fire chief is either out sick or taking care of family. Second the power and phone lines may be down.

Well if he or she is out of the picture then they're not at the EOC either ;-P And if the power/phones are out any decisions made at the EOC will be useless because they won't be able to act upon them. If you're relying on radios then does it matter where the firechief is located?

There will certainly be times when all the key people will need to get together but it doesn't have to be sustained.

[ Parent ]
Unlike a normal crisis when any and every change in status could mean the need for a group decision
a pandemic doesn't require that intensity. If water goes out and each of the services need to know... call em. What good does it do the fire men if their boss knows that the water is off and they don't? If on hearing the news of the water shortage the firechief needs something, he can call out for it.

[ Parent ]
2/3 rds solution.

 Hmm. You write "a pandemic doesn't require that intensity"

  If everyone is at home SIP and things are well behaved then I concede.

  If all is not well. If the fire cheif is one of those out. When the lines of communication are partialy down, things are breaking, stuff is not being repaired or cleaned up. Supplies are dwindling and decisions on mass graves are being made.

  2/3 rds force means trash pickup is only 2/3rds.
  2/3 rds of the cars are being repaired or towed.
  2/3 rds of the power and water production force is at hand.
  2/3 rds of the sewage treatment personel is working.

 Deliveries may not falter for they can deliver food instead of furniture. They can deliver medicine instead of music supplies. They can deliver bread instead of beer (hmm let me re think that one ;-)

  I see your point about having all the familure papers and supplies. That an EOC is not "office away from the office"

  If an EOC is open during a pandemic - what intensity might it require??


[ Parent ]
Portable display

  More telephone conferences have people log into a central website where one person displays graphs or charts.

 There is a product called WebEOC where people can display a common picture. Why A picture can be worth a thousand words.

About:  "the world's first Web-enabled emergency management communications system. Based in Augusta, Ga., ESi connects crisis response teams and decision makers at national, state and local agencies, healthcare providers, airlines and corporations worldwide, providing access to real-time information for a common operating picture during an event or daily operations. By delivering highly customizable products and end-to-end services from design, installation and integration through maintenance, training and 24/7 support, ESi sets the standard for crisis information management."


  We agree that housing too many people together is bad.

  We disagree or seem to about the intensity of the EOC.

  UK-Bird how do you feel about the need for maps and current situation information? My bias is to have them. The more the better.


[ Parent ]
I'm not discounting the value of an EOC or all the things you'd normally find in them
I just don't think they could be large enough or comprehensive enough to supply everything they need to be.

One of the key lessons from Katrina was from Walmart. They gave their managers autonomy to do what was needed for the public. Instead of sending repeated requests to their HQ they got on and did the job. We mustn't tie up operations waiting for instruction from the EOC.

Each service already knows how to their job. They've got HQs that already suit their activities much better than any temporary arrangement.

Those who might need the EOC are essential services that don't have dedicated HQs or who don't normally work together.

[ Parent ]
I assure you ...
...I do intend to read it, but just haven't been able to get a reasonable chance yet.  In the years I've been working on this problem in my area, I haven't been able to get past the problem of raising awareness. If enough people don't understand the magnitude of the threat, they ain't going to get much going. Maybe actions are being taken that I'm just not aware of. I hope so.

A couple of years back, our very polite and friendly EMA folks said on at two different occasions they would email me a pdf of the draft of the county's pandemic flu plan. But I never received anything. Then several months ago I learned they turned the planning task over to the Health Department. AAAGHH!!!!    

Comments Welcom.

 I too feel your frustration. My health department does not seem to be moving very fast.

 I also can not get the support of the local EMA as "they are unable to comment, edit or endorse" what I say.

 Please do not let this things slow you down.


[ Parent ]
Slow me down, it does.
But make give up? Hell no.

[ Parent ]
Make that - "HELL NO."

[ Parent ]
I feel the same

 That's a big Hell Yea to your HELL NO!

(Odd how something so simple could read in such a confusing way.)

 Onward and upward. For when the going gets tuff, keep going tough or not - keep going and do not slow down.


[ Parent ]
Sometimes, I feel . . .
like Debby Downer.  

The first thing that occurred to me when I read this was - but what exactly does it boil down to?  In a sentence or two?
(It doesn't help that I'm sick and can't think even as well as usual . . . )

The other thing is - I believe everything in a real emergency situation would be commandeered by Homeland Security so fast it'd make heads spin.  Now, Homeland Security will have one agenda . . . the security of the homeland, otherwise known as continuity at any price.

I can see where that could be in direct conflict with the kinds of things I think you're talking about here . . .

[ Parent ]
Hmmm? "commandeered by Homeland Security so fast"
I'm sure that that's the plan but are there enough homeland security people to even attempt it? I haven't see any evidence of a master plan in recent events in the US. It looks like you manage like the rest of us, more by luck than judgement ;-)

Will there be turf wars between local elected authorities and Homeland Security? The last thing people will need will be the guys at the top having a macho, who's got the biggest b...biceps contest.

Hope you're feeling better soon Clawdia.

[ Parent ]
Thanks, UK-Bird . . .
I think when push comes to shove, Homeland Security will have all the power and all the authority that there is to be had - and control of all US military forces, as well.

Maybe I'm just paranoid - I keep trying to keep the little 'noids locked in their cages, but they keep figuring out how to pick the locks . . .  

[ Parent ]
Give the 'noids whatever it is you're suffering from, it'll shut em up.
I've always concluded that on the eve of a pandemic any government with any sense would recall as much of it's military from around the world, as it could. They'll need the manpower. So far, I've not heard of any plans to do so.

Even if they do recall service personnel they will be almost as much or more at the mercy of any pandemic as we will. How good will they be at managing the system when up to 40% of them are sick?

Sometimes, when the UK fire services are on strike, our army stands in. They barely cope. I can't see any services personnel doing anything other than filling in for people missing from existing services.

[ Parent ]
I dont' know about when push comes to shove
I think when push comes to shove, Homeland Security will have all the power and all the authority that there is to be had - and control of all US military forces, as well.

nor whether DHS will have 'control' of military forces, but I do know that for the US, as of right now, the military already has a solid role in supporting ESF8 in the event of a public health emergency, including pandemic flu.

Here are 2 presentations given by Capt Terbush from NORTHCOM, from this conference Nov 07.

response to pandemic flu

individual and family preparedness

All 'safety concerns' are hypothetical.  If not, they'd be called side effects...

[ Parent ]
Know thy enemy and thyself - Page 5

  Thank you for the posting by Terbush.

  page 5 cuts to the core of why. The diary is to work out the how. The why is "One who knows the enemy and knows himself will not be endangered in a hundred engagements.": Sun Tzu

  Granted we can not know H5N1 till it happens. We can study it and the good or bad descisions others make.

  We can know ourselves. That is part of the EOC. A city is not a single department nor business. A city is an artificial sybiotic entity. Citites have too many people eatting and creating waste to survive on their own without resupply.

  During a pandemic knowing who is suffering and what there is to work with is wrong. It is not good enough. EOC does more than fill out reports and dispatch help.

 An EOC should be able to see problems, order supplies, close schools or make decisions to help mitigate problems. If that stops then the EOC is being reactionary and has started to loose - IMHO.

 "an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure"

  In the briefing they talk about legality. I saw alot of pictures. Lot of planning. No testing. No drills. It gives the feeling they will be there to help us.

  I do not want to comment on some things I read but full appreciate that the DoD may suffer more than the aveage citizen and do not want that to happen. Life is tight shipboard or even shoreside. Best to be ready against anyone who would kick a country or its people when they are down.


[ Parent ]
Not enough staff (staph?)

 I'm not sure if you meant that as a joke but "homeland security people to even attempt it" made me burst out laughiing.

 In alot of ways I hope not. It has been shown again and again how micro-management kills a project.

  I'm judging Homeland security folks before meeting them and I aplogize. Just becasue I'm passonaite does not make me right. However those fighting for their life often put more effort into a project. I wish I had a quote to back me up on that.

 I will only say that many a larger more technological force has been put back by those fighting for their lives or what they belive in.

 Hmmm, biceps - yea that is what they mean. Biceps.


[ Parent ]
Vital role

 You play a vital role. Gen George S. Patton said: "when six men are thinking alike - only one man is thinking." there has to be people who speak up with a different opinon. Please do.

 Einstien said "No problem can be solved using the thinkging that created it" We need more thinking.

 Clawdia you brought up a good point I forgot or missed. Would homeland security come in an commondere the joint "for my own protection and well being"

 If I wanted protection and well being I would stay home and SIP. Have to guard my provisions. Selfish - yes. Deplorable behavior - I confess. Could it save more lives than one famalies provisions divided amoungs hundred of others during a problem they made worse - yes.

  Clawdia pleas keep posting your thoughts and "downers"

 Please just remember the answers. I read where Chalston South Carolina will have a pandemic meeting to include who gets a vent. There are alot of folks who think vents will help. I now see that they will not and more importantly can explain in laymans terms why.

 Ok, back on topic.

  What happens if DHS takes over the EOC?

  How do we set up liason beforehand to work together?

Kind regards,

[ Parent ]
Yes, more thought needed

There may be people who make noise about vents (still), but that doesn't mean that anybody who knows their butt from a hole in the ground really thinks they would help.  It is a distraction - and I'm sorry to see it brought up yet again.  I suspect it continues to rear its head for many reasons, none of them to our benefit.

What in the world is this 2/3rds of this, or 2/3rds of that?  Living is a 100% proposition, as is dying.  

I intend to stay alive, and I intend that those I love also stay alive.  That isn't going to involve cleaning anybody's toilets, or flipping non-existent burgers over a fire that no longer has fuel to burn.  

The name of the game is going to be survival, and it'll take smarts and luck and things we can't even imagine at this point.  It won't take organizing people to do jobs that don't need doing in a society that has changed beyond recognition.  

There's no problem with me continuing to think - but sometimes what I think is that I don't understand why so much that I see seems to fit a 'wag the dog' scenario, and why I always end up feeling that somebody wants me to look left when the train is approaching from the right . . .

I can't fathom why we need to be spending time figuring out how an EOC can liaison with DHS.  What we do need are  stockpiles of meds, warehouses of food and practical methods of distribution that do not involve any central meeting place for sorting out who's on first or what's on second . . . the list of what we really need is endless.

I never forget what Heinlein said about a committee:
"A committee is a life form with six or more legs and no brain ...".

I see things like EOCs as glorified committees.

[ Parent ]
To be fair to Kobie
while we may need stockpiles of food and meds, all we may have is an EOC. It is a resource of sorts.

But as you suspect, (for much the same reason they won't stock food and enough meds) they won't build up the EOC into anything more than it is now.

Many plans probably include the local EOC, forgetting the nature of a pandemic and the impracticality of such a facility for long term operations.

However it may have a role if it has an independant power supply. There will be times during a pandemic where certain staff use it as a backup HQ.

It will undoubtably be relieved of it's radios and/or any useful equipment very early on.

If anyone does have to use the EOC for any length of time then they can move their comfy chair in and their laptop and/or transfer the contents of their PC to a portable machine. You can move in what you need, but only when you have to.

[ Parent ]
To be fair to Kobie ;-)

 Hi. Please have a long talk with my life. Life is not fair ;-) LoL

 Seriously thank you.

 Lets assume people need to move either because power/water is out at the differnt departments or things have gotten bad enough.

 What type of EOC layout?  

 Who shows up - department head, manager, lead supervisor?

 Do they have desk space? Power connectors? Place to spray down if they have been visiting H5N1 infected area, place to eat. Bathrooms for men/women.

 Social distancing or cramped quarters in a conference room? With hurricane Ike and other storm I saw alot of cramped conference rooms.

  Note: none of this may happen. The point is to find the best answer and have it ready even if people do not use it right away or at all.


[ Parent ]
2/3rds because 30% abseenteeism

 2/3rds is because 1/3rd of the folks will be out.  That number may be way low - 1/2 may not show up.

 Yes livingis 100% proposition.

 Instead of "wag the dog" - "Got my back" Its good to see things from both sides. The train could be comming from the right, the left or even dropped from above.

  I like Heinling and also believe "there ain't no such thing as a free lunch" Everyone wants something. DHS is not going away. They could be helpful not only with supplies but in helping spread the word. To replicate and promote what works.

 BTW - there is a news article about the CDC promoting Akrin Ohio's pandemic plan.

 IMHO - places will not stockpile because there is no need. I keep reading where "H5N1 is not in America" big deal. There are alot of disasters in other countries and we go help them. Why wait till it hits America, UK, Brazil, or some other place.

  People do not wait for it to rain before buying an umbrella but they do wait for the forcast. There just are not enough clouds yet.

  Mark Twain said "A committe is where you keep min and loose hours" EOC is not a committe - it is the information hub that keeps different departments and groups working together.

  Unlike a flood, tornado or explosion that happens in one part of town a pandemic will be all over town. Who needs meds, who need food, what business the city relies on have just failed, what departments are down, what hospital or satalight care is suffering the most and where do the bodies need to be picked up from.


[ Parent ]
;-) I like that
Make that - "HELL NO."

love that spirit...

All 'safety concerns' are hypothetical.  If not, they'd be called side effects...

[ Parent ]
Hope I can finally get it right...
I'm trying to say:

Slow me down, it does.
But make me give up? HELL NO.

[ Parent ]
welcome to the
no-giver-upper club.  LOL

All 'safety concerns' are hypothetical.  If not, they'd be called side effects...

[ Parent ]
I have missed you!

Never give up, never quit.

Pray for all people and rulers
1Timothy 2:1-4

(Extending the culture of life.)


[ Parent ]
thinking differently
Maybe we don't need to think more, as in more hours in the day.

I feel it's a matter of thinking differently.

Not that thinking differently guarantees our thinking will be better.   Assessment of ideas comes after new ideas are generated.  Can't do both simultaneously, I think.

Maybe we need to focus on results, on why there's need for an EOC.  Get those things done with a deeply redesigned entity.  An Emergency Operations Non Center?

You arm yourself to the teeth just in case.  You don't leave the gun near the baby's hand.

24 hour conference call? Hours of the day

 The non center sounds good. UK-Bird has a point about not brining people together to prevent cross contamination.

 So a non center would have different departments on a 24x7 conference call?  

 At first things could be dispatched. UK-Bird has a point there.

 As departments become overwhelmed and short staffed then things will have to be re-prioritized.

 If things are going to be chaneged then the first question is can it be done? Do we have the people and what will it impact? Does this new plan superceed something we are already doing? When do we need to tell the public?


[ Parent ]
After fulfilling the mandate for vax distribution exercises
step number two for local emergency managers was to do what was necessary to make sure that their communications equipment works, and specifically to make sure that it will be able to allow them to communicate with each other (across disciplines and between geographic areas), 24/7.  They've also laid out specific and detailed communication protocols which outline how to do so.  This area, of exchange of information and the operation of those points of interchange, has been a high priority in the emergency response arena with regard to panflu.  They've worked hard on these issues, and now they've got that handled, to a large degree. They seem happy with the progress they've made in this area (apart from city op centers, few plans see the need to bring everyone together in the same building).

Next, they need to address the subject of what happens when they ask for aid in the form of PPE or fuel for their generators and there is no "stuff" there with which to fulfill the request.  They'll be able to communicate and coordinate their operations just fine. Now, as Clawdia suggests, they need to turn their attention to making sure that the antibiotics, masks, whatever, will be available to them in the quantities they will need.  We aren't there yet.  That lack may end up looking like someone placing a call for a pizza delivery and finding that it's Monday and the pizza place is closed.  No pizza.  No antibiotics.  Communications and brilliant coordination is not going to be able to ameliorate a "we don't have any, sorry" answer on the other end of that phone, no matter how clear the connection is.  

Time to move on to the most pressing issue:  ensuring that these emergency managers have sufficient critical goods and medications available to them in order to make it through a prolonged pandemic wave (or two).  

[ Parent ]
Acting - Follow on diary

 Quite right - No EOC or plan can overcome the answer "sorry, three outher states just bought out the national stockpile. Next deliver is in a few weeks. We can put you on the waiting list."

 Talk about my heart dropping. Your words on stockpilling are worth a diary.


 1) City OP center - this is the EOC? The plan is to have these folks work together? If yes to both then my question is Do they provide guidance on how to build/run a pandemic EOC?

 2) Do these plans call for training the second and third in command? When the call comes in to the second in command saying "the Cheif and assistant are now out. I'm a lutenate and new here"  

  This is not where those in command are back from the danger. H5N1 will be everywhere.


[ Parent ]
I think you'll find that major cities
do already have an established protocol for emergency operations centers.

After 9/11, during which the NYC Fire Department and other responding agencies saw many of their levels of command wiped out in an instant (and the Mayor, moving about the disaster area with his top aides besides him, just barely all escaped the same fate, in unison) most emergency response organizations and most municipal leadership did make note of the catastrophe in NYC and did learn from it.  I'd imagine one thing that has been worked out nearly everywhere is depth of command and control, particularly for a panflu where the emergency workers and municipal leadership will themselves be susceptible to a panflu with a 30% AR.  That kind of scenario is usually written into the tabletops (as it was written into the Financial panflu exercise) to give the participants a better feel for the shifting of command responsibilities.  

[ Parent ]
What of the other cities that are the bulk of the cities? n/t
 According to Wikipedia there are 30,000 cities of more than 10,000 folks.

 If thre are 100 major cities then 29,900 need a pandemic quality EOC.

 Overstatement for some cities are less than 1,000 folks. So lets say 25,000 as a guess - not an estimate.

 The 1,000 folks are probably pretty independent to begine with.

 25,000 EOCs with people to train.

 A major citi may have multiple EOC for different parts or buroughs. Manhattan may be one EOC seperate from Long Island or the Bronx&Qeens.

 I am glad people shift duties to "walk a mile in another's moccasins"


[ Parent ]
Unless people usually run their emergency operations as a conjoined unit
they don't want or see any need to be formed into units stationed at the same physical locations.  

Outside of major cities, which do tend to have emergency operations centers of some kind, people working in emergency response and municipal officials have apparently voted and have decided that, to them, a de-centralized apprach to emergency response works better.  

So, in areas such as CT that are made up of dozens of towns, there are regional umbrellas within which the responders coordinate response.  They don't, however, see any advantage to insisting that all sit together in a centralized fashion.  If they did, they would have already formulated their response plans that way.  Effective coordination of response is what is important to them, not where they sit or what kind of a chair they sit in.

If they can coordinate response better from their own dedicated facilities, while working "shoulder to shoulder" with their peers -- just not physcially "shoulder to shoulder" -- that is what they should do.   They don't seem to be actively seeking the centralization you recommend.  That model doesn't work well at all here in New England, for example, where any and all centralization is typically rejected.  Towns here are very independent and differ greatly.  There is no county governmental structure at all.  The state will run a coordinated response from Hartford, but the rest of the state is set up to run locally coordinated response, each entity working cooperatively with other entities in their jurisdiction and the wider region (the regions have already been delineated).

This might not make sense to someone coming from a backround where centralized control of some kind or another is the preferred model.  But it works here, and all the local and regional plans I've seen for emergency response have been formulated without envisioning the need for setting up centralized physical locations (which as UK Bird and the events of 9/11 in NYC both point out has its own drawbacks).  The responders and officials seem to think they can work together very effectively without taking that (to them extraneous) step of the consolidation of their physical location.  They've put a lot of effort into the coordination of response, into their communications hardware and protocols.  To add another layer would, it seems, in their way of thinking not make them any more effective or they would have done that.  

It's a different model, granted, if you are used to a centralized system, but the decentralized model works too and can be quite effective - it just works differently.  It may be a hard model to understand if you're not used to it.  

[ Parent ]
Centralized attempts at control
In many areas - for instance, some of those places in New England where Pixie lives, or in the south, where I am, people don't take kindly to those they consider "outsiders" trying to move in and force them to organize according to a centralized model.

And make no mistake - there are people who would see it as an attempt to force them to do things, and some people would rebel against the notion.

As evidence, I offer my own reactions to some of the ideas put forth.  By and large, in the parts of the world where I've lived, people will get things done, but at their own pace and within their own world-view.  That world-view, in my own experience, doesn't look favorably on being shuffled about and told to do things for which they may see little reason.

I agree with Pixie - the decentralized model can work very well.  A model that involves centralized control is likely to be met with resistance, adding not only another level of complexity but also giving an already traumatized population what they may perceive as a common enemy.  

You can tell people you're working in their own best interests until you're blue in the face - but if they don't perceive that to be the case, you'll have done nothing but further complicate the situation.

Such as - personally - I'll be AWOL from any group that thinks I need only 5' of space between me and anybody else.

[ Parent ]
this I really get
Clawdia, I actually agree with you wholeheartedly on this. There is nothing that drive me batty more than not having the leeway to respond in the way that I see fit.

That IS why I started Prepared Citizens rather than joining the MRC, CERT, or the BOH. I do not work well without complete creative freedom. I was successful as the pool director because I created the job description and all the other job descriptions. I based the entire department on the research that I did of successful programs but it was "my baby". It ran well and is still running under the same model because it was based around the needs of THIS community.

You can tell people you're working in their own best interests until you're blue in the face - but if they don't perceive that to be the case, you'll have done nothing but further complicate the situation.

That is another reason for a deep bench of people who are allowed to be masters of their own areas. I really do agree that a model as something to guide but not a dogma to embrace is preferable in all situations.

Give people the latitude and someone to share ideas with and let them take control. Show people that they are trusted partners, and really mean it. The answers that they come up with may not be the ones you would have chosen but they are acting toward a goal and their thoughts are occupied in a positive way.

Maybe there are people out there who will deal with all this successfully by crawling into a hole for a time, who am I to judge, but I do think far more people will benefit from useful and needed activity, not busywork, where they can also learn how to defend themselves from this, if there is even a defense.

Trying we may still lose, not trying we have already lost.

Pray for all people and rulers
1Timothy 2:1-4

(Extending the culture of life.)


[ Parent ]
it is fascinating watching them coexist
and not always easily. CDC's EOC looks and feels nothing like a hospital EOC. Different structure but similar function.

CT has a health office for every town. Just across the border in NY, it's by county. Different structure but similar function.

however, when drills are run the opportunity to mesh with the outside system isa great opportunity. Drill, baby, drill.

[ Parent ]
Drill, baby, Drill

 Glad to see you post.

 What a new twist on the saying "Drill, baby, Drill". Maybe we can get T.Boone Pickens to say "We can drill our way out of this mess" ;-)  Hmm, it will take more than drills.

 Different structure but same function. Interesting for Long Island has some very large counties Suffolk & Nassau with many towns in them.

 Glad they work togehter for each town has its own citizen profile. Some are retirement, some are manufacturing, some are tourist based and some are finacial.  Hence the nees, child population and resident skill sets will vary wildly.

 It may be good for towns to have reciprocity in asking for help from neighbor towns. This is logical but may not be politicaly possible.


[ Parent ]
Kobie, emergency managers
have already covered the issue of reciprocity.  It happens all the time.  

Much of the stuff you are covering here they've worked on for years and years.  

Are you familiar at all with how things work here in the U.S. typically re. emergency response?  

[ Parent ]
Pixie - I do not.

 I'm quite ignorant on the interals and what EOC folks train for.

 The local politics keeps the local cities seperate. At times I'm suprised money from one city spends in another.

 Hopefully they work together. I'm sure the power companies and fire work together. I'm sure the EOC folks have regional meetings.

 I'm not sure the city departments, trash, permits, animal control, finance, neighborhod services have trained together or would move from city office to an office in a  different city.


[ Parent ]
EOC discussion results - first cut.
1) EOC may not be turned on immediatly. Could be ramped up as things get more intense.

2) Social distancing will drive conferenc calls and then later having people in the EOC

3) Size and scale - No seems to argue that EOC should have room, ability to fix its food and not bear down upon the flesh, bone and psyche of those working there.

4) Use of portable laptops to make the EOC as much of an "office away from the office"

5) Liason with DHS and others so the EOC and its parts are not taken.

6) Training not only of those who work in the EOC but those who are second and third in command. "We need a deep bench" of players - StandingFirm

7) Scale of 30,000 EOCs with 360,000 fully trained flubies. Flubies are those passionate about all things H5N1 and how to mitigate it.

  Some places have an EOC. Some cities have a conference room. Some cities may not need one as they are 500 people or less.

8) Know they self and thy foe to win else face defete before starting. Who will be in the EOC? Do they know H5N1, its effects, what to do and what others may do? Include the National guard but do not include their emergency generators when they have none - or the 20 they do have have been earmarked.

9) Pandmeic will not be a short term localized effect like a bomb, tornado or flood. It will affect the city and surrounding cities.

10) Slowly build on the preparation of people. Do not wait till the last min but get them prepping soon. Stores can only restock so fast.

The room needs to be large enough for 5' of space between people. Have phone lines with conference calling. Power for laptops.

 A central board to display the city and its problems is still up for debate.
 Trigger point to open a ECO is up for debate

Things that did not come up - a list of business and worker profile for the city so that as things get bad the EOC knows who to call on.  

This is a HUGE thread -
But I have a question. After all this conversation, HOW do you propose getting something of this scale started in communities when basic awarenss isn't even getting off the ground? Sorry, just wondering. -k

www.EmergencyHomePreparation.org -- A 'card-catalog' style of prepping information.   -

[ Parent ]
in a very minor way
With a very minor impact my EOC is already started. I am already an informal information gatherer for the handful of people who will listen to me. I am already listening to others in my community for a heads up of what is going on in my area. I know where to go for more information and for verification and I know the folks and have a good relationship with those who know more because people will call them first.

I am already offering services to those who care to tap me on the shoulder for help. I will be available if I am needed, if not then that is fine too.

I am already dispensing some news and information in my area but I hold off on the breaking, alert, sort of stuff right now..

My EOC will run as long as it can. Could be a short run, or I may be able to stick it out quite long. I have some food on hand, access to water, and some meds (my personal sticking point still). Its a beginning...

I guess that I can add to my repertoire of resources offered and tools available as they become available to me.

I am always on the lookout for the next rung to climb in this journey onward and upward.

Pray for all people and rulers
1Timothy 2:1-4

(Extending the culture of life.)


[ Parent ]
Pre postioned flubie

 Great. I'm glad you are making a difference.

 My EOC says "its a public health issue" and they are not really moving on this.

 I understad about sticking it out. When to pull back, or even to stick around, is a personal issue. If it was just my life that would be one thing but I have others that I could infect at home and they depened on me in the future.

 Hopefully we can help people think this through.

 BTW - fall back idea #2 is to move the EOC to a hosptial. My thinking is that once City Hall/Town Hall colapses they will run things from the EOC.

 If that falls then fall back to space in Hospital or a trailer at the hospital.

 Fallback plan #3 is personal. If the hospital falls then we are really in deep doo doo. We will survive and there are ways to cope. Its just hard to think through. Plan #4 is to hunker down behind that boom boom stick we can not mention.


[ Parent ]
There's no doubt
that in a high CFR pandemic, hospitals will not be able to continue to operate.

Remember the post from yesterday, where it was posted that hospitals would not continue to operate even so much as 48 hours into a pandemic.  

They won't be able to do what they should be able to do, and to attempt to add to their burden would serve no one well.

[ Parent ]
Hospitals - 48hrs max

 Since many hospitals operate near capacity and offload patients now I'm not sure many hosptitals would make the  firt 48 hours.

 They will be overwhelemed. A few have pandemic wards but a 500 bead hosptial for a city of 10,000 would be overrun and not able to take care of accident victums, births, oncology, dying, etc.

  I agree that adding to their burden will do no one well. The current plan has folks caring for H5N1 at home - some talk of satalight care facilities.

 Here is the scenario. Things have gotten really bad.  Power is out, communcations are down. There is enough diesel to run the generators for the hospital but not the hospital and EOC.

 The hospital is doing as much as it can to treat people.

If the EOC falls then who calls for resupply or reports what is going on? I doubt resupply will come but if there is anything to be had.

 Its assumened the ARRL (HAMS) are up and working. One can put a trailer out behind the Hospital and run from there. They tie into 120/240 V 200Amp breaker.

 My fear is that before this happens the sewage plants will shut down. Yes one cut off the power, the water, the gas, the phone and the news but the effluent will continue to flow.

 Plan #3 is what to do after the hospital falls and can no longer do anything. It is abandonded to gangs or whom ever can hold it.


[ Parent ]
Plan #3
After the hospital fails, no one is going to hold it.  There will be nothing there of value to benefit anyone.

In a worst case scenario (not even worst, really, just godawful), the only thing left in the hospitals after a very limited period of time will be dead bodies.

It's not likely gangs or anybody else will be interested in having control over useless equipment and decaying bodies.

My response to the re-supply notion will be as it has always been - since there will be virtually no adequate "supply" initially, the notion of "re-supply" will not be applicable.

I did clerical work in a major medical school/hospital for years - and am very familiar with how often hospitals run a full census, and that was 20 years ago.  Not just a full census, either - many run full with gurneys in the hallways holding patients waiting for an available room for 24 hours or even longer.  Things are worse now than then.

This has been true for the local hospital where we live even in the past few months.  We had a friend who was admitted, and who then spent a day and a half on one of those gurneys in a hallway, waiting for a bed.  That's enough to make you sick even if you weren't ill already.

In addition, I can remember the med school hospital pharmacy running out of meds and having to call around town to all the local pharmacies trying to find a drug they desperately needed, because their normal supply chain couldn't get additional supplies delivered into the hospital until the next day at the earliest.  If nobody in town had the drug, their next move was to start calling other tertiary centers within driving range - and if they had to, they'd send the life-flight helicopter out to pick up the drugs, if they could find what was needed.  Meanwhile, patients lived or died without benefit of needed medicine.

This wasn't a little po-dunk town hospital, either - it was one of the big medical school facilities in North Carolina.

[ Parent ]
Hostpits - neat stuff

 Hospitals are full of "neat stuff". People will stead anything. The worst I read about was from a beef slaughter house. They stole these big bins that when opened where ineditble cow anus. Yep stupid is as stupid does.

 4 things really scare me about hospitals.

  1) Dead bodies - like you said.
  2) Bad germs. There are germs, staph, that live on the tiles and walls of a hospital. Then there are all the regular germs (Drug resistant TB, HIV, etc) that hospitals treat. Do not want these germs to get out.
  3) Medical waste. During a pandemic who will handle the bags of medical waste.

 What scares me is that unlike 1918 when patients when things where dirty and antibiotics did not exsist (penicillian invented 1928) if hosptials are not cleaned they can pass along all sorts germs we did not have in 1918.

  I'm not sure how one would de-contaminate a hosptial.

  4) Radiation - There are lots of things in a hospital that should not go unchecked or unguarded.

 Clawdia - its these real life stories that scare me more than Stephen King.

 Left "as is" it would be a short time for hospitals to close. With stockpiling, not planning, medical supplies can be provided. Plans do not count unless action is taken. For some things action has to be taken before the problem happens.

 What bothers me most about the hospital is the ICU and N-ICU or nicu.


[ Parent ]
I worked in the NICU
You're right - there's some dangerous stuff in hospitals.

But if they fail, those with nothing better to do will take everything that's left other than the bodies, and there won't be much left to worry about.  You're right that people will steal anything that isn't nailed down given the right circumstances.  

Most hospital radiologicals are low-level.  You won't need to worry about decontaminating one for a long time.  Pandemics aren't like hurricanes, which come and go in a matter of days.   Staph and other stuff will be real low on anybody's priority list of things to worry about for a good long time.

Bad case scenario, within a very short period of time, hospitals will become nothing more than above-ground places where dead bodies lie.  The living will have fled.

I know of nothing in a NICU that should worry anybody more than any other place.

If you want to worry about something, I'd recommend worrying about those nasty labs that store things like smallpox, ebola, and so on down the line . . . those are the places that frighten me.  Or worry about the nuclear reactors that could undergo a meltdown through either neglect or inappropriate actions.

There are lots of things that will hurt a lot more people than will staph germs living on tile in a hospital.  If the facilities themselves were all that dangerous, I doubt they'd be allowing visitors in to see patients on a daily basis as is customary now.

[ Parent ]
What we worry about . . .
I think maybe I've figured out why you seem to have one set of concerns while I have a very different set.

Yours seem geared to a relatively low level pandemic, one where facilities would be stretched and strained trying to provide medical care to the ill but where the facilities would still be up and running.  I worry about a high CFR pandemic, as bad as 1918 or worse, one during which hospitals would not function beyond one or two days.

I'd far rather you were right, and that we have the luxury to be concerned with things like EOC facilities, cleaning toilets, and assigning chores.  

My nightmares are the ones where the living are expending every bit of strength trying to stay among the living and trying to keep their loved ones in the same condition.

[ Parent ]
MRSA adn cobolt-60

 We totaly agree on the first two points. People take things and dangerous stuff in hospitals.

 Decontamination of germs not nuclear.

 Here is one quote that scared me about MRSA leaving its traditional hospital setting:
"Deaths tied to these infections may exceed those caused by AIDS, said one public health expert commenting on the new study. The report shows just how far one form of the staph germ, called methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, or MRSA, has spread beyond its traditional hospital setting. "
 Source: http://www.cbsnews.com/stories...

  Stories of what can live in a hospital surface from time to time and it scares me.

  One story was of Cobalt-60 used for radiation that was sold as scrap from a hospital and endedup killing a couple of people due to radiation. They guy wanted all the lead but kept the ring for fun. He never questioned why there was so much lead around the ring.


[ Parent ]
You're not supposed to even say "boom, boom, stick" :)

I'll chance it with my neighbors. They are good folks, I really believe this. And I know that they will adjust to our new reality quite well. We are all from pretty sturdy stock around here and I am not bloviating. We have come this far together, I think that we can go the distance.

I say this far because I am still sitting here after speaking up for years now. They could have shut me up in town here very, very, easily. I gave them the ammunition to do so and they did not even though I really probably was a burr under their saddles. I have a trust in "them", our town stewards. Now I have to be trustworthy as well. I will say that at times truly the heart walks a fine line. But this was a lesson whose answer I will stake my life on. We can do this.

[About those boom, boom, sticks - personally, I hate them. I avoid them like I will this virus. But in not wanting to be a burden on anyone else I do have the means to protect myself and the knowledge of how to do it well. I think that everyone in this town should have that same ability to self defend. This is not wrong. We have a duty to do this. Life is important and we have others to protect as well who are weak and unable to fend for themselves.

It doesn't always have to be about boom boom sticks either.  

Pray for all people and rulers
1Timothy 2:1-4

(Extending the culture of life.)


[ Parent ]
Knowledge to protect youself.

  I like and support your positon and whish more people had it.

 "But in not wanting to be a burden on anyone else I do have the means to protect myself and the knowledge of how to do it well."

  Those who are prepared suffer far less than those who are not.

  Of course the first defense is to avoid problems. Not look like a target nor an easy mark.

  Best wishes  ;-)

[ Parent ]
eat em for breakfast
Of course the first defense is to avoid problems. Not look like a target nor an easy mark.

Kobie, if I lived life avoiding problems I wouldn't be doing what I am doing right now.

I am always a target. I was born with one on my back. No laugh, no exaggeration, we already talked about all of that. Easy mark, yup, I am that too. And I have still have that mark.

I think the answer is this dogged determination to get back up because I still exist and simply because I still can.

Living for something greater than myself. That is what life is all about. This is the drummer I have always heard.

Avoid problems, nah, eat em for breakfast :)

Onward and upward.

Pray for all people and rulers
1Timothy 2:1-4

(Extending the culture of life.)


[ Parent ]
A prepared answer

 Good question.

 I can not make people change just point out things of "Did you think about this?" or "working in a Pandemic EOC will be different"

 Best to have a prepared answer or guidance for others who want to do it right.

 Please feel free to copy any of these suggestions or observations to your site. If you could list this webpage as the source incase they have questions.

 IMHO - there are alot of things people just have not thought through. Next one is PFDRSM - pan flu disaster recovery site mistakes. First is the idea that during a pandemic companies that use thier disaster recovery site will be able to use hotels and resteraunts. Ooops!, I think not.

 Why the suggesttions - this is the FluWiki or place of information. It is an amatures view of things but hopefuly helpful.



[ Parent ]
centralised and decentralised - and the matter of scale
To me, the center is the individual in need, and the individual who can help the one in need.  The rest is layers that start at a short distance and end up in, say, WHO's HQ.  Call that the onion model, with the ill child and the mom at the center.

Of course, there are so many onions that we've found it more efficient to model reality around pyramids.  The health care system has hierarchies, where GPs are at the bottom.  Patients are grains of sand, considered to be out of the system 'cos they are "users of the system", not "part of the system".  (IMHO.)

All I'm saying is "the center" is a relative thing. ;-)

Anyway, I think it's worth looking at "Why EOCs" and try to solve that with many different set-ups.  Having a list of templates to choose from will be good.  A list of criteria to select one over the other, and a how-to for those who want to shift gear, that will be even better.

At the end of the day, in many circumstances we'll find we want to retain the goal and rethink the way.

It's going to be messy, and we'll need to think fast and slow, as in very intently for minutes and days, but templates can be wikipaged.

You arm yourself to the teeth just in case.  You don't leave the gun near the baby's hand.

good quote!
retain the goal and rethink the way

Pray for all people and rulers
1Timothy 2:1-4

(Extending the culture of life.)


[ Parent ]
glad you like it - there's a t-shirt lurking there, maybe LOL

You arm yourself to the teeth just in case.  You don't leave the gun near the baby's hand.

[ Parent ]
*Retain the goal and Rethink the way* - Lugon 2008 n/t

[ Parent ]
EOC mantra

It is better to look ahead and prepare than to look back and regret.

[ Parent ]
Good mnatra. Ohhhmmmmmm "Improvise....Adapt....OVERCOME " n/t

[ Parent ]
I'm sorry but
I really do think that emergency responders and municipal managers have already thought through the emergency response models which are appropriate for their particular situation (at least here in the U.S.).  

They've cooperated, met, reorganized.  They've trained, drilled, coordinated equipment and protocols.  They've met each other, and they keep working to refine things.  

Not all of these professionals have judged that a centralized "we all sit together" emergency response center will work for them.  I trust their judgement.  They may have better things to do with all their budgets than to duplicate their high-tech equipment in an additional location, or they may just have come to the determination that the way they have organized will work in an optimal fashion for them.  I trust their judgement.  From what I've seen, emergency responders and municipal officials have taken the task of preparing for emergencies, including panflu, very seriously.  How they've designed their response organization is up to them.  

We are not a one-size-fits-all country.  

Centralization of command hasn't proven to be a cure-all for mankind's woes, certainly.  

Kobie, maybe you should attend a few local meetings of your community's first responders, emergency managers, and others involved in emergency response. I think you'd be impressed if you did that these people are busy every day improving their organizations, and look constantly for ways to organize them better.  If they haven't centralized themselves into physically centralized EOC operations centers, there are good reasons for that.  You should attend those meetings (the public is always allowed to attend under most state FOI laws, even if they are not allowed to comment at the meeting).  It might reassure you that things are already on the right track with regard to establishing coordinated emergency response plans. They are further down that road than you might think.  They've simply looked at all the options for operational structure and chosen a different model than the one you suggest.  Nevertheless, they are busy, and active, and are always trying to make their plan the best it can be.  

well ya know Pixie
...um, shame on them for not letting us know what their plans are. If there IS something going on in my local area, beyond the few plans that I am aware of at the present moment, then it would be really smart to clue us all in since we are the people that they will be attempting to respond to.

Still, to this day, I have asked very specific questions of my emergency management director about emergency shelter provisions and have not received an answer.

In my little town there has been no notification, no direction, no information given other than I have provided to my neighbors. If it is a county response, then sorry, duplication will be needed in my little neighborhood if we are talking CAT5+.

So what's the big secret?

If they are plans, if there is a response that will CMA I NEED to know it now so that I don't spend more time and effort doing anything that isn't needed.

You are right, this is not a game or an exercise, lives and souls - that is what we are talking about on both the citizen side AND the EMS side.

BUSY AND ACTIVE quite possibly. Busy, active and VISIBLE...not enough to stake my life on and the lives of those i hold near and dear.

Pray for all people and rulers
1Timothy 2:1-4

(Extending the culture of life.)


[ Parent ]
What I have seen scares me.

 What I have seen in the paper and on TV spawned this diary.

 They showed people working in a converted conference room very close together - definatly not five feet apart but shoulder to shoulder with littel walking room.

 They showed laptops with paper tapped to them saying "Info", "Command", "Operations", "Finance", "logistics" etc.

 There was no GIS display nor maps on the wall.

 They showed a cramped room where people did not have room to put books - except for under their laptops.

 Pixie perhaps this is the room and environment they want to have for six weeks. I would not want to work there.

 Because the EOC will not be getting help from outside they must IMHO make the most of what the city still has.

 Also our own city EOC orders out for food. Let me confess ignorance. They may have MREs or tins of food in the back.

 Lastly - the EOC exsited before me. I know that I am an amature comming in on professionals at work.
 A pandemic will be different.
 It will last longer and recovery will be slower.
 Help will not arrive from the outside.
 There will be a slow breakdown in the city that can be managed but not prevented.
 Systems will be overwhelemed and 30% of the EOC staff will not show up.
 Unlike 9/11 & Katrina where GIS, Fire and EOC volunteers arrived to relive people this will not happen.
 H5N1, like Antrax, is a deadly killer only worse. 9/11 infected 17 killed 5 or 30% CFR. (source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2... was limited to letters. Anthrax had a cure Cipro. H5N1 has 60%+ CFR, could be anywhere and has no cure.
 Hence H5N1 could be in the EOC or taken home from it.

 These are just some of my concerns.


[ Parent ]
what i haven't seen scares me
and I have truly tried to see.

Pray for all people and rulers
1Timothy 2:1-4

(Extending the culture of life.)


[ Parent ]

  I laughed when I saw your post.

  I rember what Admiral Agwunobi who used to work for Secratary Mike Leavitt said "I can not lead people who are unable to follow"

 Normaly a disaster happens and there is not much people can do. Hurricanes, tornados, earthquakes destory infrastructure.

 H5N1 will be more like a neutron bomb. All the buildings are fine but all the people are dead.

 I hear Pixie and do not discount her words but it is what we have seen and not heard that scares us. The TV shows a room that is starting out as a pressure cooker. The news does not say Prep for two weeks or more.

 Good point.


[ Parent ]
And I did call myself "unofficial"    lol

What struck me as horribly ironic, here I am calling for a deep bench...

I don't think the county ems people are going to come and help us in Monson. Not when we are all experiencing this at the same time. Our western MA MRC still needs a deeper bench. I find that the word medical scares citizens away from helping out. It sounds beyond my capabilities since I am non-medical.

I know how large our own ems department is in town so I don't think that they will be available to sustain an effort for too long on their own. I also know how large each essential department is. I know how overwhelmed some of these folks are already because I have personally spoken to them myself.

Gee whiz, I am not calling for an overthrow of currently established protocols. But if you all don't want our help and you think you can do it without us helping and you all will show up to each conflagration that flares up, large and small...and communicate all that is going on everywhere so that I am able to cooperate with you all...by all means "Take the Lead". I will follow

...to a point.

When my best interests are not longer being looked after by government I will look after my own. J. Edgar Deitz of the Indiana Department of Homeland Security summed it all up by saying "you are on your own" at a national conference with Michael Leavitt in attendance on March 24, 2006.

If I am on my own and you are asking me to trust you (meaning EMS and public health departments) with my life and the lives of my family members AND you can guarantee a sustained effort on my behalf I want assurance of this.  As soon as possible to please.

Right now, in relatively good times, hospital emergency room waits are long. And staff seems somewhat skittish to serve in a pandemic.

Perhaps we need an Citizen-based EOC AND a professional public health/EMS EOC! Deep bench provided by us citizens, as we are able to anyway.

But as I said, if you guys think that you have it all covered then I can put this canvas away and go back to work and earn some money for a change.

Pray for all people and rulers
1Timothy 2:1-4

(Extending the culture of life.)


[ Parent ]
Yes Pixie you are right - they have done the planning for a nice mild flu.

Tell the truth

[ Parent ]
Secretary Leavitts EOC picture from hurricane Ike
 Here is a picture of an EOC from Secretary Leavitts blog page.


Notice how cramped it is.

Can you imagine working here for five or more weeks during a pandemic?

 This picture is typical of many I've seen.

 I'm only bringing it up because it can be improved upon.


Apples and Oranges
Or, in this case, hurricanes and pandemics, are very different things.  The proper approach for hurricane management (an EOC) might be the wrong approach for pandemic management.  In a pandemic, the EOC concept might do far more harm than good, much as I know you don't want to believe that.  

[ Parent ]
EOC not the best solutin

 The EOC may not be the best model as most EOCs are way to cramped and have a temporary mindset.

 What do we replace it with?

 I like the comments of having people work from their desks where they have the stuff they are familure with. Then I think about heating / colling a large building for 20% or 10% of the people. 30% to 40% absenteeism due to school closuers, a large section telecommuting and the rest working split shift for social distancing and coverage.

  IMO - we will be playing the pandemic by ear. There is no model to go by. No one to talk to about the last time a 21st century city and population was hit by a 2% CFR pandemic. I'm still thinking 15 to 60% CFR but there are many who still think 2%.

  The US, UK and other NATO forces train and practice for the battle not yet even on the horzion. One thing that has not changed is the CIC. Collaboration where those in charge can talke together and make quick descisions remains important. Hence my sticking with an EOC. Actually a greatly expanded EOC.

 Two articles

 BTW - Lieutenant General Paul Van Riper is somewhat of a legend. He believes the best approach is to look at a situation, discard the noise, make a descicion based on the facts while they are still true and before things change.

 Hence the need for communication, validation and authentication before, before, execution. So often descisions are based on old facts that are no longer valid.

 Just a few thoughts.


[ Parent ]
Self Contained EOC
In a pandemic the "ideal" EOC would be as self contained as possible. By self contained I mean comfortable work stations where those working long hours have the separation needed to keep from sharing germs as much as possible, yet still work effectively. There should be places where they can prepare & eat meals, a living quarters with quarters for sleeping, bathing, and even relaxation and exercise. Also air locks (even for delivery areas), generator power and a separate water supply. This should be a place where in a severe pandemic those needing to hold civilization together can if necessary be isolated from the rest of the world enough to prevent them from becoming ill as much as is possible. Is this possible? No, certainly not everywhere but if there were at least one or two places like this in every state it might make a difference. Can we do this? Absolutely, if we as a nation approach the idea with a "can do" spirit and put the money in place to make it happen. These facilities could be stationary and in use all the time but with the right building design to account for storage of supplies and the plans in place to "lock down" on very short notice. They could be something as simple as setting aside a separate floor or a basement in existing or planned government buildings to accommodate the living spaces, designing in features such as power & water supplies, storage spaces, and the air locks. Also in designing the work stations themselves.

"When the last individual of a race of living things breathes no more, another heaven and another earth must pass before such a one can be again."

- William Beebe, 1906

Selfcontained EOC built on what you have

 Lets run some numbers and see if and how. Granted I believe in it but the numbers count.

 Air locks & decontamination area - duhhh!!!  I would do that at home but forgot to apply it to an EOC.

 First - the building doe not have to be bullet proof, hurricane or earthquake resistant except as local code requires. Taking over a convention center or hotel would work. Many real world battlefield command posts are still tent structures.

 Second - social distancing, space and common working picture. Each persons desk is personalized not only for efficiency but to remember who they are working for - family and friends. Manuals, phone numbers, saved files, saved Internet favorites, laptop power and connections, notes, spare disks and room to spread out from each other.

 Wireless - no. Its a judgement call but for now wireless has everyone working off of one slower connection instead of one or more fast LAN ones. Wireless drains batteries, has standards problems and should be reserved for portablility.

 Third - displayes. A report of power outage in one neighborhood also means sewage lift pumps, traffic lights, business and homes are down. People who need electricity for medical reasons or to pump well water are affected. One report affects multiple departments.

Just a start,

[ Parent ]

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