Wednesday, January 27, 2010

New emergency management information system

We've been holding off on buying a fancy computerised system for managing emergencies here in Porirua, as we knew there were plans for a new system at the national level, and consistency is really quite important.

And finally, a decision has been made. This is from today's media release:

Minister of Civil Defence John Carter today announced that E-Sponder will supply an electronic emergency management information system (EMIS) for use in the National Crisis Management Centre (NCMC) and by civil defence authorities.

The NCMC, below ground under the Beehive, is designed to be a national operations centre. From there the responses of the hundreds of organisations likely to be involved in a large scale emergency can be co-ordinated and a national emergency can be managed.

“This EMIS will help us to better manage emergencies,” Mr Carter says. “It will allow us to more quickly and accurately create, and then keep up to date, what is known as a ‘common operating picture’. We use that to ensure that all agencies involved have the same understanding of the situation, who is doing what, where resources are and what decisions are being made.

“That means we will have a faster, better co-ordinated response and, ultimately, a safer, more resilient country.”

Mr Carter said that E-Sponder is an off-the-shelf system already used by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade, in the Australian federal government and by some United States state and county governments to manage information during emergencies.

We can expect to start seeing it mid-2010.

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