CHARLOTTE COUNTY, Fla.-- Charlotte county sustained a lot of damage after Hurricane Charley in 2004. Since, the county has rebuilt its Emergency Operations Center transforming it into a technological nerve hub.
Less than a year after learning some tough lessons from Hurricane Charley, Charlotte County Emergency Management began designing a state-of-the-art emergency operations center.
"Having a nerve center was vitally important. Having that safe place where you can bring your critical people that are making all the moves necessary for the protection of life and property is important," Charlotte Emergency Management Director, Wayne Sallade explains.
The building was actually completed in 50 weeks, ahead of time and under budget. When emergency strikes, from hurricanes to wildfires, the E.O.C.'s command center comes alive. One of the new upgrades, called web E.O.C., allows all emergency crews and other county government departments to communicate electronically, instantly.
Sallade says, "They can access that same status board at any time to ascertain, okay, where are we? Where are we in terms of evacuation? Where are we in terms of say hospitalization? What is the status of our hospitals? Are they open, are they closed? What about road closure?"
Web E.O.C. keeps everyone on the same page. From state officials to utility companies to even the school board, everyone who needs emergency information can be kept up-to-date on the developing situation.
The web E.O.C. system has also been used at Kennedy Space Center and Walt Disney World.