Environmental Health and Safety recently opened Illinois State’s first dedicated Emergency Operations Center (EOC) on campus.
The University’s new EOC was designed to maximize coordination and enable reliable communications among decision-makers who coordinate the University’s response and recovery to emergencies and disasters. This same space also serves as the University’s command post during planned events, such as football games, commencement, and concerts.
At its core, the EOC supports three functions:
1. First responder support and coordinated operations
The EOC is designed to support first responders’ work in locating and providing resources needed to successfully perform tactical operations. Resource examples may include: University emergency response teams, road closures, food and drink, shelter setup, information broadcasts, etc. When University teams, departments, and resources are required, the EOC will coordinate those logistics and operations.
2. Information analysis and communications
The EOC is also designed to facilitate real-time analysis of information so assembled personnel can make informed decisions and reliably communicate pertinent information to the University community and media outlets. Inputs into the EOC include: television broadcasts, Internet sites, two-way radios, phone systems, cameras, video conferencing, social media, digital maps and reports from emergency response teams.
3. Emergency planning
Finally, the EOC is designed to foster planning. While emergency first responders are addressing the immediate life-safety tactics of an incident, personnel gathered at the EOC are attempting to stay ahead of the unfolding emergency by anticipating needs and planning for various potential outcomes.
When not being used to support emergency operations, the EOC space will be utilized to host training sessions, small drills, and other meetings.
This facility is a furtherance of the University’s commitment to the safety of its students, faculty, staff and guests as articulated in the institution’s strategic plan, Educating Illinois.