Four case studies of emergency operations centers: Design characteristics and implications

David M. Neal, PhD


Few studies exist on Emergency Operating Center (EOC) location and design. In response to the lack of literature on the topic, this study describes some basic characteristics of four EOCs located in central Alabama. The results of the study show that convenience and availability determine the EOC site selection. The EOCs in the study have dedicated areas for offices, operations, and meetings. In a perfect world, the respondents in the study recommended that EOCs should have sleeping areas, showers, cooking facilities, and restrooms. The biggest challenge faced by the respondents in the study was noise level in the operations room, which hinders communications and decision making. Most have attempted various strategies with some success to tackle this issue. A combination of allotted space, resources, personal experience, and advice from others strongly influence EOC design and configuration.



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