Hurricane "Zoey" Exercise - May 25, 2006The State of Florida has been conducting a Hurricane "Zoey" drill this week. Sarasota County participated in their Hurricane "Zoey" table top drill on Thursday, May 25th.
Bob, K9SRQ, and I were at the EOC when it "activated". A briefing began about 8:30 AM. The briefing explained to attendees the "Zoey" scenario and what we were going to be doing as part of the drill.
At 9 AM, the participants broke into two groups. One group staying in the EOC, were given a crash course on the EOC's resource management program, called EISMAX. This program routes information coming into the EOC, to the appropriate ESF's for action.
The other group, was made up of Incident Management Team (IMT - a newly implemented concept) members, who sat down to finalize details of their program. IMT's are the decision making folks responsible for handling particular incidents. They would be operating outside the EOC, but would still be getting information from, as well as feeding information back to the EOC.
The EOC's function has changed slightly ... from handling an entire incident, to becoming more of a central clearinghouse collecting and distributing information to the IMT's, the state EOC, and the public.
A little after after 10 PM, "volunteers" began calling into the call center, and that information was being put into EISMAX for the various ESF's or IMT's to handle. I was working at the ESF2 (Communications) desk, and following a time line (or at least trying, since things were running a bit behind) ... I was entering "radio" traffic into EISMAX - going to the various ESF desks.
We got around to a part in the scenario where we needed to establish communications with Red Cross HQ, where Rich, K3MQH, was "deployed" and standing by. While I was entering stuff into EISMAX, I had Bob do a spontaneous call on 146.730 MHz, just to see who was around (folks normally would be monitoring if they knew something was headed our way). We had 10 check-ins during our impromptu call up.
We wrapped up our activities around noon, and after lunch, the ESF desks were asked to comment on their observations. Our comments consisted of a clarification of ACS functions at the Red Cross and the EOC. We also suggested having a separate ACS designation added to EISMAX to better distinguish what information comes via amateur radio and what comes from the ESF2 desk inside the EOC. Currently, they are both considered the same.
There were lots of new faces in new positions at the EOC, so this was a good test to work out the bugs and get folks (including us) used to the new procedures. All in all, the EM staff was pleased with the results of this exercise.
EC, Sarasota County