When a natural disaster strikes, Saint Lucia’s response is coordinated from the National Emergency Operations Center (NEOC) located at the National Emergency Management Organization (NEMO) headquarters at Bisee. In order to enhance the functionality of the NEOC and support NEMO’s role in responding to the present COVID-19 Pandemic, the DVRP CERC is securing equipment to upgrade NEMO’s entire computer system and office network system as well as video/display and audio equipment.
The information technology equipment and services for procurement generally include computer systems, a file server system and wireless access services and network installation. The proposed procurement will build upon the existing infrastructure at NEMO and incorporate the connectivity provided by the Caribbean Regional Communications Infrastructure Program (CARCIP).
As a result of the procurement, officers will have the latest and up to date systems and software components which will enhance workflow significantly and add necessary redundancy to the infrastructure. The enhanced system will bring about robust server-based centralized storage and control. In the event of a disaster, this configuration will minimize the risk of downtime and data loss. New services such as a VPN will also be added to the system. In the new COVID-19 environment, the enhanced system will facilitate managers and staff working remotely as necessary and will also seamlessly support field work.
The video/display and audio equipment will support the Command Center in communicating critical information internally and to various external audiences. Internally, for instance, the TV/video monitors being installed within the Command Center will facilitate better team collaboration and analysis by allowing simultaneous viewing by multiple persons on a large scale. The equipment can also be utilized to provide live streaming to various audiences, provide advisory notices to the mass public, consult with teams remotely and provide a high-resolution display board.
Through the CERC, the NEOC is also being provided logistics support through the procurement of a 4×4 double cab truck for disaster planning and response applications.
Data Backbone to Support NEOC Strengthened
Good data is at the heart of disaster and COVID-19 management and response. As such, in addition to upgrading equipment at the NEOC, through the DVRP CERC, work will be done to design and build a comprehensive Disaster Information Management System (DIMS) in order to enhance NEMO’s ability to collect, store, access and analyze data. This will ultimately enable NEMO to better fulfill its mandate and support data-driven comprehensive disaster management.
The DIMS will include the following core applications required for NEMO’s work:
- NEMO Contact Management Application
- Volunteer Management Application
- Capacity Building/Training Application
- Memoranda of Understanding (MOU) Application
- The information in the DIMS will be leveraged for multiple planning and response applications such as to:
- Enhance communication within NEMO during and outside of disaster events
- Identify the best person(s) to respond to a particular event
- Identify capacity gaps in NEMO’s volunteer system
- Analyze existing capacity within the NEMO system and develop training and recruitment plans
- Analyze insurance coverage needs and develop insurance coverage policies
- Understand transportation support needs
- Enhance placement of resource persons within the NEMO system based on qualifications and capacities
- Determine best suppliers to meet specific needs post disaster based on defined criteria
- Maximize assignment, management and leveraging of private and public sector partners in a disaster context
- Determine gaps in Memoranda of Understanding
- Identify strategic areas requiring greater collaboration/ partnership.