On Thursday, January 24, 2013 several SORT members attended a full-day training at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to become qualified to work in the Emergency Operations Center (EOC).
When the EOC is activated, SORT members may be called upon for a variety of tasks that require an understanding of the organizational structure and systems in place at the EOC. Students heard presentations from each of the main units in the EOC, including the Logistics section and the Operations section. It was fascinating to learn about the equipment and supplies that are available from the Strategic National Stockpile (SNS) at a few hours’ notice in the case of an emergency.
During the training, students interacted closely with CDC employees by engaging in-group exercises. Software demonstrations were also conducted to familiarize trainees with the EOC’s intranet platform.
Finally, the day wrapped up with a tour of the EOC. For those of us who have not yet worked on a response, it was pretty amazing to see such a state-of-the-art facility and know that we are very well equipped to handle a wide range of emergency responses. As a student in the Behavioral Sciences and Health Education department at Rollins, my favorite part was learning about the function of the Joint Information Center (JIC) and the channels through which they handle risk communication. Although no one ever “wants” the EOC to be activated, I look forward to volunteering at the EOC should we be called upon for assistance!
To learn more about the EOC visit: http://www.cdc.gov/phpr/eoc.htm
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Samantha Jacobs is a first-year MPH candidate in the Behavioral Sciences and Health Education department at the Rollins School of Public Health. She has been a member of SORT since fall of 2012.