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National Preparedness System (NPS) component: TractorFax's Incident Management Operational overview

National Preparedness System (NPS) component: 2011 - 2013 DHS/FEMA Strategic Plan Initiative #1 "The whole community approach to emergency operations.

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National Preparedness System (NPS) component: TractorFax's Incident Management Operational overview

  1. 1. 1 A Whole Community Approach to Emergency Management - - - Operational Overview - - - Sharing resources securely across jurisdictional boundaries & disciplinesTraditionally, Incident Management response to natural and human caused disasters was apublic responsibility, but time and experience has proven that government alone cannotand should not manage disaster response. This same experience has also dramaticallydemonstrated that disaster response must be preceded by strong, permanent, pre-disasterplanning functions – a new Concept of Operations (CONOPS).Current incident management systems were developed to address response and recovery,but the pace and reach of technology and proactive CONOPS are constantly exposing thelimitations and additional expense(s) of these systems. At the same time, governments atall levels are challenging stakeholders (both public & private) to move beyond response andrecovery to resiliency focused disaster planning through public/private collaboration. Thesenew mandates require a much more comprehensive approach – a realignment of disasterplanning, beginning with public/private collaboration, pre-disaster planning andpreparation, then onto the response and recovery phases, concluding with after actionreporting.TractorFax Technologies offers a tool that enables all of these new disaster planningmandates to be met while not requiring that agencies abandon their existing incidentmanagement systems. TractorFax enhances and compliments existing incidentmanagement systems by automating their current labor intensive processes. TractorFax iscompletely interoperable with existing systems, thus protecting investments in currentsystems while dramatically expanding CONOPS capabilities; all the while improvingoperational assessments, which in turn enhances situational awareness.“A perfect fit for FEMA’s 2011 – 2014 Strategic Plan Initiative”, TractorFax allowsemergency management practitioners and stakeholders to broaden CONOPS plans beyondthe standard response and recovery mindset. TractorFax’s “open platform” accommodatesCONOPS that recognize the benefits of preparedness planning (public/private coexistence)and automated after action reporting.Recently released, FEMAs 2011-2014 Strategic Plan - Initiative 1 includes the concept of a"whole community approach to preparedness and response". However, current incidentmanagement systems were never designed, developed, or implemented with this new,whole community approach in mind. Hence the creation of cumbersome procedures thatforce Emergency Operations Center personnel to utilize piecemeal, complex processes inorder to accommodate current technology’s missing capabilities, with little commonalityamong disciplines or from one jurisdiction to the next.
  2. 2. 2Today incident management is now a shared responsibility among public, private, and NGOstakeholders beginning at the local community level.2011 – 2014 Initiative 1: “Foster a Whole Community Approach to EmergencyManagement Nationally”:“FEMA recognizes that it takes all aspects of a community (volunteer, faith, andcommunity- based organizations, the private sector, and the public, including survivorsthemselves) – not just the government – to effectively prepare for, protect against,respond to, recover from, and mitigate against any disaster. It is therefore critical that wework together to enable communities to develop collective, mutually supporting localcapabilities to withstand the potential initial impacts of these events, respond quickly, andrecover in a way that sustains or improves the community’s overall well-being. Howcommunities achieve this collective capacity calls for innovative approaches – from acrossthe full spectrum of community actors, including emergency management – to expand andenhance existing practices, institutions, and organizations that help make localcommunities successful every day, under normal conditions, and leverage this socialinfrastructure to help meet community needs when an incident occurs.The challenge that Whole Community presents is: What is the technology piece thatwill integrate public, private, and NGOs stakeholders allowing their collaboration andcoexistence, while centralizing and sharing their resources and people skills acrossjurisdictional boundaries and disciplines on a pre-determined basis in a “bottom up”approach?An Arkansas based company, TractorFax Technologies, LLC, has developed a deploymentready, NIMS compliant IT platform which answers this challenge and allows county levelemergency response officials to achieve their shared objectives - the ability tocollaboratively centralize, inventory, and share resources across jurisdictional boundaries.The system also provides the ability to immediately escalate an event to neighboringcounties, state, and regional levels should the need arise.Authorized users (TractorFaxers) can integrate, centralize, preplan and share inventory;quickly identify, deploy, and track local resources and people skills; credential, manageinventory, invoice for reimbursable assets used during an emergency, and supportvolunteer and donations management. Beginning at the local level, TractorFax supports acollaborative “bottom up approach” that works.Among other benefits, such control eliminates the influx of inappropriate assets anddonations. Referred to by emergency managers as the “second disaster”, theseunrequested, uncoordinated assets and donations actually impede emergency respondersas they require a stoppage in the response effort to determine exactly what unrequesteditems have been donated.According to the National Response Framework, the term “response” includesimmediate actions to save lives, protect property and the environment, and meet basichuman needs. The responsibility for responding to incidents, both natural and humancaused, begins at the local (community) level, supported by individuals and public officialsin the county, city, or town affected by the incident.
  3. 3. 3The National Response Framework is the essential playbook in aligning key roles andresponsibilities across the Nation, linking all levels of government, nongovernmentalorganizations, and the private sector. The Framework describes specific authorities andbest practices for managing incidents that range from the serious but purely local, to large-scale terrorist attacks or catastrophic natural disasters.The President approved the National Response “Framework” in January 2008. Itsuperseded the National Response Plan effective March 22, 2008. The Framework commitsFederal, Local, Tribal, and State governments and private sector partnerships in bothstrategic and operational planning with emphasis on preparedness.The National Incident Management System (NIMS) is a companion document that providesstandard command and management structures that apply to response activities. Thissystem provides a consistent, nationwide template to enable Federal, state, tribal, and localgovernments, the private sector, and NGOs to work together to prepare for, prevent,respond to, recover from, and mitigate the effects of incidents regardless of cause, size,location, or complexity. This consistency provides the foundation for utilization of NIMS forall incidents, ranging from daily occurrences to incidents requiring a coordinated Federalresponse.An effective, unified national response requires layered, mutually supporting capabilities.While effective response hinges upon well-trained local leaders and responders who haveinvested in response preparedness are able to achieve shared objectives, and seek outinnovative technologies; at the same time, the Framework systematically incorporatespublic-sector agencies, the private sector, and NGOs.Congressional Special Task Force - Stakeholder Findings…1) “The American private sector must be systematically integrated into the nation’sresponse to disasters, natural and man-made alike. Government alone cannot managemajor crises nor effectively integrate the private sector after a crisis occurs. Buildingpublic-private collaborative partnerships, starting at the state level, is one of the mostimportant steps that can be taken now to prepare the nation for future contingencies”.2) “It is important that local communities be as self-supporting as possible in their crisis-response capacities, putting a high premium on the efficiencies to be gained throughpublic-private collaboration”.3) “Local, state or regional public-private collaborations are vital to filling gaps in homelandsecurity and disaster response. These collaborations mobilize private-sector cooperation—including the supply of assets/resources, volunteers, information and expertise—that strengthens our capability to prevent, prepare for, and respond to disasters”.4) “Whether activating established distribution networks or deploying aid quickly in theaftermath of a disaster, the private sector can play a critical role in securing localcommunities nationwide. The private sector also needs—and can provide in return—disasterinformation, coordination of assets, protection and prioritization of resources/supplies. Afurther benefit is that private sector emergency resources/supplies can improve overallsituational awareness— if they are tied into the local, state and federal systems”.
  4. 4. 45) In order to provide for an effective response, all systems utilized must be interoperable,scalable, and adaptable with one another across jurisdictional boundaries and disciplinesCall for Unprecedented Change… Following the events of 9/11, hurricane Katrina, anda host of natural disasters issues, the Stakeholders and Users suggested changing theNational Response Plan – both structural and substantive. Stakeholders advised Congressthat the National Response Plan was bureaucratic, internally repetitive, and insufficientlynational in its focus, misunderstood by emergency managers, and missing collaborativeoperational capabilities among all stakeholders. “The Federal government should recognize that the private/non-government sectors often perform certain functions more efficiently and effectively than government because of the expertise and experience in applying successful business models. These public-private partnerships should be facilitated, recognized, funded [and]. . . the capability todraw on these resources should inform and be part of Federal, State, and local systems and response plans”.White House report, the Federal Response to Hurricane Katrina: Lessons Learned, February 26, 2006NIMS compliancy…The slides below depict the stringent and demanding criteria of the NIMS STEP evaluationprocess, all phases of which were successfully completed by TractorFax. These slidesemphasize that the NIMS Support Center provides the Incident Management SystemsIntegration Division with tools and services that contribute to the implementation of NIMSacross the country. The second slide gives the road map that should be followed once theSTEP process has been successfully completed. What is the NIMS Support Center?  A Cooperative Agreement for implementation of a NIMS Support Center (NIMS SC).  Partners: U.S. Department of Homeland Security, Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), Incident Management Systems Integration (IMSI) Division and the Justice & Safety Center, Eastern Kentucky University (EKU).  Core Team: Eastern Kentucky University (EKU), Science Applications International Corporation (SAIC), and G&H International Services, Inc. (GHIS).  Purpose: The NIMS SC provides IMSI Division with tools and services that contribute to the implementation of NIMS across the country. 2
  5. 5. 5TractorFax is NIMS compliant. TractorFax Technologies successful NIMS STEP Pilotevaluation has been posted on the Responder Knowledge Base (RKB)( website under Operation Assessment section as “(1) Incident –Resource Management”. The website is the Nation’s premier resource websitesfor Top Officials, Decision Makers, First Responders, the private sector and NGOs. NIMScompliant TractorFax has also recently received approval by the InterAgency Board forinclusion on the Standardized Equipment List (SEL) under three categories; please click on: three SEL categories can be found in the window on the right labeled “KnowledgeLinks” and listed under “Related SEL Items”. Grant writers should reference the TractorFaxapproved SEL National Stock Number from the RKB web site as part of their grant writingprocess.A new era for emergency management practitioners has evolved from the processdescribed above. This new thinking places unmistakable emphasis on best practices for aheightened level of readiness that includes the integration and coexistence of public andprivate sector resources and people skills, prior to an event to support preparednessefforts. The “top down approach”, as is recognized by Administrator Fugate, simply doesnot work. TractorFax supports preparedness, beginning at the community level in a“bottom up approach”, then in a continuum to state and regional levels, should the needarise.Currently those responsible for an effective response must locate and deploy scatteredpublic and private resources utilizing the antiquated and time consuming, processes ofspread sheets, white boards, pop-ups, links, post-it-notes, phone trees, and faxes as bestthey can to accommodate their technology’s missing capabilities.In their defense, emergency management practitioners cannot be experts in every resourcecategory. The reality is that only the actual end users are experts, and not only in FEMA’s
  6. 6. 6120 resource typing definitions, but the many other available resources. TractorFaxeliminates the scrambling to locate desperately needed resources while navigating everchanging vendor and product linguistics, especially complex, high end resources such asheavy equipment. The system allows emergency management practitioners andstakeholders to electronically identify, deploy and track all categories of resources, thusdramatically expediting response and recovery.Additionally, TractorFax allows users to upload key documentation into the system such asMemorandums of Agreement (MOUs), pre-scripted mission assignments, AdvancedReadiness Contracts, Mutual Aid Agreements, owner’s manuals, etc. Hard copies of thisvital type of documentation can be difficult to locate, especially during an emergency.TractorFax places them instantly at the fingertips of emergency managers.Emergency planners will not have to wait for an event to occur before utilizing the incidentmanagement system capabilities of TractorFax. The interoperable system supports theNational Response Framework’s ongoing unified goals; collaboration among all authorizedusers, bi-directional communications, and private sector partnership integration to give justa few examples.TractorFax enables emergency management personnel and practitioners to collaboratepreparedness efforts in a bottom up approach that works, thus supporting the wholecommunity Concept of Operations. TractorFax provides access to a preplanned, centralizedinventory from the vast resources that government, business and NGOs, make available tothem prior, during, and in the aftermath of an event.For more information about TractorFax please contact:David N. GuthrieNational Marketing DirectorTractorFax Technologies, LLC12117 Goddard AvenueOverland Park, KS 66213Office: 913.851.3924Mobile: * 400 Northport * #215 * Cabot, AR 72023 * Ph: 501.259.5007 *