E Team, Inc., the provider of collaborative software for crisis management, announced that San Diego County has implemented the E Team solution to manage its response to the recent wildfires there and accelerate assistance and recovery efforts. E Team was deployed in San Diego’s Emergency Operations Center (EOC) and in three separate public assistance centers the day following the outbreak of the fires, and has now become the County’s primary networked collaboration tool, enabling a wide variety of agencies in numerous locations to work together to manage the disaster.
The day after the fires broke out, 22 agencies and 92 people quickly began using E Team to evaluate the situation and plan for the protection of lives and property. E Team’s powerful ESRI-based GIS tools provided responders with real-time mapping capabilities to display affected areas and develop hazard models of possible fire advancement patterns. Red Cross information, such as the locations and status of all temporary shelters in the area, was charted and displayed. Both E Team personnel and other system users were on-site offering support and training. The system was also used to provide information to key decision-makers at the state and national levels. Staff members from the offices of United States Senator Barbara Boxer, United States Senator Dianne Feinstein, and California Governor Gray Davis utilized E Team to monitor the unfolding events.
For the recovery phase of the fires, E Team’s new disaster recovery module was released to aid and assist victims, minimize fraudulent claims, and expedite damage reimbursement. The new system has been implemented in all of the San Diego public assistance centers to coordinate and track food, shelter, clothing, travel, and cash disbursements. Detailed records including information such as resident name, address, parcel number, and FEMA number are kept, with real-time calculations of damages and assistance accessible at any time. The new disaster recovery module also presents satellite imagery of the affected areas and overlays a grid of parcel definitions combined with the most recent County Assessor’s valuation records. This new technology will expedite the evaluation of required structure replacement and accelerate reimbursement to local government agencies. At the time the fires broke out, San Diego County had just completed a year-long evaluation of emergency management software and was in the final stages of procurement.