At the new center designed to deal with public health emergencies, staffers gather information via movie-sized screens that can carry eight different feeds at once – from CNN to the CDC. Director of the Department of Health Services Sandra Shewry says this is a milestone for California.
“From here we can make arrangements for public health personnel needed in a disaster zone – we can locate materials and supplies that would be needed and we can coordinate disease investigations, containment efforts and other response activities.”
The center also includes a large phone bank, satellite phones and ham radios, as well as a sophisticated mapping system, that could, for example, pinpoint all working hospitals in a disaster zone. The center cost nearly two million dollars – all of it from federal grants.