New High-Tech State Emergency Operations Center

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(Sacramento, CA)
Tuesday, February 7, 2006

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.