Recent Vigilant Guard Exercise Utilizes BCG's DisasterLAN Incident Management Software
We were recently on site at the Vermont State Emergency Operations Center in Waterbury, VT during the Vigilant Guard exercise, which took place from July 27 through August 2, 2016. The exercise, administered by the Vermont National Guard and Vermont Division of Emergency Management & Homeland Security, aimed to test the State's response plans during an emergency as well as the training of its responders. Participants included over 5,000 players from Vermont municipalities, state agencies, federal agencies, the military, and other organizations. The exercise utilized our DLAN Incident Management Software, which has been used in the EOC since 2005.
During the exercise, several incident scenarios were simulated including a biohazard emergency, a cyber-attack, and a variety of natural disasters. Players participating in the exercise used DLAN to manage the resources and personnel needed to respond to and recover from these incidents. Call takers entered resource and personnel requests into DLAN's Ticket Manager module, where the requests were then routed to the appropriate roles for fulfillment. By using the system to streamline this process, requests could be tracked and fulfilled more efficiently.
DLAN status boards were projected on various screens throughout the EOC to maintain overall situational awareness. These status boards acted as visual dashboards, displaying the most recent news and information about the exercise. In order to keep information timely and accurate, one staff member was designated as the status board operator and updated the boards regularly.
The screens also displayed DLAN's GIS Common Operational Picture (COP) viewer, which displayed a map of the State and corresponding, location-specific incident data. GIS coordinators on the scene used DLAN's File Importation tools to pull shape file layers and CSV data files into the system, where they could be reviewed and posted directly to the COP viewer. The use of such tools gave users the ability to explore and analyze data on the map, improving overall situational awareness and enhancing critical decision making processes.
The use of DLAN during the exercise highlights the importance of coordination and communication during an incident. DLAN has been used to manage hundreds of emergencies, planned events, and exercises throughout the US and Canada.