About the Illinois Emergency Management Agency (IEMA) Virtual Business Emergency Operation Center (vBEOC)
Argonne National Laboratory (Argonne) developed the vBEOC App on the Virtual Community Platform (VCP) to create a virtual public/private sector portal for IEMA that allows for-profit and not-for-profit private entities to receive and provide critical situational awareness information before, during, or after disasters.
The vBEOC App aggregates multiple data sources into dynamically configurable, situational awareness dashboards that include information about matters such as road closures, utility service status, curfews, volunteer and donation information, ongoing response actions, weather, and more. The vBEOC App includes all capabilities of the nationally deployed VCP, which provides a single stage for emergency management communication, collaboration, community, and response actions.
The VCP is a privately hosted, cloud-based virtual workspace, located on a secure server at Argonne’s restricted-access Illinois facility.
vBEOC Initiative and vBEOC App
vBEOC has two major components—the baseline Initiative (shared workspace) and the App, which is the Dashboard view. The IEMA–vBEOC Initiative provides a virtual workspace in which users can collaborate and communicate, which includes such standard apps as: Calendars, Contacts, Discussion Boards, Documents, Help App, News, Announcements, Microsoft Lync 2013 (Instant Messaging, Video Conference, Screen Share, etc.), Photo Gallery, and Surveys.
vBEOC App Icons
The vBEOC App offers a user configurable dashboard of situational awareness tools that combines content produced in the vBEOC Initiative’s Standards Apps, as well as external data provided by partners. Content can include information drawn from Geographic Information Systems (GIS), Hyper-Text Markup Language (HTML) pages, Rich Site Summary/Really Simple Syndication (RSS) feeds, and more.
vBEOC was recently piloted during CAPSTONE-14, a regional, multi-state exercise designed to test response and recovery capabilities following a major New Madrid Seismic Zone (NMSZ) earthquake.
In direct support of Presidential Policy Directive 8 (PPD8), CAPSTONE-14 was the culmination of three years of planning and preparedness activities led by the CUSEC Board of Directors. It follows and builds upon lessons learned during the NSMZ Catastrophic Planning Project and National Level Exercise 2011 (NLE11), completing the full emergency management planning, training, and exercise cycle.
CAPSTONE-14 also served as a regional and national model to the emergency management community by incorporating new technologies such as the Mutual Aid Support System (MASS), the Virtual Business Emergency Operations Center (vBEOC), a regional Common Operating Picture (COP), and more.
Highlighted Features for Capstone 14 Exercise June 14th – June 20th