Full Case Study
In the Pacific Northwest, the arrival of winter weather can bring about significant challenges, particularly for urban areas unaccustomed to handling extreme cold, snow, and ice. For emergency response agencies, effective coordination and resource allocation are critical during such crises. This case study explores how an agency in the Pacific Northwest utilized Intterra, a cloud-based situational awareness platform, to support its response efforts during a severe winter weather event.
The agency in focus serves a major city in the Pacific Northwest, known for its mild climate. However, during the winter of 2024, the region experienced an unprecedented icestorm, leading to widespread disruption of transportation, power outages, and safety concerns for residents. Recognizing the severity of the situation, the city declared a state of emergency, prompting the agency to mobilize its resources rapidly.
The agency faced several challenges in responding to the winter weather crisis:
Limited Staffing: The agency’s existing workforce was insufficient to handle the scale of the emergency, requiring additional personnel to be deployed quickly.
Resource Allocation: With multiple incidents occurring simultaneously across the city, prioritizing resource allocation and coordination became a daunting task.
Communication: Effective communication among various response teams, including fire, police, and public works departments, was essential but posed challenges due to disparate communication systems.
To address these challenges, the agency turned to Intterra, a software platform designed to enhance situational awareness and streamline emergency response operations. Leveraging Intterra’s features, agency leadership was able support their need for additional resources and use the Intterra data to support their request for emergency declaration resulting an immediate funding order. The agency used the following Intterra features to support their efforts:
Real-Time Mapping: Intterra provided real-time mapping capabilities, allowing the agency to visualize the extent of the icestorm’s impact, identify areas of high priority, and allocate resources accordingly. GIS layers integrated into the platform facilitated decision-making by displaying critical infrastructure such as hospitals, shelters, high-priortity areas and road networks.
Resource Tracking: Intterra enabled the agency to track the location and status of its personnel and equipment in real-time. By monitoring the deployment of assets, incident commanders were able to gain comprehensive situational awareness. By monitoring the precise locations of their crews, the agency could quickly ascertain their deployment status and allocate resources accordingly. This capability not only facilitated efficient coordination of response efforts within the city but also enabled the agency to collaborate seamlessly with neighboring jurisdictions. By analyzing response times in both their own jurisdiction and neighboring areas, the agency could identify resource constraints in real-time and request additional resources and funding to address critical needs. This proactive approach to resource management allowed the agency to adapt rapidly to changing conditions and ensure the effective delivery of emergency services throughout the crisis.
Interagency Collaboration: Intterra facilitated seamless communication and collaboration among different response agencies operating within its city and neighboring jurisdictions. Through the platform’s interoperable tools, responders could share situational updates, coordinate joint operations, and maintain situational awareness across stations, departments, jurisdictions, and PSAPs.
The adoption of Intterra significantly enhanced the agency’s ability to respond effectively to the winter weather crisis:
Efficient Staffing: By utilizing Intterra’s resource tracking capabilities, the agency efficiently deployed additional personnel from their agency and from neighboring jurisdictions to bolster its workforce, ensuring adequate coverage across affected areas.
Enhanced Coordination: Intterra’s real-time mapping and communication features facilitated seamless coordination among various response teams, enabling them to prioritize incidents, allocate resources strategically, and mitigate the impact of the icestorm on public safety and infrastructure.
Improved Decision-Making: The actionable insights provided by Intterra’s situational awareness tools empowered incident commanders to make informed decisions in real-time, leading to more efficient and effective response efforts.
In the face of a severe winter weather event, the agency in the Pacific Northwest successfully leveraged Intterra to support its emergency response operations. By harnessing the power of real-time mapping, resource tracking, and interagency collaboration, the agency was able to overcome staffing challenges, allocate additional resources effectively, and coordinate a unified response effort. The case study underscores the importance of adopting innovative technology solutions to enhance preparedness and resilience in the face of natural disasters and other emergencies.