Large-scale coordination in emergency response

Laura G. Militello, Laurie Quill, Emily S. Patterson, Robert Wears, Jill A. Ritter

Research output: Contribution to journalConference paperpeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


Coordination is a key element in emergency response. This paper focuses on coordination as it occurred in a county-level Emergency Operations Center (EOC) during a simulated tornado. The EOC is responsible for locating, purchasing, and transporting resources to the disaster scene(s). The EOC is an ad hoc team made up of government agencies, private companies (i.e., hospitals, utilities, etc.), and non-governmental agencies. These decision makers come together to engage in creative problem solving in order to solve often complex logistics and coordination problems generally under intense time pressure during a rapidly evolving situation. Lessons learned from this exercise highlight coordination challenges including asymmetric information flow, natural fault lines, roles and functions, co-location benefits, emergent leadership, fragmented situation awareness, information displays, room design, and quick reference tools.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)534-538
Number of pages5
JournalProceedings of the Human Factors and Ergonomics Society
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2005
Externally publishedYes
Event49th Annual Meeting of the Human Factors and Ergonomics Society, HFES 2005 - Orlando, FL, United States
Duration: 26 Sep 200530 Sep 2005


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