University of Houston Emergency Operations Center

The Safety & Security Committee enjoyed a tour of the University of Houston Emergency Operation Center (UHEOC) on Friday, February 3, 2012. The tour involved a demonstration of the UHEOC in action with a weather-related type of emergency. Kelly Boysen, Emergency Management Specialist, gave a full demonstration of how the EOC operates and what types of data may be needed in a weather-related type of emergency. Kelly Boysen was able to share her experiences working in the UHEOC during an emergency and how beneficial this operation is to the University of Houston. The UHEOC has multiple laptops, projectors, telephones, radio equipment, and utilizes various weather-related websites to ensure that critical data is present at all times. The tour was extremely informative and educational for the committee members.

During emergencies, the Virtual Patrol Room (campus camera monitoring room) is a major part of the operation. The Virtual Patrol Room (VPR) is the site where all the cameras on campus are monitored 24/7/365. Kelly Boysen and Mae Hall (VPR Security Officer) were able to share the advantages of having the VPR as part of the UHEOC. When events happen, every second counts and it�s useful to have both groups in the same space working simultaneously and communicating instantaneously. Mae Hall shared some of her experiences of working in the VPR with the group. She was also able to answer questions about the benefits of having a VPR on campus.