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Texas Emergency Management ONLINE 2016 Vol. 63 No. 9

A Test of the Texas Emergency Tracking Network System

Emergency Tracking Network

The Texas Emergency Tracking Network (ETN) was put to the test during this year's Air Evacuation Exercise. The Texas ETN system has been newly rebuilt by Texas Division of Emergency Management (TDEM) Critical Information Systems (CIS) and was deployed for this year's hurricane season. This system uses custom boards in WebEOC and a custom-built mobile application to allow for real time data entry and accountability for the movement of people, pets and assets across vehicles and locations. This mobile application is available for download for both Apple and Android devices through their respective app stores.

The use of ETN in this exercise was coordinated between the Texas State Guard, the State Operations Center, TDEM Field Response, local jurisdictions and CIS. Training was conducted onsite and through the app via a training video produced by the TDEM Preparedness Section proving how simple and intuitive the application is to use. The ETN system was deployed to all locations and transportation points, and performed successfully in its first widespread deployment. Equipment used at the tactical level in this exercise was primarily iPhones and iPads, which were provided and supported by TDEM CIS. In the operation centers, ETN was monitored live via WebEOC.

ETN in use during the 2016 Air Evacuation Drill

The deployment of the ETN system was a success. Users are now comfortable with the system as a whole, since they have learned to use it and have seen it in action. Areas of improvement were also identified to make the system even better, which CIS developers are already building into the next version.

Jeff Newbold
State Coordinator, Critical Information Systems
Texas Division of Emergency Management
Texas Homeland Security
Texas Department of Public Safety

Sam Miller
Response & Development Manager, Critical Information Systems - HQ
Texas Division of Emergency Management
Texas Homeland Security
Texas Department of Public Safety

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