Emergency responders and search & rescue personnel who need a common operating picture for coordinating disaster response across multiple agencies in rapidly changing conditions.
Texas Task Force 1 (TX-TF1) is an urban search and rescue team head-quartered in College Station, Texas. TX-TF-1 serves as one of 28 federal teams within the FEMA Urban Search and Rescue Response System. In the wake of Hurricane Harvey, TX-TF1 was responsible for overseeing the efforts of nearly 2,500 rescue workers from multiple agencies.
To create a common operating picture and execute a seamless, real-time command structure across multiple agencies, TX-TF1 deployed GeoSuite™ – a web-based, advanced situational awareness and information-sharing solution from nFocus Solutions.
“My vision is a seamless command structure in which GeoSuite™ is used by all emergency responders, every time.”
The Challenge: Hurricane Harvey
In August of 2017, Hurricane Harvey swept through Southeast Texas. In response to the overwhelming destruction; local, state, and federal organizations deployed more than 20,000 rescue workers. Texas Task Force 1 (TX-TF1), one of 28 federal teams within the FEMA Urban Search and Rescue Response System, was responsible for overseeing the efforts of nearly 25% of these rescue workers.
Jeff Saunders, Director of TX-TF 1, and Katie Breland, TX-TF1 Planning Team and Training Manager, note that Harvey actually represented three separate disasters in one. First, it presented as a Category 4 storm, bringing fierce winds off the Texas Gulf Coast northeast of Corpus Christi. Second, it dropped torrential rain in the greater Houston area and surrounding counties, resulting in unprecedented flooding. Finally, Harvey struck deep East Texas with heavy flooding. Giiven the severity and reach of the damage, TX-TF1 needed a solution that would enable a large, multi-agency group of emergency responders to share and act upon rapidly-changing situational information in a coordinated way.