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Thursday, 19 April 2012 00:43

An Interview with Henry Jackson of NYC Office of Emergency Management

Written by  Dr. TOM PHELAN

Henry Jackson is the deputy commissioner and CIO of the NYC Office of Emergency Management. He is responsible for information technology, geospatial information systems, logistics, facilities and fleet. He has worked at OEM since 1999.Phelan: What are the essential IT operations that support the office of emergency management?Jackson: Communications are paramount, both internal and external. Support for the operations center, majorly radio with multiple, interoperable channels for situational awareness; traditional voice (including automatic notification systems), email (closely monitored), and data communications. We are working on data interoperability. For example, we had a tornado that took down many trees. Loading tree data from parks and recreation into our GIS system produces good lessons learned. Eight-five percent of geospatial data is in GIS.Phelan: What about external communications with partners?Jackson: Regional partners are important. We are working with New Jersey, Connecticut, and our own NY State Emergency Management Office in Albany on command