WebEOC Work Group | October Notes

Greetings WebEOC Work Group,

Notes from the October meeting are below, but first we wanted to provide an update and make a point of clarification about one of the meeting items.

The meeting included discussion of a proposed change request regarding Juvare support hours or dedicated services. The City of Houston is no longer looking to make this specific change request, but will still brief on it at next week’s RCC meeting so the region as a whole is aware of options that we have available from the vendor for advanced technical support services should they be needed. We still have our standard support contact which includes the ability to resolve urgent issues with the functionality of the system.

In addition, the process related to change requests may have not been stated clearly during the meeting. This request, and all other change requests, must be approved by the appropriate committee and then the UASI Executive Committee prior to moving forward. In the case of requests related to specific topics such as WebEOC, the relevant work group is usually also briefed so input can be gathered. The briefing on Tuesday was the first step in the change request process, and consideration by RCC and the EC (if approved by RCC) would have happened afterwards; no action had been taken by EC on this request prior to the WebEOC Work Group meeting. We apologize that this was not clarified during the call.

The following items were covered at the October WebEOC Work Group Meeting:

  • Regional and Work Group Staff
    While the Administrator and Programmer positions are vacant, Lisa Spivey is continuing in her role as work group co-chair. She is being assisted by the chairs of the Tech Work Group (Ian Feldman and Lach Mullen) as was done during the previous administrator vacancy. Lisa will remain the guiding force for the work group, and Ian and Lach will assist with meeting setup, note-taking, and other tasks as appropriate. For issues regarding password resets, account unlocking, and basic training, users should contact their Sentinel or Sub-Administrator. If regional incident creation is needed or if there are technical issues that need to be elevated to the Juvare support level, please contact both yaneth.calderon@houstontx.gov and hamilton.howard@houstontx.gov.
  • Juvare Support Options
    While this item is no longer being considered as a change request, information from the meeting is included here for regional reference.
    Juvare offers two options for additional technical support for clients (this is for things like board creation and advanced configuration; the normal support contract covers technical issues and staff at Houston OEM can still create regional incidents when needed). One of these is Dedicated Services, where Juvare assigns a staff member to the client for a specified number of hours per month. For a quarter-time person (40 hours per month), the cost is approximately $76,000. Juvare also offers ad-hoc service hours and service hour bundles. This support option starts at about $160 per hour, with quantity discounts available. The region has used the hour bundle option before for specific work, but has not specifically provided for additional service hours or Dedicated Services due to the gap in the regional administrator position. Houston OEM also noted that they expect the Programmer position to be filled in the near future.
  • Process Review Survey
    A Jetty distribution went out Tuesday (apologies for the first version that said EHCMA on it; this was a technical glitch that is being investigated) with a link to a survey. Last year, the work group was briefed on a document produced by Juvare that indicated that many aspects of our region’s WebEOC implementation had not been updated to take advantage of current features of the system, and that due to changes in administrators over the years there were elements of the system that are not efficiently set up. The work group agreed that it was worth doing a deeper dive into this to scope out what it would entail to address these issues. The first part of this process was a survey developed within the region to address how WebEOC is being used today. The distribution process was delayed due to COVID issues, but the survey went out Tuesday (and can also be accessed here). All jurisdictions and agencies with a Sentinel or Sub-Administrator are asked to submit responses by Monday 30 November 2020 (those without Sentinels/Sub-Administrators can submit too). Reminders will be sent prior to the deadline to ensure that all voices are heard as part of this process. Results will then be brought back to this work group.
  • Training and Exercise Updates
    Yaneth Calderon held a virtual basic user training last week. Additional; training needs should be sent to Yaneth and Hamilton if they cannot be handled by a jurisdiction’s/agency’s Sentinel, though Sentinel/Sub-Administrator training may be placed on hold until a new Administrator is in place. The fall WebEOC drill is on hold until the new Administrator is in place. And Juvare is hosting a free, virtual version of its exchange20 user group conference this week; you can register on the Juvare website.
  • Success and Gaps from Recent Uses
    City of Houston advised that it had contracted with Juvare to add additional internal functionality to WebEOC regarding resource management and situation reporting. The City is currently using emailed 213RRs but wanted to help automate that process; a resource request board was added and is being configured for the City’s ongoing COVID needs. This is separate from the STAR system (it’s designed to handle requests for and allocations from resources in City warehouses), but future integration of the two for requests that need to be escalated may be possible. In addition, the City of Houston added Juvare’s Situation Report board, which is designed to automate some processes in the current SITREP process by displaying current statuses directly in WebEOC (with a moderation feature), while still also allowing for generation of a PDF version that can be emailed to those without WebEOC access who still need visibility on the SITREP. The City of Houston would be happy to do a demo of these at a future meeting once they’re live.
  • Good of the Order
    Lisa, Lach, and Ian will be reviewing the list of meeting recipients and how invites are sent. There are lots of jurisdictions that receive notifications but who do not attend regularly. There may be some dedicated outreach to jurisdictions who do not attend regularly to make sure they are aware of the meetings, are receiving the invites, and have an opportunity to participate in discussion. This will also help identify jurisdictions where the point of contact has changed but that change was not reflected in the invitation list.

The next meeting is scheduled for Tuesday 24 November 2020 at 1:00 pm. A reminder and agenda will be sent out before the meeting.


WebEOC Work Group Chairs