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Emergency operations center to receive critical upgrades

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 An $800,000 federal grant will pay for the upgrade of the San Francisco Emergency Operations Center which runs without a back-up power supply one of the facility’s “critical weaknesses.”

The federal grant was awarded to the Department of Emergency management to pay for power and communications system improvements of the city’s emergency operations center. It was unanimously approved Tuesday by the San Francisco Board of Supervisors.

The grant comes as a fiscal year 2010 earmark from Rep. Nancy Pelosi. The project will ensure the center has power during a disaster and be equipped with satellite communications between the center and other operations centers throughout the city. The department is contributing $266,667 to the project.

Twenty city departments have operations centers “which provide a critical information link between first responders and EOC during a disaster,” the grant application says. “In the event that conventional communication links are disabled during a disaster, satellite communications between the EOC and the DOCS will enable continued flow of critical disaster management and life safety information.”

The center played a key role most recently with the recent tsunami warnings as a result of the earthquake in Japan.

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