Snohomish-EOCIn the northwest corner of the country, rough terrain and inclement weather keep residents on their toes. Washington’s Snohomish County Department of Emergency Management employees are in the business of predicting, preparing for, and responding to not only environmental disaster situations, but also accident, crime, or terror incidents.

This planning for the unknown requires engineering design support that is both flexible and incredibly durable, so when the county decided to convert an existing warehouse into the new county Emergency Operations Center (EOC), they turned to Salas O’Brien for help. Our team met all of the project’s unique critical technology and infrastructure needs, including designs for structural upgrades, the addition of a new data center, and construction of a new 150-foot antenna tower.

EOCs provide a place for decision-makers to converge, assess unfolding situations, and coordinate responses across the necessary platforms. Depending on the type of emergency, involved groups may include government departments on the local, state, or even federal level, along with rescue workers, environmental experts, police, fire responders, engineers, media, or public relations—all working toward a common goal. Communications, infrastructure, and operating systems need to be faultlessly reliable in order to service the wide range of possible needs within an EOC. Salas O’Brien’s experience at the intersection of critical environments, telecommunications, and government, and the skills of our nationwide team, made us the perfect partner.

Our team’s design emphasized versatile usability for response in emergency situations. Part of the old warehouse space was converted into a new data center housing the EOC’s network and communications equipment, and extensive structural upgrades were made to bring the building up to immediate occupancy standard. The finished facility has a state-of-the-art, 2,600-square-foot operations center, a new media briefing room, and approximately 2,500 square feet of office space.