Sarpy County Emergency Management Utilized Extranet Collaboration Manager 2010 to Enhance Flood Rescue and Relief Efforts

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When Sarpy County, Neb., experienced historic flooding of the Missouri River last summer, the county’s emergency management team utilized Extranet Collaboration Manager (ExCM) for SharePoint Server 2010 and SharePoint Foundation 2010—a software add-on that enables users to collaborate more effectively with individuals outside their organizations—to help coordinate rescue and relief efforts. As a result, emergency management officials were able to quickly share time-sensitive information with entities helping manage the emergency, as well as grant site-access permission to individuals who had responsibility for updating the county’s incident action plan.

ExCM has proven to be a tool we are going to continue to expand on...we’re finding more and more uses for it.

When Sarpy County, Neb., experienced historic flooding of the Missouri River last summer, the county’s emergency management team utilized Extranet Collaboration Manager (ExCM) for SharePoint Server 2010 and SharePoint Foundation 2010 to help coordinate rescue and relief efforts. About 50 homes directly affected by the flooding needed to be evacuated, and another 2,000-3,000 residents were potentially threatened as well.

ExCM, a software add-on created by SharePoint Solutions, enables users to collaborate more effectively with individuals outside their organizations by providing them with access to important information while still maintaining security, audit ability and accountability.

Sarpy County Emergency Management previously had used ExCM for a project, but now it played an even greater role in collaborative efforts during the flooding, enabling emergency management officials to quickly share time-sensitive information with entities helping manage the emergency—such as law enforcement, fire, emergency management, NDOs (Non-governmental Organizations) and Offutt Air Force base—as well as grant site-access permission to individuals who had responsibility for updating the county’s incident action plan.

“Anything that was relevant to the incident, we shared on the site,” said Sarpy County Emergency Manager Lynn Marshall.

SharePoint Solutions also provided pro bono assistance when P.J. Biodrowski, system/network administrator for Sarpy County, contacted the company for help with setting up a new SharePoint extranet site to improve coordination of rescue and cleanup efforts.

Prior to using ExCM, Sarpy County Emergency Management utilized its own file-serving system, sharing documents by e-mail or by printing hard copies. One of the challenges with its old system was making the latest information available ahead of time for briefings.

“This tool [ExCM] allowed us to do that,” Marshall said. “Others could log on, open up the current incident action plan…get up to speed and print the pieces they wanted to have in front of them for the briefing.”

ExCM empowered Marshall to work directly with people who had ownership in the incident action plan without a time lag and without creating extra work for the county’s information systems team.

“ExCM has proven to be a tool we are going to continue to expand on...we’re finding more and more uses for it,” Marshall said. “We are just getting started with what we think it can do for us.”

Based in Nashville, Tenn., SharePoint Solutions is a nationwide leader in expert-led public classes on SharePoint products and technologies. The company’s software division professionally develops high-quality commercial add-ons for SharePoint. For more information about SharePoint Solutions, visit http://sharepointsolutions.com.

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DON BEEHLER
ABC&D COMMUNICATIONS
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