Case Studies

Operation Dragon Fire
NYC Use Case Virtual Test

Review and Lessons Learned

What is Operation Dragon Fire?

National VOAD has partnered with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to develop Operation Dragon Fire (ODF), a data sharing technology solution to aid decision makers during times of disaster. Through this partnership, a talented and dedicated team of volunteers has been convened to help develop and address the communication, governance, partnership, and functional and technical considerations.

New York City Use Case and Virtual Test

On March 22, 2016, ODF hosted a virtual test of the new technology. Nineteen participants from 12 different organizations (including New York City VOAD members, National VOAD members, and other stakeholders) tested different functionalities of the tool, including the volunteer and organization check-in, resource availability, and add contact functions, with great success. These functions allow responders to quickly obtain situational awareness of responding agencies and resources, as well as easily connect with partners. During the two hour test, the website received 2,000 hits with only 27 recorded errors.

Lessons Learned

At the after action meeting, the topics of discussion ranged from policy issues to smaller functionality changes. A great deal of useful feedback was obtained on the topic of user permissions. While the priority should be on organization-to-organization information sharing, there also needs to be access to information for the public in the future. This requires a level of security to ensure that information is not being abused or misused. Another concern raised was that, if resource data is made public there could be speculation regarding the usage of resources. While this is not always a negative, there was some concern among those present, that the speculation could hinder response efforts. Beyond these subjects, most recommendations were small tweaks to the functions of ODF. These included changes to include people as a resource (nurses, etc.), adding the ability to edit and track material resources, and the ability to add multiple administrators to a single organization’s account. This last point is crucial as it involves both privacy rights and ease of use issues. Most at the test agreed that allowing organizations to oversee themselves was the best way to ensure all needs are met.

Next Steps

Overall, the virtual test was a success. Feedback was mostly positive and very constructive, paving the way towards the next ODF use case at the Silver Dragon Exercise in San Mateo, California, on April 14. Thank you again to all who participated. For more information: 703-778-5088