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US Campus Uses High-tech Center to Keep Students Safe

US Campus Uses High-tech Center to Keep Students Safe
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When Hurricane Sandy swept over Long Island, New York, in October 2012, power was knocked out and traffic lights were inoperable. While driving in her car, Stony Brook University student Vishwaja Muppa, 21, was struck by a police car and later died. The death of Muppa, from India, was one of 53 that were blamed on the storm.

On Stony Brook’s campus, damage was limited and students who sheltered remained safe. But university officials took the hurricane’s visit as a wake-up call and planned a state-of-the-art Emergency Operations Center (EOC).

Stony Brook hired two security technology firms, VCORE Solutions and IntraLogic Solutions, to install equipment and software that would bring separate monitoring and communications systems under one roof.

“All the things we have in different silos, managed by different systems, are imported into one virtual environment,” Larry Zacarese, director of emergency management at Stony Brook, told VOA.

From the command center during Hurricane Sandy, Zacarese had little contact with other parts of the campus or local emergency responders off campus, he said. The new system shows images from cameras throughout campus and projects them on several monitors mounted across a 6½-meter-long wall.

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