In February 2012, OODAkits underwent a user acceptance test by FEMA conducted by the Supporting Technology Evaluation Project (STEP), managed by the Preparedness-Technology, Analysis, and Coordination (P-TAC) Center, which is is operated by FEMA’s National Preparedness Directorate.
One of two primary objectives was to evaluate OODAkits’ incorporation of NIMS (National Incident Management System) concepts and principles. Below are some of their key findings:
“OODAkit is consistent will all NIMS criteria; it is consistent with Emergency Support, Hazards, Preparedness, Communications and Information Management, Resource Management, and Command and Management.”
“OODAkit applies to all Emergency Support Functions (ESFs) (Transportation; Communications; Public Works and Engineering; Firefighting; Emergency Management; Mass Care, Emergency Assistance, Housing, and Human Services; Logistics Management and Resource Support; Public Health and Medical Services; Search and Rescue; Oil and Hazardous Materials Response; Agriculture and Natural Resources; Energy; Public Safety and Security; Long Term Community Recovery; and External Affairs).”
As related to communications and information management:
“OODAkit provides access to critical information. The system allows for on- and off-scene personnel to have the same information about the incident, and it offers an incident overview by collating and gathering information that enables users to make effective decisions.”
How Does STEP Relate to Grant Programs or Guidance?
SAFECOM Guidance on Emergency Communications Grants provides guidance on eligible emergency communication activities and equipment standards. The guidance is directed toward grantees, including State, local, and tribal recipients. Within the SAFECOM guidance, STEP is referenced as follows:
“Grant funded systems, developmental activities, or services related to emergency response information sharing should also comply with the NIMS Supporting Technology Evaluation Program (STEP).”
STEP provides the necessary testing through an accredited laboratory to support evaluation of NIMS concepts and principles and associated technical standards.