2011 in Western Mass was scarred by four federally declared natural disasters - a January ice storm, a fatal tornado, the damaging winds of Tropical Storm Irene and October's freak nor'easter.
"We pulled from other state agencies to use some of their equipment, it didn't necessarily work the way we wanted it to," said Regional Manager of Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency Pat Carnevale.
Since the destruction, MEMA officials like Carnevale began working on a new way to deal with disaster.
CBS 3 got an exclusive look inside MEMA's new Mobile Emergency Operations Center. It's changing the way local and state officials now look at natural disasters.
The high-tech unit is 6 weeks old and it boasts new technology that could aid cities in the midst of chaos.
"The table is set up so everyone can sit around it, they all have their own phones they all have their own computer," Carnevale said, "this gives the community the opportunity to have all their public safety officials, police, fire, EMS, DPW, emergency management director, the ability to make decisions together."
The mobile operations center is equipped with mapmaking technology, a smart monitor, Wi-Fi and it can be used as a hub for cell and satellite phones.
They're details that ease the process immediately following an emergency.
"If anything does happen in the city, all the right entities are sitting at the table together," Carnevale said.
In a disaster, the most basic of luxuries can become far and few between. That's why MEMA also rolled out a mobile communications support trailer.
"One reason was to replace a dispatch center that may be devastated," said Communications Manager Steve Staffier.
That's a predicament Monson police found themselves in, when their police station was among the tornado's destruction. MEMA officials say with the technology that they have now, response will be more effective.
"This trailer has the ability to be a re-trans site and provide some needed communications coverage either by phone, computer or radio," Staffier said.
The Mobile Emergency Operations Center is about $150,000 to $200,000. They are working on getting a second one that would remain in Western Mass.
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