|Photo by Jim Dickrell
The APHIS Emergency Operations Center (AEOC) is an 8,800 square foot high-tech system on the fifth floor of APHIS headquarters in Riverdale, MD, just outside of Washington, DC.
The Center serves as the Secretary of Agriculture's primary point of coordination during agricultural health emergencies. It essentially allows APHIS personnel to communicate with its field and mobile communications centers across the country, and link into the nation's security system should an animal health crisis stem from a terrorist attack.
It features four 65” screens, 21 high-power computerized work stations, global-positioning time-zone clock displays. AEOC is designed to support 40 APHIS personnel 24/7 during a national animal health crisis.
AEOC has its own independent phone system, a high security room for classified communications, and reserve power that could keep the center operating for 48 hours on its own fuel supply.