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Stony Brook University: Prepared for Disaster | Video Wall Solutions

Nov 13, 2017 5:08:00 AM

Stony Brook University: Prepared for Disaster
Five years ago, Hurricane Sandy made landfall along the Eastern Seaboard with winds up to 80 mph. A full moon made high tides 20 percent higher than normal and amplified Sandy’s surge. Stony Brook University experienced power outages, a complete network failure, and widespread communications failures. The winds caused a tree to fall on a building which caused a structure collapse and required a full evacuation of a residence hall. There was a gun point robbery during the storm, and a student death that occurred off campus. Stony Brook University realized they were not as prepared to efficiently manage emergency situations as they would like, so they began the search for a solution that would mitigate risks and facilitate quicker decision making in the future.
Lawrence Zacarese, Assistant Chief of Police and Director of the Office of Emergency Management, wanted a platform to help aggregate various streams of information to be viewed at once in case of another emergency. They needed to consolidate the security infrastructure into an intuitive, responsive control room capable of alerting students, administrators, faculty and first responders in real-time. The platform needed to gather data feeds and bring all the disparate systems together to interact with one another and be displayed on a single LED video wall in the event of an emergency. Displaying all evolving information in a centralized location is crucial to effective decision making.
After Hurricane Sandy, Stony Brook University spared no expense in building an emergency management control room. The challenge at Stony Brook was all existing technologies, cameras, card access readers, fire alarms, burglar alarms needed to work together, but were living in their own independent silos. Bringing these groups together was key to mitigating another disaster situation.
Stoney Brook turned to Hiperwall software. A visualization system from Hiperwall is software-based and hardware-agnostic and can utilize the existing technologies in emergency services, security, and utility groups. The Hiperwall system can take any video source – from any camera – and push it to any location Stony Brook wants. This could be in the situation room, to someone’s phone, computer, or a remote location. The Hiperwall solution has given Stony Brook the ability to have a very streamlined and easy to use console where analysts can take content from any of the computers in the control room and manipulate it on multiple screens in a very straight-forward, user friendly process. In addition to ease of use, another key advantage of the Hiperwall solution is its adaptability:  Since it is a 100% software-based solution, Stony Brook can upgrade or expand the emergency operations room with any technology advances without compromising the system.
The Stony Brook Emergency Operations Center is equipped with LG and NEC displays. In the center is a 3x2 video wall comprised of 55-inch NEC no-bezel displays, surrounded by eight LG commercial-style TVs that provide extra data, social media and television streams. The operations room is the central campus monitoring solution managing 124 buildings, more than 1,000 cameras and the Stony Brook University Hospital and Medical Center on 1,039 acres in Long Island.
Stony Brook may not be able to predict the next weather catastrophe or emergency situation, but it will be ready to activate the emergency operations center at a moment’s notice. Since completing the installation in 2015, Stony Brook has activated the emergency operations room for several situations including fires in campus buildings and potential threats for active shooter situations.


Jonathan Gieg
Written by Jonathan Gieg

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