National Mass Evacuation Tracking System (NMETS) in Action

On October 27, 2015, FEMA’s Voluntary Agency Liaisons (VALs), the National Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster (National VOAD), and the DHS Center for Faith-Based & Neighborhood Partnerships co-hosted the 1st Annual Voluntary Organization Partnership Day. This unique event recognized the valuable services and support our voluntary, faith-based, and community partners provide to disaster survivors before, during, and after disasters. Exhibitors and participants were welcomed in the morning by members of FEMA leadership.

As part of the day’s activities, the FEMA Mass Care/Emergency Assistance section conducted a demonstration of the National Mass Evacuation Tracking System (NMETS). NMETS is an evacuation tracking tool developed by FEMA and distributed at no cost to States, jurisdictions, or partner agencies to register and track government-assisted evacuees during a disaster. NMETS can also be implemented to track an evacuee’s pets, service animals, durable medical equipment and personal belongings throughout the evacuation cycle. The goal of the demonstration was to simulate certain aspects of the evacuation process by having event participants (“evacuees”) voluntarily enroll into NMETS (registration processing), providing unique identifiers (barcoded wristbands) for accountability, and scanning them through multiple partner exhibits to represent departure (embarkation) and arrival (debarkation) at different evacuation sites. 158 visitors from 40 organizations, including a human/dog comfort team from HOPE AACR, participated in the demonstration by enrolling in NMETS. Four additional organizations participated by using their own computers to log into NMETS via a local server, and used barcode scanners provided by FEMA to track the “evacuees.”

A key take-away expressed by many participants was that FEMA has developed a simple to use evacuee tracking tool that does not require a dedicated inventory of IT assets to operate, and is offered FREE to states, territories, tribes and their evacuation partners. For more information on the NMETS program, please contact Mark Tinsman (mark.tinsman@fema.dhs.gov), Acting Section Chief, FEMA Mass Care/Emergency Assistance Section.

Did you attend this event or wish to find out more? Share your experiences and photos or learn more about the VAL Partnership Day through hashtag #VOPD15 or contact A.C. Claud (alfred.claud@fema.dhs.gov).

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