Washington Military Department
Disaster Zone Business Re-Entry Application
The Washington Military Department minimizes the impact of emergencies and disasters on people, property, environment and the economy of Washington State by providing trained and ready forces for state and federal missions, including disaster zones around the state when they occur. In this case, their Emergency Management Division needed a new, first-of-its kind system to help local officials manage entry into those disaster zones. Intended for use by officials on-site at an emergency locale, the system needed to be easy to access on mobile devices, intuitive, and provide confirmation for law enforcement that a visitor to the emergency locale had a valid emergency registration with the State.
Provide a state-wide emergency business re-entry application where Washington businesses can securely register their business details, manage and print proof of registration annually, while making certain information publicly available and the whole system easy to manage and scalable
Build a web interface for business registration, integrate with email and pdf generators, and create a public facing portal that exposes only specific details about a company's registration but makes verification of registration easy for users on-site at emergencies
How We Did It
Ensuring user and business needs are met
Our design team tackled the user experience from the standpoint of the business admin, the user entering a disaster zone, and the law enforcement official. Our designers built out a concept that considered each user’s specific needs, including considerations of privacy and data security.
Incorporating seamlessly with existing systems
As expected for an established agency, the Washington Military Department already has significant infrastructure in place to handle identity, storage, communications, and other functionality. We integrated the BRE application with existing Azure infrastructure, the WAMD’s identity provider, and their mail client, maintaining continuity in managing the app for WAMD’s IT and BRE teams.
Balancing business privacy with law enforcement accessibility
To register their businesses, primary contacts would be asked to provide details about the business that were sensitive and/or private and should be protected from public view. Alternatively, law enforcement at a disaster zone would need to see some of those details to verify permissions for those contacts to enter the zone. As a result, we built out a system for WAMD that protects their businesses’ information while simultaneously making only the required details accessible to law enforcement officers.
I have nothing but good things to say about the work Palador did to build the re-entry system. Their work is helping keep people safe in Washington. This application will be instrumental in coordinating response and recovery after our next big earthquake.
Tristan Allen, Private Sector and Infrastructure Program Manager
The outcome was a functional application that allows businesses operating in Washington State to register with the State for access to their businesses in case of emergency. Used across the state by law enforcement agencies responsible for access to disaster zones and incident perimeters, the mobile ready application is helping those agencies grant access to the right people while keeping the general public safe. Businesses can register today to maintain access if their business is ever located within a disaster zone.
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