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Supporting Emergency Response Operations using GIS and Modeling. Hazard Mapping and Modeling . Objectives. Explain the development and use of GIS and modeling in supporting emergency response operations.

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Hazard Mapping and Modeling

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Supporting Emergency Response Operations using GIS and Modeling

Hazard Mapping and Modeling

Session 13


  • Explain the development and use of GIS and modeling in supporting emergency response operations.

  • Identify and explain what spatial information and tools are needed in Emergency Response

  • Explain the organizational requirements for GIS support in emergency operations

Session 13

Development of GIS in Modeling Emergency Response Operations

  • GIS has been used by state emergency management agencies in disaster response since Hurricane Andrew in 1992.

  • Remote sensing has been used during the last few years by state and local agencies.

  • Maps are a key element in communicating complex data for decision making and for public information

  • Data was provided to state and local agencies in support of emergency response activities following September 11, 2001.

  • Examples include Airborne LIDAR and high resolution images.

Session 13

GIS Applications in Supporting Emergency Response Operations Include:

  • Hazard detection

  • Identifying vulnerabilities

  • Determining critical needs in the aftermath of disasters

  • Developing evacuation routes

  • Damage assessment mapping

  • Risk perception and communication.

Session 13

Ad Hoc Solutions to Collect Remote Sensing Data

  • The solution for effective collection, analysis and use of remotely sensed data for emergency response, cleanup and recovery from a hazard event is a loosely structured and ad hoc approach.

  • The structure for acquiring and using mapping and modeling data unfolds as the event develops.

  • The window of opportunity for emergency response is very short and roughly 72 hours.

Session 13

Displaying GIS Information for Emergency Operations

  • Disaster forecasting showing the extent and the areas to be impacted by a disaster

  • Vulnerability analysis examining information on critical sites (hospitals, shelters, dams, or other critical facilities for a potential disaster).

  • Damage assessments showing actual impacts

  • Personnel resources including the contact information, location and potential use of resources.

  • Resource inventory providing vital information for supplies, equipment and other items necessary in an emergency response.

  • Critical infrastructure (transportation, utilities, medical and other vital sites for emergency response and recovery).

  • Mass care and shelters

Session 13

Geospatial Data is Needed in the Following Applications

  • Event mapping (prediction and warning)

  • Response coordination and resource allocation

  • Damage assessment

  • Environmental monitoring

  • Risk assessment

  • Risk Communication

  • Relief and resource locations

  • Identification of vulnerable populations

  • Lifeline status

  • Evacuation efforts and status of transportation routes

Session 13

Spatial Information Tools and Technology in Emergency Response

  • Widely available at the state and local levels

Session 13


  • What type of geo-spatial data is needed in emergency response?

    • Transportation infrastructure (accurate street and road coverage with street names and address ranges)

    • Landcover (land-use classifications)

    • Terrain (high resolution USGS DEM using LIDAR)

    • Hydrography

    • Local parcel data with land-use classifications and addresses

    • Demographic information including distribution

Session 13


  • How can the data be obtained to support emergency response activities?

    • Planning and obtaining data prior to a disaster is critical.

    • Other jurisdictions should be contacted for data layers appropriate for emergency response.

    • FEMA will provide data to state and local jurisdictions as part of the overall emergency response.

Session 13

Emergency Impact Data (collected immediately following the disaster event)

  • Weather conditions

  • Flood inundation or nature and extent of the hazard event

  • Status of lifelines and other critical infrastructure (utilities, transportation networks, levees & dams)

  • Damage to buildings, critical property, environmental impacts

Session 13

Time Expectancy of Spatial Data

  • Much of the data is needed within 24 hours of the disaster event

    • In place monitoring is critical to data collection

    • Remote sensing imaging is needed immediately

Session 13

Sources of Remote Sensing Data

  • Digital Globe (Quickbird)

  • Image America

  • SPOT


  • Radarsat



  • Landsat

  • LIDAR from public and private providers

Session 13

Uses of Remote Sensing Data

  • Define the nature and extent of the risk zone

  • Weather conditions

  • Crop, vegetation, building and other environmental damage

  • Status of lifelines

  • Debris characteristics

Session 13

Barriers to Using Remote Sensing Data

  • Price

  • Accuracy of the data

  • Spatial resolution

  • Time to collect and process the data

  • Technical skills of users

Session 13

Barriers to Utilizing Real Time Modeling in Disaster Response

  • Processing time of the program

  • Complexity of data input

  • Technical skills required of the program

  • Spatial resolution of the model outputs

  • Accuracy of the model results (limited if any model verification)

  • Price of the modeling program

Session 13

Successful Applications of GIS and Modeling Technologies

  • Baseline data must be current and available

  • Personnel must be trained

  • Software must be integrated

  • Up-to-date computers

  • Facilitate sharing of digital information

Session 13


  • What advantages do outside providers bring to emergency responses that a designated staff member might provide over designating an internal staff member?

Session 13


  • What types of organizational structure are needed for effective use of GIS in emergency response?

Session 13

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