Expect the best when planning for the worst: Emergency Management in the GIS Consortium

​One of the core beliefs at MGP is to actively improve upon the past. But how do we make improvements to a process when its very nature is unpredictable? Such is the challenge with emergency response planning, as no two incidents are the same and emergencies are always unexpected. However, we learn a lot with each emergency event, and leverage this information to develop new tools for use in all GIS Consortium communities.

One of the challenges that every community faces in an emergency event is how to communicate with residents. One way to do this efficiently is to have a standard template that can be filled in with event-specific information at a moment’s notice. With this goal in mind, a team of MGP staff members reviewed the data from past severe weather events to look for patterns. Those commonalities were documented in GIS format and put into a template with a standardized naming convention and symbol set. Now, every community has a ready-to-use environment for collecting and storing information, which will save the time it would take to create something from scratch. In turn, communities can publish relevant information in that template to residents