Flood disaster response


Over the past few months the Village of Skokie’s Fire and Police
Departments had been preparing for a full-scale flood disaster exercise.
This exercise saw the activation of the Emergency Operations Center
(EOC) at the Skokie Police Department and a number of scenarios that
personnel had to react and respond to. The exercise simulated a flooding
event resulting after 72 hours of successive rainfall, wind damage, and
utility disruption. In preparation for the event, the Village called
upon its Geographic Information Systems (GIS) to prepare maps and
participate in the exercise by mapping storm events in real-time.

To prepare for the disaster exercise, GIS was used to create damage
assessment maps that were given to all personnel in the EOC. These paper
maps highlight critical infrastructure around the Village and allow
responders to record issues that are occurring during and after the
event. In addition GIS was used during the exercise to map out
incidents’ such as street flooding, power lines down, trees down, and
others in real-time. This allowed staff in the EOC to see where
different types of events were occurring and provided them with
information to make informed decisions.