The Chicagoland area was battered with storms during the morning of
June 21, 2011. The strong winds and lightning wrecked havoc regionally.
During the aftermath, Public Safety in the Village of Skokie was busy
taking reports of downed power lines, trees, damaged traffic signals and
street lights. During disasters like this storm, it is highly effective
to be able to map these locations in real time so at any one moment,
Public Safety can pinpoint priorities and allocate the proper manpower.
Mapping falls in the realm of the Village’s Geographic Information
System (GIS). By using the GIS, Village staff can enter address or
street locations and easily associate the data with an actual spatial
location. For example, the Village mapped out all locations of known
trees or branches down following the storm. After placing these
locations on a map, staff was able to allocate manpower to the high
density areas. However, by analyzing the data spatially, the GIS can
paint a picture of where the hardest hit areas are located without
having to analyze The future of GIS in Emergency Management is evolving,
and it is more important now than ever to be able to see real time
data. It allows manpower to be distributed to the proper areas as well
as provides the most accurate look into the current conditions.