Natural disaster events are unavoidable and unpredictable. The best
thing a community can do is prepare for any situation that may arise as
best they can. This means being proactive and creative in visualizing
scenarios and thinking of ways to handle those situations effectively.
It was through this process that the Village’s Human Services Department
decided to contact its geographic information system (GIS) department
to assist them in the event of an emergency.
The Village’s Human Services Department provides a plethora of services
to all Skokie residents from short-term counseling to social services.
One of those services includes assisting senior residents. In the event
of an emergency event, like a flood, being able to quickly identify
those residents who are affected and contacting them to ensure their
safety is important. To accomplish this GIS was given access to a
database of the Village’s vulnerable resident addresses and phone
numbers. These individuals were mapped out and added as a custom layer
in the Village’s mapping application MapOfficeTM Advanced. This allows
the Human Services Department employee to interactively pan the map,
quickly identify the resident, and get that resident’s location and
phone information at the click of a mouse.