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Suggested Citation:"Appendix C Preparedness Checklist." National Research Council. 2007. Successful Response Starts with a Map: Improving Geospatial Support for Disaster Management. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/11793.
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Appendix C
Preparedness Checklist

The attached checklist is designed to allow federal, state, county, and municipal governments to assess their use of geospatial information and tools to improve their first responder and emergency management capabilities. Ideally, the committee would like this checklist to be used by the emergency response communities in each municipality, county, and state working together with the state geographic information system (GIS) coordinator. This should also include federal government agencies that are called on to respond to emergencies, such as the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, and the Coast Guard.

Measuring Emergency Management Preparedness: A Checklist to Determine Your Ability to Use Geospatial Information in Emergency Management

Integration

Does your emergency operations center (EOC) have geospatial technology available?

Do you have a permanent workspace or office for your geospatial team?

Is the use of geospatial information integrated into your emergency management operations and used in emergencies?

Suggested Citation:"Appendix C Preparedness Checklist." National Research Council. 2007. Successful Response Starts with a Map: Improving Geospatial Support for Disaster Management. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/11793.
×

Do your written standard operating procedures include the use of geospatial information in your workflow and decision-making processes?

Do you know the name of your state GIS coordinator?

Do you have contact information for the state GIS coordinator and his or her backup?

Does your state GIS coordinator know who his or her emergency management counterpart is in your organization?

Does the state GIS coordinator have around-the-clock contact information for his or her emergency management counterpart and his or her backup?

Do the state GIS coordinator and the state emergency management counterpart (and their respective backups) hold regular meetings to determine any gaps in their geospatial support for your emergency management operations?

Have action plans been developed to bridge those gaps?

Have you established agreements with adjoining jurisdictions and with state and federal governments to share data and products?

Have you established agreements with adjoining jurisdictions and with state and federal governments that determine what data and tools will be used during an emergency?

Have you developed agreements between geospatial professional teams at the municipal, state, and federal levels that identify the roles that each level will play and who will produce what in order to avoid duplication of effort during a large event?

(For the state emergency management agency) Have you worked with the state GIS coordinator to develop an inventory with around-the-clock contact information for GIS coordinators, their emergency management counterparts, and their respective backups in each county or major municipality in your state?

(For the state emergency management agency) Has this information been distributed to the emergency management community and the GIS coordinators in each county or major municipality in your state?

(For FEMA) Have you developed a secure web site with around-the-clock contact information for GIS coordinators, their emergency management counterparts, and their respective backups in each state?

(For FEMA) Has this information been distributed to the federal agencies that respond to emergencies as well as to the emergency management community and the GIS coordinators in each state?

Suggested Citation:"Appendix C Preparedness Checklist." National Research Council. 2007. Successful Response Starts with a Map: Improving Geospatial Support for Disaster Management. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/11793.
×
Human Resources

Do you have a designated geospatial team that is regularly deployed in your EOC for emergencies?

Have you developed an organizational structure for your team that defines the roles of team members (manager, liaison, and technical support staff)?

Does your organization have a geospatial team (away team) that you can deploy to incident sites to assist in emergency response?

Does your organization have a geospatial modeling team established, with scientific expertise in developing various models for plume analysis, hurricane surges, flooding, etc.?

(For state GIS coordinators and the state emergency management agency) Have you worked together to develop a list of additional geospatial professionals (volunteers) in your state (along with their areas of expertise and around-the-clock contact information) who can be called upon to assist in an emergency?

(For state GIS coordinators and the state emergency management agency) Have you worked together to develop a secure web site to distribute this information to authorized users?

Training

Is the use of geospatial data and tools included as part of your emergency training exercises?

Are these exercises conducted more than once a year?

Do your emergency response professionals understand the capabilities that geospatial data and tools offer to improve their ability to plan for and respond to incidents?

Have you established a training program for your first responders and emergency management decision makers on the use of geospatial data and tools in their workflow and decision-making processes?

Are the first responders and emergency management decision makers trained on this at least once a year?

Have you established a training program for your geospatial team in emergency management organization concepts and operational procedures?

Are these responders trained on this at least once a year?

Have you established a training program for your geospatial team in the use of geospatial data and tools during a disaster?

Is the team trained on this more than once a year?

Suggested Citation:"Appendix C Preparedness Checklist." National Research Council. 2007. Successful Response Starts with a Map: Improving Geospatial Support for Disaster Management. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/11793.
×

Does your geospatial team train with predeveloped map templates?

Do you conduct scenario-based training exercises that include geospatial professionals and the use of geospatial data and tools in the emergency management work cycle and decision-making process?

Are the geospatial professional team manager and liaison included in the scenario training exercise meetings and briefings to allow them to understand better how geospatial data and tools are being used in the decision-making process?

Do you conduct these exercises on a quarterly basis at a minimum?

Are the results of these exercises posted to a secure web site so that other authorized responders not involved in the exercise can learn from them?

Have you integrated the use of an on-site geospatial unit (away team) into your training program?

Has your geospatial modeling team been incorporated into your scenario training exercises?

Data Access

Have you developed relationships through the state GIS coordinator with the data custodians and established protocols and agreements, where required, to ensure access to and use of the data you require for planning, training, and emergency response activities?

Have you developed a methodology to ensure regular updates to those data?

Are your geospatial data backed up on a regular basis?

Do you have a full copy of the data?

Do you have copies of the data securely stored in different geographic regions of your state?

Do you have a copy of the data securely stored in a different state or geographic region of the country?

Have you tested your methodologies for rebuilding your servers using the backed-up data within the past year?

Have you tested the process for accessing data from data-sharing partners during simulations to ensure the viability of your methodology?

Have you established a web-based GIS service to encourage rapid access to and delivery of event-based data?

(For FEMA) Have you worked with the state GIS coordinators to

Suggested Citation:"Appendix C Preparedness Checklist." National Research Council. 2007. Successful Response Starts with a Map: Improving Geospatial Support for Disaster Management. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/11793.
×

 

develop a secure web site within each state with an inventory (with around-the-clock contact information for the data custodians) of geospatial data in each state for use in emergency management operations?

(For FEMA) Have you developed links to each of these state inventories and made this resource available to local, county, state, and federal agencies that would respond to a catastrophe?

Data Quality

Do you have geospatial data on your critical infrastructure? Do they include the following:

 

Utilities (water, sewer, electric, gas, and petroleum lines and their related facilities);

 

Telecommunications lines including phones, networks, and cable;

 

Cell and other communication towers;

 

Transportation systems;

 

Shelters;

 

Dams;

 

Petroleum and chemical storage sites;

 

Hazardous waste sites;

 

Fire departments;

 

Police departments;

 

EMS (emergency medical service) districts;

 

Ambulance services;

 

Educational facilities;

 

Medical facilities;

 

Government facilities;

 

Military facilities;

 

Religious facilities;

 

Long-term care facilities;

 

Nursing homes;

 

Day care centers;

 

Animal control facilities; and

 

Animal shelters?

 

In addition, do you have:

 

Imagery;

ZIP code boundary data;

Roads and address data;

Suggested Citation:"Appendix C Preparedness Checklist." National Research Council. 2007. Successful Response Starts with a Map: Improving Geospatial Support for Disaster Management. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/11793.
×

 

Elevation data;

 

Flood zones;

 

Property data;

 

Aquifers and other hydrological features;

 

Data that locate businesses and industry in your state and detail their numbers of employees;

 

Census data;

 

Data on the daytime populations in specific areas;

 

Data on the agricultural industry, including types of crops or animals housed at each site;

 

Data on emergency equipment (pumps, generators, cots, blankets, etc.) or supplies (water, food, etc.) that are ready for deployment during an emergency; and

 

Data from surrounding regions or states?

Has your geospatial data team determined the quality and usability of the geospatial data gathered for emergency response?

Do the metadata provide an adequate description of data quality, including accuracy and currency?

Data Gathering

Have you established a team to identify and gather all geospatial data needed for your emergency response activities?

Has your geospatial data team determined the quality and usability of the geospatial data gathered for emergency response?

Have you worked with your state GIS coordinator to develop an inventory of municipal, county, state, and federal data that you require for use in emergency response?

Does this inventory include around-the-clock contact information for the data custodian or owner?

Does this inventory include metadata documenting and describing the geospatial data?

Does your state have contracts in place for emergency aerial imagery?

Do you have agreements in place to acquire digital images via government or private-sector helicopter, etc., of event sites immediately after an event occurs?

Do you have agreements in place and near-live data feeds from utilities detailing the geographic extent of power outages?

Do you have live or near-live geospatial weather data?

Do you have live or near-live geospatial data on road conditions and capacities or other transportation systems?

Suggested Citation:"Appendix C Preparedness Checklist." National Research Council. 2007. Successful Response Starts with a Map: Improving Geospatial Support for Disaster Management. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/11793.
×

Do you have any near-live data feeds from hospitals or other medical facilities detailing geospatial data on bed capacity or medication availability?

Do you have the capability to track the distribution of your emergency equipment or supplies geographically?

Have you tested your data-gathering methodologies in training exercises?

Do you have a geospatial web-based service application that provides rapid access to your event-related data by regional, state, or federal organizations responding to a large event?

Data Improvement

Has the geospatial data team identified which data require improvements and which data not currently available need development?

Has this team worked with the state GIS coordinator to coordinate the required work?

Do you get updates to your data (not including imagery) on an annual basis at a minimum?

Is the imagery for your state less than five years old?

Do you have a system for improving geospatial data to meet your emergency response requirements?

(For FEMA) Have you worked through the state GIS coordinators to establish a program to identify the needs in each state for data improvement and the creation of new data where none exist?

(For FEMA) Have you developed a mechanism coordinated with the state GIS coordinator to provide funding and resources to assist state and local governments in improving and developing those data?

Information Delivery

Has your geospatial team practiced rapid delivery of geospatial information to meet emergency management decision-making requirements? Can it deliver standard products required by your emergency managers within two hours of an event?

Has your geospatial team developed templates to improve the speed of delivery of geospatial information during an emergency?

Have you developed models depicting the impact of hurricanes or floods on the community, based on the category of the hurricane and the projected height of the flood waters?

Suggested Citation:"Appendix C Preparedness Checklist." National Research Council. 2007. Successful Response Starts with a Map: Improving Geospatial Support for Disaster Management. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/11793.
×

Do you have an easy-to-use on-line application that allows emergency responders at all levels who are not geospatial professionals to make geospatial inquiries to resolve issues?

Do you have automated geocoding capabilities that will allow your geospatial team (or nontechnical staff) to convert address locations to latitude and longitude quickly, to assist rescuers during disasters (such as floods) in locating individuals in need of rescue?

Are your requests for assistance during an emergency tracked in a database and tracked via a GIS application to provide visual analysis of problem patterns, etc.?

Have your geospatial professionals developed agreements with geospatial professional teams in adjacent communities or the state, and at the federal level, to determine the data and tools to be used and shared during disasters?

Have your geospatial professionals developed agreements with geospatial professional teams in adjacent communities or the state, and at the federal level, on the roles that each level will play and the products that will be generated in order to avoid duplication of effort during a disaster?

Equipment and Infrastructure

Do you have up-to-date geospatial software and hardware in your EOC?

Do you have electronic field data collection methods (using Global Positioning System [GPS] enabled handheld computers with wireless communication systems) available to determine the geographic extent of an incident?

Do you have capabilities of obtaining digital photographs of incident sites and transmitting them wirelessly to the EOC?

Does your state have geospatial equipment and data prepared for deployment near an incident site?

Do you have a vehicle (van, recreational vehicle, etc.) that has hardware, GIS software, data, and wireless communication systems installed and prepared for deployment to an incident site?

Has your staff trained in this vehicle during scenario-based exercises?

Do you have the ability to push out or pull in geospatial data or web-based services across the Internet?

Do you have backup satellite communications systems to transmit geospatial data when necessary?

Suggested Citation:"Appendix C Preparedness Checklist." National Research Council. 2007. Successful Response Starts with a Map: Improving Geospatial Support for Disaster Management. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/11793.
×

(For the state emergency management agency and the state GIS coordinator) Have you worked together to develop an up-to-date inventory of geospatial hardware available for use in an emergency (and around-the-clock contact information) in your state?

(For FEMA) Have you developed a secure web site with this inventory and around-the-clock contact information for each state?

(For FEMA) Have you developed a secure, national GIS web-based application to enable data to be accessed by authorized users across the country?

Suggested Citation:"Appendix C Preparedness Checklist." National Research Council. 2007. Successful Response Starts with a Map: Improving Geospatial Support for Disaster Management. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/11793.
×

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Suggested Citation:"Appendix C Preparedness Checklist." National Research Council. 2007. Successful Response Starts with a Map: Improving Geospatial Support for Disaster Management. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/11793.
×
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Suggested Citation:"Appendix C Preparedness Checklist." National Research Council. 2007. Successful Response Starts with a Map: Improving Geospatial Support for Disaster Management. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/11793.
×
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Suggested Citation:"Appendix C Preparedness Checklist." National Research Council. 2007. Successful Response Starts with a Map: Improving Geospatial Support for Disaster Management. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/11793.
×
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Suggested Citation:"Appendix C Preparedness Checklist." National Research Council. 2007. Successful Response Starts with a Map: Improving Geospatial Support for Disaster Management. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/11793.
×
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Suggested Citation:"Appendix C Preparedness Checklist." National Research Council. 2007. Successful Response Starts with a Map: Improving Geospatial Support for Disaster Management. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/11793.
×
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Suggested Citation:"Appendix C Preparedness Checklist." National Research Council. 2007. Successful Response Starts with a Map: Improving Geospatial Support for Disaster Management. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/11793.
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Suggested Citation:"Appendix C Preparedness Checklist." National Research Council. 2007. Successful Response Starts with a Map: Improving Geospatial Support for Disaster Management. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/11793.
×
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Suggested Citation:"Appendix C Preparedness Checklist." National Research Council. 2007. Successful Response Starts with a Map: Improving Geospatial Support for Disaster Management. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/11793.
×
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Suggested Citation:"Appendix C Preparedness Checklist." National Research Council. 2007. Successful Response Starts with a Map: Improving Geospatial Support for Disaster Management. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/11793.
×
Page 171
Suggested Citation:"Appendix C Preparedness Checklist." National Research Council. 2007. Successful Response Starts with a Map: Improving Geospatial Support for Disaster Management. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/11793.
×
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In the past few years the United States has experienced a series of disasters, such as Hurricane Katrina in 2005, which have severely taxed and in many cases overwhelmed responding agencies. In all aspects of emergency management, geospatial data and tools have the potential to help save lives, limit damage, and reduce the costs of dealing with emergencies. Great strides have been made in the past four decades in the development of geospatial data and tools that describe locations of objects on the Earth's surface and make it possible for anyone with access to the Internet to witness the magnitude of a disaster. However, the effectiveness of any technology is as much about the human systems in which it is embedded as about the technology itself.

Successful Response Starts with a Map assesses the status of the use of geospatial data, tools, and infrastructure in disaster management, and recommends ways to increase and improve their use. This book explores emergency planning and response; how geospatial data and tools are currently being used in this field; the current policies that govern their use; various issues related to data accessibility and security; training; and funding. Successful Response Starts with a Map recommends significant investments be made in training of personnel, coordination among agencies, sharing of data and tools, planning and preparedness, and the tools themselves.

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