Friday, February 27, 2009

DHS to use more simulations in infrastructure protection

DHS will rely more on simulations to test the integrity of critical infrastructure and key resources, according to the latest update to the National Infrastructure Protection Plan. READ MORE

DHS Press Release

Download 2009 NIPP (.pdf)

OPINION: is just starting to review the 2009 National Infrastructure Protection Plan. believes that the methodologies developed for HAZUS-MH should be a focal point in any DHS initiative to use "simulations to test the integrity of critical infrastructure and key resources". We should all be using a common infrastructure database and GIS methodology.

FOLLOW-UP: A search of the document .pdf shows there is no mention of HAZUS-MH in the 2009 National Infrastructure Protection Plan!

The following is taken verbatim from the introduction of the 2009 National Infrastructure Protection Plan:

"The overarching goal of the National Infrastructure Protection Plan (NIPP) is to:

Build a safer, more secure, and more resilient America by preventing, deterring, neutralizing, or mitigating the effects of deliberate efforts by terrorists to destroy, incapacitate, or exploit elements of our Nation’s CIKR and to strengthen national preparedness, timely response, and rapid recovery of CIKR in the event of an attack, natural disaster, or other emergency." thinks is is fair to ask how can the 2009 National Infrastructure Protection Plan have this goal not not even mention HAZUS-MH in passing?


Report says FEMA isn't prepared to handle another large-scale disaster

After spending six months looking at FEMA's natural disaster housing policies, the Senate Natural Disaster Recovery subcommittee says FEMA is still not prepared to handle the housing needs of millions if another disaster like Hurricane Katrina hits the United States. READ MORE

Download Senate Report


Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Geospatial Systems That Support Emergency and Disaster Operations

The Geospatial Information & Technology Association (GITA) and the Public Technology Institute have released a new case-study guide that illustrates how local government and utility first responders are using geospatial information in large-scale emergencies. DOWNLOAD ~10MB (.pdf)


Monday, February 23, 2009

Videogame Technology Helps With Disaster Planning

There are several web based systems being developed to support the disaster management community. READ MORE

Back on Dec 17th reported on the release of DEPICTION, an affordable new "what-if" mapping software package for emergency managers.


Friday, February 20, 2009

DHS Earth

DHS has developed DHS Earth, a geospatial mapping and visualization application based on GOOGLE Earth, to share data related infrastructure protection and improve situational awareness. READ MORE

Anybody know if the DHS/FEMA folks are working to integrate HAZUS-MH with this capability? If nothing else the two systems should be sharing the same infrastructure database!

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Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Moving FEMA out of Homeland Security could pose risks

Pundits, bureaucrats and elected officials have debated the merits ever since FEMA was absorbed into DHS. After weighing the arguments for and against making FEMA a stand-alone agency again, the DHS Inspector General found such a reorganization could have significant negative repercussions. READ MORE

DHS Inspector General Report


Friday, February 13, 2009

Kentucky officals say earthquake disaster preparedness saved lives during recent ice storms ...

Brig. Gen. John Heltzel, the head of Kentucky's Division of Emergency Management, has long planned for a major earthquake along Western Kentucky's New Madrid fault. Brig. Gen. Heltzel reported that the statewide earthquake training held last March was used a rescue blueprint for the January 2009 ice storm that hit Kentucky, and credits that preparation with saving lives from the storm. READ MORE

HAZUS-MH Application: Earthquake: Population Density in Louisville, Kentucky in Relation to the Earthquake Hazard -- Map Series Template Poster, VIEW


Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Texas lawmakers issue report on Hurricane Ike, disaster preparedness

In a recent report released by the Texas House of Representatives Select Committee on Hurricane Ike Devastation state lawmakers laid out plans to better prepare the state for the aftermath of a major hurricane. Spurred into action by Hurricane Ike’s aftermath, lawmakers assessed the damage and made plans for the future. READ MORE

DOWNLOAD REPORT (.pdf / ~13MB) gave this report a quick look ... we saw no mention of how HAZUS-MH can be used for planning, mitigation, response or response ... :-(


Tuesday, February 10, 2009

HAZUS vs. spreadsheet ...

Mark Warnick, a student at the Public Safety Program, Capella University, recently used his pencil, paper and a calculator to prepare an earthquake hazard analysis for a town of 60,000 in Utah ... after completing this analysis he received the latest copy of the FEMA HAZUS HOTZONE Newsletter that highlighted a HAZUS Level 3 analysis for Sugarhouse, UT ... READ MORE


Sunday, February 8, 2009

Geospatial Coordination Web Site Launched by California

The Cal-Atlas portal facilitates the coordinated and sustainable development, maintenance, licensing and sharing of geospatial data and web map services by California government agencies, partners and stakeholders. California government agencies work with the California GIS Council, regional GIS collaboratives and the broader California GIS community to define the data architecture, systems, standards, agreements and processes for a fully integrated and effective California Spatial Data Infrastructure. GO THERE

The new Cal-Atlas portal will centralize a variety of data and information. Cal-Atlas provides a number of important Web accessible services. These include:

* A catalog for use by organizations to categorize and share information about their geospatial information resources (e.g., maps and geospatial data, Web services and applications)
* A library from which interested parties may obtain Geographic Information System (GIS) data and where agencies can place their data to share with others
* Tools to make it easy to find GIS data and services
* A "gallery" of maps and mapping sites contributed by Cal-Atlas users
* A portal to help organizations work together on GIS data and share the costs of acquiring imagery and other kinds of geospatial data.


Thursday, February 5, 2009

Natural Hazards "Death Maps"


The GoV-log: Editor's Video Blog recently posted a video version of this article. We thought it was worth an update. VIEW

Originally posted 12/16/2008...

A map of natural hazard mortality in the United States has been produced. The map, featured in BioMed Central's open access International Journal of Health Geographics, gives a county-level representation of the likelihood of dying as the result of natural events such as floods, earthquakes or extreme weather.

Researchers who compiled the county-by-county look at what natural disasters kill Americans said they hope their study will help emergency preparedness officials plan better. Heat and drought caused 19.6 percent of total deaths from natural hazards, with summer thunderstorms causing 18.8 percent and winter weather causing 18.1 percent, the team at the University of South Carolina found. Earthquakes, wildfires and hurricanes combined were responsible for fewer than 5 percent of all hazard deaths. READ MORE

Spatial patterns of natural hazards mortality in the United States -
> Abstract
> Report, including maps