September 20, 2021
As part of National Preparedness Month, the Department of Homeland Security Science & Technology (DHS S&T) Directorate published the article “Preparing First Responders with Critical Tools and Technologies,” which illustrates how S&T prepares teams to be ready at a moment’s notice.
The two most recent events discussed in the article were the Champlain Towers South collapse and Hurricane Ida. These events brought to light some of the challenges faced when preparing for both no-notice and forecasted events. The National Alliance for Public Safety GIS (NAPSG) Foundation, funded by DHS S&T, has developed tools focused on improving flood preparedness and response. These tools, however, have easily been applied to other hazards, including Chaplain Towers, Hurricane Ida, and the ongoing wildfires. The tools can be scaled to meet the needs of local, state, and federal stakeholders on a single platform.
“…the Search and Rescue Field Data Collection and Situational Awareness Platform was deployed during the Champlain Towers South collapse and Hurricane Ida, where FEMA and the NAPSG Foundation were able to utilize GIS technology to help the responding US&R teams effectively plan and track search progression, provide a mechanism to follow up on critical issues, and inform executive leadership about incident status in near real-time.”