NAPSG Foundation’s Search & Rescue GIS Working Group gathered with more than 60 Search & Rescue (SAR) leaders and GIS responders at West Valley College in Saratoga, California, on October 23-25th, 2018, for the highly anticipated 10th Annual Search & Rescue GIS Workshop. This year’s theme was “The Next Generation of Geospatial for SAR”.
The purpose of the SAR GIS Workshop was to build capacity and advance the use of location and analytics-based decision support tools across the SAR community for missing persons and disaster SAR. The diversity of perspectives and experiences generated a rich dialogue around challenges and potential solutions.
The workshop started with an opening keynote presentation by Kip Harkness, Deputy City Manager for the City of San Jose. Kip engaged the audience with the following topics, based on his experience during recent flood events in San Jose:
- Be Compassion, In Action – Get outside the command post or operations center to see the people you are supposed to be helping.
- Be Open, Candid, and Direct – Honesty is always the best policy, and in disasters it is a necessity for a swift and capable response. “Face the brutal facts”.
- One Team, One Fight – No one should get left behind in disaster, whether they are your most vulnerable citizens or emergency managers themselves.
Kip’s presentation was heartfelt and a good reminder that while advancing technology helps solves problems, humans are at the center of our work. Two emergency managers from Kip’s team joined us for the rest of the workshop and will be taking some lessons learned back with them to the Office of Emergency Management in San Jose.
This keynote presentation was followed by presentations from across the SARGIS Community, a panel discussion on drones and cell phone analysis, and lightning talks by local practitioners on emerging best practices. The 2nd day of SARGIS10 included a full day of training for First Responders and GIS Specialists.
Below are some no-cost resources made available following the event:
- SARGIS10 Basic Training Story Map
- What is SARGIS?
- Basics of SAR and GIS
- Using GPS & Paper Maps
- Example SAR Maps & Apps
- Using MapSAR Online
- How to Prepare Incident Data
- How to Prepare a Situational Awareness Viewer
- Prepare a Field Data Collection App
- Using MapSAR Pro
- Disaster Situational Awareness & Reconnaissance (DSAR) Efforts: Hurricane Florence & Michael [PDF]
- Cellphone Forensic Analysis for SAR [PDF]
- Initial Response and Reflex Tasking [PDF]
- Lost Person Behavior Models and Terrain Analysis [PDF]
- Integrated Geospatial Tools for Wilderness Search and Rescue – IGT4SAR [PDF]