GEOG 588
Planning GIS for Emergency Management

Types of Hazards and Disasters


Types of Disasters

There is a very wide range of hazards and disasters we must consider when planning GIS solutions for Emergency Management. It is easy to focus on the very large and obvious events - things like hurricances, earthquakes, and disease epidemics. For many GIS managers, however, there are day-to-day emergency situations on a local level that deserve plenty of attention: house fires, auto accidents, and violent crimes - just to name a few.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) keeps a running tab of declared disaster events in the US. You've probably heard before on the news when the President declares one place or another as a "Federal Disaster Area" - and FEMA now publishes quite a few interesting summary maps of recent disasters at their GeoPlatform.

Take a look at this interactive summary of the 2014 Mississippi Tornado Outbreak.

A complimentary example can be found on a map mashup developed in Hungary to provide information on a wide range of hazards and disasters around the world. Take a look at this application called AlertMap.