GEOG 588
Planning GIS for Emergency Management

Summary

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This week, we have explored how scenarios can be used to predict and plan for how GIS can be used for emergency management situations. Scenarios are stories developed around a hypothetical disaster situation, and they are used quite commonly in planning activities as a way to predict what will happen in a real situation.

You have worked with your classmates in this lesson to develop your own scenarios to see for yourself how scenario-based planning works. I hope you found it valuable to attempt this task with your colleagues. Most people who are charged with the task of planning a GIS for emergency management will not be working on that task alone, so the challenges posed by group work in this situation are quite relevant.

Scenarios are not easy to pin down. There are no universal rules as to what they should or should not include, and there are no automated tools available yet that can generate them. Scenario writing requires the synthesis of multiple types of knowledge, and, ultimately, it demands a fair bit of creativity on behalf of the author(s).

Next, we will apply what we have learned so far about the dimensions of emergency management and ways to plan GIS systems to support emergency management tasks. In the next lesson, we will work together on a case study research project to understand how GIS was used in mitigation, preparation, response, and recovery from a recent disaster.

Tell us about it!

If there is anything in the lesson materials that you would like to comment on or add to, feel free to post your thoughts in the Lesson 7 Questions and Comments Discussion in Canvas.  For example, what did you have the most trouble with in this lesson? Was there anything useful here that you'd like to try in your own work?