GEOG 858
Spatial Data Science for Emergency Management

Summary and Final Tasks



In this lesson, we have learned about the first stage of emergency management - vulnerability assessment and hazard mitigation. We focused attention on how geospatial data and tools can be used to conduct risk mapping analyses to identify places where populations and critical infrastructure are vulnerable to disasters.

An effective vulnerability assessment requires answers to the following questions (among others, of course):

  • Who is at risk? How many people will be affected?
  • What is the spatial and temporal extent of the vulnerability?
  • What capacity does the population at risk have for coping with the disaster?

When developing geospatial system for emergency management, one must consider the analytical tools and data sources necessary to answer these questions. Often, decision makers need information on potential human and financial losses to make their case for resources to mitigate against disasters.

In the next lesson, we will shift focus toward situations in which a disaster is imminent and geospatial analysis is called upon to help prepare for potential impacts. Even in the best case scenarios, there is often very little warning (and sometimes no warning at all) prior to a disaster, so there is a serious need for efficient and effective geospatial systems to evacuate citizens and stage response resources.

Reminder - Complete all of the Lesson 3 tasks!

You have reached the end of Lesson 3! Double-check the to-do list on the Lesson 3 Overview page to make sure you have completed all of the activities listed there before you begin Lesson 4.