GEOG 858
Spatial Data Science for Emergency Management

Summary and Final Tasks



This week, we focused on how GIS can be used to prepare for a disaster. Different disasters present different types of opportunities for preparation - some, like terror attacks or earthquakes, provide little or no warning time at all. Others, like hurricanes or other severe storms, may offer a window of opportunity where geospatial data and tools can be used to coordinate evacuations and other types of preparation efforts (sandbagging levees, for example).

One way to prepare for disasters that offer little or no warning is to develop spatial computational models of disaster impacts and use a GIS to run simulations of hypothetical emergency situations. In this lesson, we looked at how the USGS uses PAGER to quickly estimate damage from earthquakes. When planning a geospatial system for emergency management, it may be very useful to allocate time and resources toward disaster modeling efforts to simulate situations that present very little advanced warning.

In the next lesson, we will shift our attention to the response phase of emergency management. In the time immediately following a disaster, GIS and other geospatial technologies will be called upon to develop a situational picture and to allocate first responder resources. In Lesson 5, we will delve into a wide variety of challenges that are associated with disaster response.

Reminder - Complete all of the Lesson 4 tasks!

You have reached the end of Lesson 4! Double-check the to-do list on the Lesson 4 Overview page to make sure you have completed all of the activities listed there before you begin Lesson 5.


If you have any questions, please post to the Canvas Discussion Forum called "General Questions" or email the instructor via Canvas conversations (if the question is personal in nature).