Monday, July 16, 2012

Emergency Management Information at the U.S. Census Bureau

Last month, the U.S. Census Bureau rolled out its new online viewer and demographic data portal for emergency preparedness, response and recovery.  Called "OnTheMap for Emergency Management", the viewer also displays real-time data from the National Weather Service's National Hurricane Center, Department of Interior, Department of Agriculture, and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).  As reported in the Bureau's news release, OnTheMap for Emergency Management has the following features:

  • New emergency event data: Addition of FEMA disaster declaration areas and National Weather Service snowfall probability forecasts,
  • More complete hurricane archives: Capture and archiving of all daily National Hurricane Center storm updates,
  • Expanded report content: Addition of 2010 Census demographic and housing characteristics, and 2010 jobs and worker statistics,
  • New analyses and visualizations: New reports with charting and thematic map overlays showing population and worker origin and destination distributions,
  • New interoperability: New tool for exporting event areas to use in OnTheMap or other GIS applications, and
  • Updated interface and help documentation: Improved user interface speed and navigability, improved event searching, newly updated help documentation.

In addition to OnTheMap for Emergency Management, the U.S. Census Bureau also has a web page dedicated to other information that may be of value to disaster planning, response and recovery, and another one for geographically focused products like TIGER (Topologically Integrated Geographic Encoding and Referencing).  To check out these products and what they can do for you, use the links below:

Comment: Bravo!  This is a huge step in the right direction for the U.S. Census Bureau when it comes to Emergency Management. Although some of their past efforts like TIGER were in many ways ground breaking, that level of innovation never really seemed to make the leap to Emergency Management. This product goes a long way toward fixing that problem. Keep up the good work!

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