Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Disaster Modeling

The above graphic comes from a presentation I gave last year about the impact of natural and man-made disasters on U.S. infrastructure.  In a nutshell, the number of individuals impacted, and the associated monetary costs for major disasters, has increased year-over-year as the U.S. population has become increasingly dependent on technology, concentrated in urban environments, and less self-reliant. Consequently, as a way to better anticipate the effects of any given disaster, over the past two decades efforts have been underway to use GIS as the backbone of "disaster modeling." Although current efforts are being driven primarily by the insurance industry, there are indications the Emergency Management community is starting to take note. To learn more, consider either of the articles below:

Risky Business: Modeling Catastrophes (Earth Magazine, September 30, 2012)

Leveraging the Power of Geodata in the Reinsurance Industry (Directions Magazine, October 25, 2012)

Comment: When it comes to the use of geospatial technologies in the Emergency Management world, it's my belief there will be three big trends going forward: (1) Full scale deployment of integrated Common Operating Pictures (COP); (2) GPS replacing street addresses for response efforts; (3) Anticipatory planning and pre-event staging of assets based on disaster modeling.  Give me ten years before you call me wrong......

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