[Talk-us] FEMA seeking ideas for community disaster preparedness

Lord-Castillo, Brett BLord-Castillo at stlouisco.com
Thu Nov 18 14:45:51 GMT 2010

Remember that the goal here is community preparedness, not disaster response. What happened in Haiti was a great use of OSM, but that was response, not preparedness. If you are going to do community based mapping, the most valuable thing to map is critical facilities and vulnerable populations.

Hospitals, clinics, nursing homes, day cares, public and private schools, churches, shelters, police stations and substations, fire stations, city halls, enclosed malls, libraries, businesses with disaster supplies, officially designated heating and cooling sites, etc.

I spend a lot of my time mapping these locations (especially private schools, since even defining a school is tricky). This is a critical element in disaster planning, and can greatly help community members in making their own individual disaster plans.

Another idea would be to map locations in community BEOPs (basic emergency operations plans) and POD (point of distribution) plans. This would require people going to emergency management offices to get these plans, but often key locations in these plans are not mapped out. Having these locations mapped out and linked in some way back to the BEOPs and POD plans would greatly help community groups, businesses, and individuals with their own disaster plans.

Charting hazards is not a good idea. There is a huge amount of liability that goes with designating hazards, and it should only be done by licensed engineers and similar professionals in their insured professional capacity. I have seen firsthand how small errors in those respects can create tens of thousands of dollars of costs overruns (or even millions in the case of earthquake liquefaction mitigation).

Brett Lord-Castillo
Information Systems Designer/GIS Programmer
St. Louis County Police
Office of Emergency Management
14847 Ladue Bluffs Crossing Drive
Chesterfield, MO 63017
Office: 314-628-5400
Fax: 314-628-5508
Direct: 314-628-5407

-----Original Message-----
Date: Wed, 17 Nov 2010 11:49:32 -0500
From: Leroy E Leonard <leeoncandler at gmail.com>
To: Charlotte Wolter <techlady at techlady.com>,
	talk-us at openstreetmap.org
Subject: Re: [Talk-us] FEMA seeking ideas for community disaster
	<AANLkTi=TQ2Gw-sSS=OmVn68qSWiJctWmM+0BtvLbGwDM at mail.gmail.com>
Content-Type: text/plain; charset=ISO-8859-1

> Project of the week or month is another good idea.
> I have no personal contacts in FEMA and wouldn't know how to find out
> what holes they have in their data sets and how OSMers could help fill
> them. That's a conversation that might be best hosted online in a
> forum such as this.
> As I outlined in my previous post, OSM can bring a network of mappers
> and local "experts" as well as a very local map of variable richness
> to the table. Our people and map could be made more valuable with some
> guidance and education about which features would be the most useful
> for crisis preparedness.
> Any folks from FEMA (or other experience) want to offer some suggestions?
>  -- Lee

On Tue, Nov 16, 2010 at 7:54 PM, Charlotte Wolter <techlady at techlady.com> wrote:
>> Lee,
>> ????????Perhaps some of our "projects," which get announced every month,
>> could be tailored to issues that FEMA has identified. For example, FEMA
>> charts hazard areas for floods, soil liquefection during earthquakes,
>> tsunamis, etc. Just try to sell a home in California. You have to provide a
>> complete report on those hazards, and it's generated mostly from FEMA data.
>> We could incorporate that data into OSM as a project. That could be very
>> doable. Then, any community could use it to generate maps for government and
>> citizens.
>> ????????What do you think?
>> Charlotte Wolter
>>> At 07:34 AM 11/16/2010, you wrote:
>>> Over on challenge.gov, FEMA has issued a challenge for ideas for
>>> "Preparing our Communities Before a Disaster Strikes":
>>> ? http://challenge.gov/challenges/87
>>> I've started a discussion there (well, me and the crickets) about OSM
>>> as a tool for building both "a diverse and distributed network of
>>> people with a strong understanding of the local terrain and
>>> infrastructure" plus "a hyper-local, very rich online map of a
>>> community that compliments those created by the professionals at FEMA
>>> and other agencies.".
>>> Is this an idea that other folks would be interested in pursuing, or
>>> am I just a guy who thinks we have a really terrific hammer and is
>>> looking at everything like it's a nail?
>>> ?-- Lee

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