GIS in Disaster Management and Terrorism


Mr Jaffar Akemokwe


Geographic Information System Courses

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All phases of emergency management depend on data from a variety of sources. The appropriate data has to be gathered, organized, and displayed logically to determine the size and scope of emergency management programs. During an actual emergency it is critical to have the right data, at the right time, displayed logically, to respond and take appropriate action. Emergencies can impact all or a number of government departments. Emergency personnel often need detailed information concerning pipelines, building layout, electrical distribution, sewer systems, and so forth. By utilizing a GIS, all departments can share information through databases on computer-generated maps in one location. Without this capability, emergency workers must gain access to a number of department managers, their unique maps, and their unique data. Most emergencies do not allow time to gather these resources. This results in emergency responders having to guess, estimate, or make decisions without adequate information. This costs time, money, and—in some cases—lives. GIS provides a mechanism to centralize and visually display critical information during an emergency. Most of the data requirements for emergency management are of a spatial nature and can be located on a map. The remainder of this section will focus on how data is acquired, displayed, and utilized in all aspects of public safety programs. This workshop will illustrate how GIS can fulfill data requirement needs for planning and emergency operations and how GIS can become the backbone of emergency management. Emergency management activities are focused on three primary objectives. These objectives are protecting life, property, and the environment. G.I.S is a sine-qua-non to achieve this. The diagram below illustrates the application of GIS to disaster management.


GIS can be part of the solution to many emergency management problems. If you are considering GIS as a component for an emergency management program, this workshop will help you to:
  • identify emergency management problems with spatial aspects appropriate for GIS
  • outline an effective GIS process for collecting and analyzing spatial data for emergency management problem-solving
  • evaluate the costs of institutionalizing GIS as an emergency management tool in terms of staffing, training, data collection, hardware and software

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