Virginia Utilizes GIS in Crisis Management

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After an extensive assessment of need, Virginia’s Department of Emergency Management has implemented a new and effective GIS program in order to improve their decision making capabilities in the event of a crisis.  The program was developed by ESRI, and called Virginia Interoperability Picture for Emergency Response (VIPER) and is recognized for its ability to promote efficiency in governmental use.  Emergency officials believe that the program will allow for more effective responses because any emergency respondant can access one information resource at any time. The Department for Emergency Management wanted to enhance the communication, sharing, and analysis of information. VIPER can interconnect the community of Virginia in a time of crisis, hoping to save property or even lives, by allowing emergency official to assess emergency operations information at real time. One way Virginia’s VIPER program is interconnecting the community is by its open access to the public. Anyone can go online and inform themselves of the situation at hand. Some of the information provided on the site include accidents, floods, earthquakes, hurricanes, reported public health concerns, power outages, etc.

Source: PR News Wire, ESRI

October 9, 2009

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Christine Irven, VERTICES intern

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