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Be Fully Prepared - Use GIS in Your Crisis Management Plan

Posted by Emma Paz on Aug 12, 2016 10:12:03 AM

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Whether you’re responding to rising sea levels, the Zika virus, or the possibility of a shooter in your midst, crisis management plans are incredibly important for many business and organizations. It’s important to have a number of scenarios mapped out in order to respond effectively when disaster strikes with the best possible crisis management plan. Geographic Information Systems, or GIS, are amazingly effective in allowing you to project various scenarios and responses, preparing you with the best possible action plan if the unfortunate time should come.

Consider Possible Scenarios in Need of a Crisis Management Plan

Whether you’re a municipal government in need of a crisis management plan for the possibility of natural disasters, or a logistics company similarly preparing for bad weather, your scenarios should include a broad range of emergency situations that you could face. Within each scenario should also be included every aspect of regular life, processes, and operations that could potentially be disrupted. Consider things like communications, transportation, sanitation, food, water, and health. With so many factors to consider GIS software is incredibly helpful in mapping the entire scenario as well as all the related information.

Create Response Plans

Once you have made a diverse set of possible scenarios using GIS, you can now create further layers to your maps to show what the crisis management plans are for responding to these scenarios. These response plans should be flexible, allowing for unexpected and unpredictable factors. Some response modules might include evacuation, lockdown, isolation or confinement. Responses in crisis management are incredibly important and can be extremely time sensitive so it is imperative that they are versatile and foolproof.

Educate Crisis Management Leaders

Once you have gone through your complete crisis management modules and effectively mapped them out using GIS, it’s time to start to educate everyone who needs to be informed. The wonderful thing about using GIS is that it is outfitted with cloud computing capabilities, making maps accessible to anyone from anywhere in the world. No matter where disaster strikes in relation to an organization’s hub, everyone will have access to crisis management maps. If you have a driver on the road when a hurricane strikes, flooding his routes, he can access crisis management maps from his mobile device and respond in due course without having to worry about interrupted communications or any other delays. Establish a chain of command that will be intuitive for everyone involved in any crisis management scenario. Grief is also something to consider when establishing leaders as, depending on the crisis, it could be a critical aspect of coping during crisis management.

There are so seemingly endless things to consider in crisis management planning. With so much information and data to include it is nearly impossible to have an effective plan without the use of GIS mapping software. If you are in need of an expert in the industry to get your plans in motion, give ROK a call to see how we can help you execute your goals using the smartest and most informative maps.   

Topics: arcGIS, climate change, Cloud, crisis, Disaster, disaster response, management, Mapping Services, mobile

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