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What I’m reading now: COVID-19 Emergency Management reading list

COVID-19 has truly impacted every part of our lives since early March, and it will no doubt be a game-changer to how we plan, prepare for and respond to emergency risks in the future.  For those in the Emergency Management community, we are gearing up for the upcoming flood and wildfire seasons in areas spanning the country.  This year, we will need to adjust the approach to also fight COVID on the same front. 

Here are some timely articles that explore how the COVID situation will impact and shape how we handle our imminent and future emergency situations.

How prepared is your city for COVID-19? This impact tool measures readiness at the local level

This article from Fast Company highlights how Esri’s interactive dashboards are helping communities with insights that are driving their local impact planning. 

Three Tips for COVID-19 Recovery: Get Your Data House in Order

In this article, the author draws on his experience through the Hurricane Katrina recovery and asserts that government leaders must prioritize their data capacity now to ensure an effective recovery plan from COVID-19.

'Uncharted times': Planning for wildfire season amid the COVID-19 pandemic

As the Province of Alberta continues to deal with the local COVID-19 crisis, they must also prepare for the increased wildfire risk warmer temperatures will bring.  Local officials are exploring different options for evacuation and staffing needs, as resources are already stretched thin.

COVID-19: Canadian regions prepare for spring floods, but with fewer volunteers

Communities in Canada’s flood regions are concerned there will be a shortage of manpower to help with the flood season due to COVID restrictions.

What happens when natural disaster strikes during a pandemic?

Similarly, this article looks at how we plan and respond to a natural disaster will be impacted by COVID-19.  Organizations like the Canadian Red Cross are combining their regular assessment and mapping tools with COVID information to find new ways to approach emergency planning.

COVID-19: Dedicated Scientist in Florida Made Quick Moves to Map the Disease

In this article, Florida Department of Health created a COVID-19 dashboard to track cases and drive their response effort.  This is a great example of how the collaboration fostered in past disaster events has improved the state’s pandemic response.

The COVID-19 pandemic has truly added a layer of complexity while we continue to plan and respond to emergency situations.  Esri Canada is here to support your emergency planning in any way we can.  Please get in touch with us.

Explore COVID-19 resources at To strengthen business continuity, Esri is providing Coronavirus Business Continuity Solution at no cost. Contact your Esri Canada account manager if you have an ArcGIS account. For new users, please request assistance through the Esri Disaster Response Program.

About the Author

David Hamilton is the Public Safety Industry Manager for Esri Canada. His efforts are focused on advising customers how to use GIS technology to improve all areas of public safety, specifically (NG)9-1-1, law enforcement, fire services, emergency medical services, emergency management, and search and rescue. Prior to joining Esri Canada in 2010, David managed the GIS for E-Comm 9-1-1 in Vancouver, and worked for the RCMP at the Integrated Security Unit for the 2010 Olympic Winter Games where he managed their Common Operating Picture. Being active has been a major part of David’s personal life; soccer, track & field, skiing, cycling, hiking and now kayaking are all among his favourite activities.

Profile Photo of David Hamilton