As governments and organizations carry out the important work to manage and contain the COVID-19 pandemic, other events continue to threaten the safety and health of people and property. For example, Zagreb was hit by a 5.5 magnitude earthquake on March 22, just days after the Croatian government ordered citizens to stay home and banned more than two people walking together. Despite these social distancing restrictions, the earthquake forced citizens to the streets. Many lost access to water, electricity and/or gas.
In some of my earlier blog posts, I touched on the increase in severity and frequency of natural disasters and severe weather events across Canada. I got to thinking, what does that new normal look like when you add the COVID-19 pandemic into the mix?
What does social distancing look like in emergency shelters?
What communities will be affected by smoke, and how will that affect those already suffering with respiratory issues, coupled with COVID-19 breathing problems?
How will governments, businesses and the public prepare for, respond to and recover from one or more disasters in the new COVID-19 world?
Governments and businesses are asking these types of questions, and many of their emergency management professionals are using geographic information systems (GIS) to ensure they have the answers. GIS is considered best practice in all phases of emergency management, and our emergency management solutions can help — from developing mitigation plans to managing limited resources in the midst of chaos and prioritizing recovery efforts once the dust settles.
Recently, Esri Canada made available the Emergency Management Operations (EMO) Solution-- a defined set of maps and apps that can be easily configured to access vast amounts of data relevant to your operations workflows. More importantly, it is the most direct and efficient route to using ArcGIS as a support platform for command and operations staff. Completely scalable, the EMO solution can identify high-risk areas, define the best mitigation strategies, maintain situational awareness, share alerts proactively with the public, prioritize and coordinate response efforts, and help the community recover.
And don’t forget, at Esri, we are here to support you 24/7. Esri’s Disaster Response Program (DRP) assists with disasters worldwide. We support response and relief efforts with GIS technology and expertise when your capacity is exceeded.