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Cascadia Peril: HumaniNet and
GISCorps Volunteers Chalk Up a “First” in Oregon Disaster Exercise

In Apri 2009, a virtual team of volunteers across the United States conducted a highly successful test using Google’s online mapping tools, demonstrating a new dimension in disaster preparedness through volunteer engagement.

The Maps 2.0 team included eight volunteers from HumaniNet and GISCorps with experience in online digital maps. The team supported the emergency coordination center (ECC) of Multnomah County (Portland), Oregon during Exercise Cascadia Peril, which utilized a scenario of a magnitude 9.0 earthquake followed by a coastal tsunami.

During the six-hour exercise, the team posted critical information on a Web-based online map (see below) using Google Earth tools and an information management process designed to align with county procedures.

Exercise area with representative points



View Cascadia Peril Exercise - April 2009 in a larger map

Status reports on local area hospitals and transportation infrastructure (e.g. bridges and overpasses) were assigned to volunteers in other states who were not familiar with the Portland area. The remote volunteers found the locations and returned the “map posts” to the team in the ECC, who integrated them on a master “situational awareness” map.

Please see the Maps 2.0 blog for an overview of the lessons learned during the exercise and posts and perspectives from the participants. Pictures from the exercise are on the HumaniNet Flickr page.

HumaniNet also provided assistance with satellite communications in the multiagency exercise, augmenting landline and radio communications among participants in northwest Oregon.

The Maps 2.0 planning for the Cascadia Peril exercise builds on the experience of the HumaniNet team in support of Exercise Talom in Thailand in November 2008
We wish to acknowledge with sincere thanks the Meyer Memorial Trust for a generous grant that made this project possible.
For more information, please email us at info@humaninet.org.

 


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