Office of Operations
21st Century Operations Using 21st Century Technologies

7.5 Identification of Infrastructure Utilizing GIS

The identification and location of infrastructure could be beneficial during evacuation planning and actual evacuations. It could alert emergency officials to avoid certain streets or areas due to the existing infrastructure.

As reported in the American City and County article “Community Evacuation: Ensuring Safe Passage,” “‘to enhance planners’ foresight, Denver is expanding its geographic information system (GIS) to show the locations of HAZMAT storage facilities and transportation routes. ‘We’ve requested that the city add mapping levels that we can use for evacuation planning,’ says [David Sullivan, acting director for Denver’s Office of Emergency Management]. ‘With this system, we [will be able to] map areas surrounding possible spills and figure out how many people must move and what routes they should take. We can also plan the numbers of shelters people will need.’”

In addition, the article reported: “Like Denver, other cities are employing technology as a silent, yet indispensable partner in expanding planning, tracking and communication capabilities. For example, in Grand Forks, North Dakota, planners use GIS to map electrical power lines, fire hydrants, sluice gates and other infrastructure that must be shut down as floodwaters rise and the potential for evacuation increases.”

February 7, 2006
Publication #FHWA–HOP-08-015