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Public Safety, Disaster Preparedness & Relief

California Fires on Google Earth and Maps

The Google Earth blog today included several links to near-real-time maps of the California wildfires, visible in Google Maps and Google Earth:

For those of you without access to Google Maps or Google Earth, CALFIRE (California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection) has plenty of up-to-date information on the fires, including frequently-updated incident maps covering the entire state.

EPA: CAMEO

Cameo plans for chemical outbreaks and responce actions.

"developed by EPA’s Office of Emergency Management (OEM) and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Office of Response and Restoration (NOAA), to assist front-line chemical emergency planners and responders. They can use CAMEO to access, store, and evaluate information critical for developing emergency plans. In addition, CAMEO supports regulatory compliance by helping users meet the chemical inventory reporting requirements of the Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act (EPCRA, also known as SARA Title III). CAMEO also can be used with a separate software application called LandView ® to display EPA environmental databases and demographic/economic information to support analysis of environmental justice issues."

HumaniNet's GIS and Disaster Preparedness Exercise

This is an interesting writeup of a disaster preparedness exercise in Portland where a team of volunteer geographers created an interactive up-to-date Google Map/Google Earth map of infrastructure status updates (collapsed bridges, functional hospitals, etc.) while working alongside the local emergency management authorities.  Apparently local status reports were sent via Internet to online mappers outside the affected area - these volunteers created maps which were then communicated back to local responders.  Assuming your hypothetical 9.0 earthquake and resulting tsunami don't cut off all of your communications, this is a pretty interesting idea (the project was apparently using portable satellite connections to compensate for this?).