Dimensions - November/December 2009 - (Page 4)

Keeping It Simple New Flood Response Tool Offers Easy-to-Use Application Currently under review with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Pacific Services Center, the Flood Response Tool Application could dramatically change how emergency management officials make decisions during flooding events. “It’s the ‘usability’ of the data that’s the real innovation,” says Adam Stein, spatial technology program coordinator with the center. “For years, NOAA and other organizations have been monitoring and collecting valuable data on weather and stream conditions. Our goal for this tool was to consolidate the data into one convenient and easy-to-use dashboard application.” The NOAA Pacific Services Center asked Dewberry to create the application, using a web-based system that would assist the center’s emergency management partners, public officials, and other civic organizations with making decisions as flooding occurs. Pulling the Data Together Building from a Google Maps interface, Dewberry has pulled data from web-based sources, including the NOAA Hydrometeorological Automated Data System, the U.S. Geological Survey National Water Information System, the National Weather Service Radar, and WeatherBug, to provide a The application is adaptable to the needs of the emergency responder or situation. Important gages can be docked in the dashboard; the map size can be adjusted for different displays; and tables can be sorted on various data properties. comprehensive set of stream, reservoir, and precipitation gages for the state of Hawai’i. The user is also able to view geographic data such as visible and infrared satellite, precipitation radar, and National Flood Insurance Program flood zones; and webbased data services can be easily added to the tool as needed. Managing Flood Emergencies The Flood Response Tool has been developed with emergency managers in mind, offering real-time data in a format that facilitates quick and informed decisions. Information retrieved from gages is displayed in a table as well as the mapping interface and is updated automatically. Since the tabular data is tied to the map, the gage information changes as the user navigates to various island locations. Users may also pull down graphs and charts through the Flood Response Tool to check historical readings. The application also provides alerts as gages reach defined thresholds. Each gage is shown as a symbol on the mapped area, and as a gage reaches an emergency level, the symbol changes from green to yellow to red, alerting the user. Official emergency warnings from the National Weather Service are also included. During an emergency response or recovery, officials at a command center or in the field may also communicate with other tool users by posting a flag directly on a map with information pertinent to that area, such as road accessibility, timelines for repair, or other public concerns. “Time is critical,” concludes Stein. “Most flooding in Hawai’i is flash-flooding, so having upto-date data organized in one location is crucial for emergency managers and decision making.” http://www.noaa.gov/ http://www.csc.noaa.gov/psc/

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Dimensions - November/December 2009

Dimensions - November/December 2009
Contents
TPC Potomac at Avenel Farm Reopens
New Tool for Managing Flood Emergencies
Taking the LEED
Consolidating Correctional Facilities
Bradley University Projects Underway

Dimensions - November/December 2009

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