The Incorporation of GIS Technologies in Emergency Preparedness and Response

Chandler, Thomas E.

Public health agencies make decisions that have far reaching consequences, and geography impacts these decisions on a daily basis. Geographic information systems (GIS) are powerful computer software programs which can enable agency staff to visualize spatial information in new ways, so that they can become better planners and problem solvers, particularly in the areas of disaster preparedness and response (Chang, 2002). Yet, although GIS is becoming more well-known, it is still a technology in its infancy, with the majority of public health staff not gaining all of the competencies required to utilize it effectively in the workplace. Although several departments within an agency, such as epidemiology and city planners, are often leveraging this technology, there are many other staff involved in disaster preparedness and response who are not using it, but who may need to in the upcoming months (Blanco & Mathur, 2005).


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More About This Work

Academic Units
National Center for Disaster Preparedness
National Center for Disaster Preparedness, Columbia University
Published Here
January 3, 2013