TITLE of presentation

Managing the DR-1971-AL Tornado Disaster using GIS
Melissa Mayo
GIS Specialist
State GIS Unit Lead
Mike Vanhook
GIS Coordinator
ISD, Geospatial Office
April 27, 2011
• 62 tornadoes statewide; 70 tracks
• Accumulative Damage path
– 1,177+ miles long
– 20+ miles wide
• 247 fatalities
• Estimated damage cost is $1.1
• Estimated 10 million cubic yards
of debris
Individual & Public Assistance
• 67 counties declared for public
– Emergency Work (Debris
Removal & Emergency Protective
• 43 counties declared for
individual assistance
– Assistance to individuals,
families, & businesses with
damages whose losses are not
covered by insurance
• 33 counties declared for
permanent work aid
– Repairing roads/ bridges, water
control facilities, buildings &
equipment, utilities, parks,
recreational facilities, and other
– Tuesday November 15th: Day 202
Initial Map Requests at AEMA
Activated EOC’s
Reported Damage
Open Shelters
Resources Requested
• Local State of Emergency
• Aerial Imagery
• Tornado Tracks/Swaths
State Involvement
Federal Involvement
• Local Contributions
– County GIS
– Municipality GIS
• Private Entities
– Atlantic Group: uploaded
imagery to public site
• Volunteer
– Coordinated offers of assistance
using spreadsheet
• FTP Site Access
NWS & AEMA Collaborative Effort
AEMA Activation
• GIS staff activation began at approximately
1800 hrs April 27, 2011
• AEMA uses 12 hr shifts during activations
– Moved to this immediately
Disaster Operations for GIS
• The following agencies & personnel supported AEMA
to fill a GIS position after the tornado outbreak
– AEMA GIS Intern, Kevin Taylor
– Geological Survey of Alabama
• Sandy Ebersole
• Eric St. Clair
• David Tidwell
• Henry Moore
• Wardell Edwards
• Anne Wynn
• Tony Tavis
• Meagan Rockman
– University of Alabama
• Linda Watson
GIS Coordination
• Benefits of Coordinator outside AEMA GIS
– Isolated from immediate needs of SEOC; could focus on broader GIS
needs vs. specific needs at AEMA
• Daily maps at AEMA vs. generation of tornado tracks
– Easily identified external sources for GIS & Remote Sensing
assistance (federal/state/ local)
• Brenda Jones at USGS HDDS; State/ City GIS analysts
– Tracked progress of work, maintained schedule for completion, &
organized conference calls; provided daily summaries of available
data sources
• Conference calls to aid AEMA GIS with tracking work completed by other
GIS; prevent duplicated efforts and provide data layers quickly
• Ed Boyle & Maj. Simmons, AL National Guard; Kristin Frisbee, City of
Montgomery; Lynn Ford, ADEM; Abi Dhakal, AFC; Henry Moore, Wardell
Edwards, ADECA; + others
GIS Coordination
• The ISD Geospatial Office provided coordination assistance
and enterprise support
–Aggregated daily data sources and information
–Maintained an email distribution list
–Coordinated imagery collection and distribution
–Supported NOAA and USGS HDDS imagery distribution
–Coordinated working groups for large tasks or collections
–Maintained a secure FTP for use among State agencies
•Provided limited access to federal and local partners
Primary Objectives:
Ensure data and information exchange is open, frequent,
accessible, and on time. Connect everyone that needs information.
Provide a reliable record of resources that are readily available.
Imagery Acquisition
• Imagery collected via various sources
Posted publicly on USGS HDDS
– Atlantic Group
Oblique Snapshots
Special Projects
GSA/ ADECA created mapbooks for 4 counties
– Cullman, Madison, Tuscaloosa, West Jefferson
– Utilized imagery as background
– Digitized roads to help first responders locate areas of
GSA, ADECA, & AEMA created
overview maps to show
damage in specific areas
Joint Field Office
• FEMA & AEMA work out of JFO for extended response to disasters
– Centrally located for access to damaged areas
DR-1971-AL JFO located in Birmingham
GIS grouped with Planners for activations
AEMA GIS co-located with FEMA GIS
JFO closing date: November 9, 2011
Operation Clean Sweep
• Identify areas with extensive or catastrophic damage
• Local cost share became 90% Federal- 10% Local
– Vs. usual 75% Federal & 25% Local cost share
• National Geospatial Intelligence Agency (NGA) utilized
commercial satellite imagery
– Performed initial analysis of tornado swaths
– “Turned on” approved US National Grid squares
– Counties requested additional areas for consideration
• Provided address and/or GPS coordinates
Grids turned on during NGA
initial sweep: 289
Final grid count after
collaborative efforts: 960
Additional $$ leveraged thanks
to collaborative efforts between
State, County, & Local levels to
have grids added
Operation Clean Sweep
• Grid maps generated; provided to counties and
OCS concluded
July 12, 2011
Debris Verification
• FEMA contracted with US
Army Corps of Engineers to
collect debris
– Counties could either use
USACE or their own
– AEMA GIS checked data
reported by US ACE
regarding debris locations
– Mapped locations and
determined whether they
fell inside or outside of grids
• 90/ 10 split of costs
Parcel Collection
• Parcel data needed during initial response
– FEMA estimated impacts
• Also needed during later stages
– FEMA funding to create historical buildings and districts layers
• ADOR assisted with original collection for counties with
tornado paths
• AEMA & FEMA collaborated to collect rest
Parcel Collection
• FEMA contractors created historical building and district
shapefiles for most counties using parcels
– Digitized Covington; digital parcel data is not available
– Providing new data files back to counties
• Efficient collaboration among GIS
• Quickly assessed needs & organized
• Delegation of tasks
• Timely completion of products thanks to
Thank You!!!!
Contact Information
Melissa Mayo
GIS Specialist
Alabama Emergency Management Agency
205- 280-2440
[email protected]
Mike Vanhook
GIS Coordinator
ISD, Geospatial Office
[email protected]

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