May 09, 2013 - 11:08 AM
A creative innovation by the Central Okanagan Emergency Operation Centre (EOC) team has been recognized for providing residents with in real-time evacuation information.
Recognizing that up-to-date and accurate information is crucial for the public in any emergency, the group of Geographic Information Systems (GIS) technologists from both the Regional District of Central Okanagan and City of Kelowna, came together last spring to develop a uniform online mapping system, utilizing ArcGISOnline technology.
The result of their initiative was a detailed, interactive, multi-platform map on the www.cordemergency.ca website that is easily accessed online and by most mobile devices. The mapping information along with news releases and information updates is easily distributed directly from the EOC to more than 1,200 people who have subscribed to the Emergency Operation Centre website.
Esri Canada recently recognized the GIS team efforts by presenting it with the Award of Excellence for the outstanding use of GIS applications.
The Central Okanagan EOC website map system was tested and put online just a few weeks before the massive Trepanier wildfire spread into Peachland last September, resulting in approximately 1,500 residents being forced from their homes while another 400 were on alert.
The online map function allows users to drill down to show detailed street, address and property information helping to simplify and remove any confusion relating to areas affected by evacuation orders and alerts. As changes are made to EOC maps, those are automatically updated to the public website.
The award comes at an opportune time during Emergency Preparedness Week through May 11th.
The Central Okanagan Emergency Operation Centre encourages residents to take some time during the week to prepare their family emergency plan.
Information is available at www.cordemergency.ca to help your family make its plan and you can subscribe to receive email information updates whenever the EOC is activated in response to any emergency in the Central Okanagan.
A selection of emergency preparedness pamphlets is available at the Regional District of Central Okanagan office (1450 KLO Road in Kelowna) and the main Kelowna Fire Hall (2255 Enterprise Way).
News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2013