On October 2007, Mecklenburg County GIS in cooperation with the Charlotte Fire Department and the Charlotte-Mecklenburg UASI Region which is made up of the following surrounding counties: Iredell, Gaston, Lincoln, Union, Cabarrus, Stanly, Catawba, York SC, and Lancaster SC initiated a pilot project to develop a quick response mapping application to further assist County Emergency Management Offices and their first responders by giving them the ability to report and map critical geographic information surrounding areas of emergency impact. The application will be an advanced mapping and area analysis system that will compliment the UASI's current E-Team Communication System.
The application, currently called ALERT (Auxiliary Emergency Response Tool) is being developed on an Open Source Architectural platform. This architecture will allow for seamless distribution of both the application and data to all surrounding UASI Counties of Charlotte-Mecklenburg. The architecture has basically no costs or licensing associated with it which makes it extremely attractive to all participants. An easy-to-use and intuitive interface is being developed with a sophisticated mapping front-end. ALERT will provide critical information needed in an event of any evacuation magnitude or disaster recovery need. Information in the system will include: daycares, assisted living, schools, colleges, large businesses, hospitals, public venues, shelters, population/census, fire and police stations, and many other datasets related to emergency management.
Our hopes are that the ALERT tool will provide more relevant information for emergency first responders to make quicker decisions off of and to better assess the environment around a particular area of impact or crisis. Mecklenburg County GIS is currently working with the Charlotte Fire Department and the surrounding UASI Counties to consolidate and compile critical information needed to support the application in order to meet the fall deadline.
Stay tuned for more information in the fall.