In 2012, we implemented a new response system that's built on Google Maps to show geospatial information. We created a Google Map of our territory with dozens of data layers that can be imported in a disaster situation to display real-time information -- everything from the location of our volunteers, shelters, logistical assets, to the threat level in specific areas. This new system is web based and provides graphic geospatial service delivery information for our emergency partners (Federal, State, Local and Tribal government response units), support organizations and the public across all levels of the response / recovery / preparedness operations. All parties can collaborate to assess a disaster more accurately, develop service delivery plans, execute rescue, and coordinate efforts with a common operating picture. Since Google Maps renders a familiar user interface, it does not require extensive training like some other GIS systems. Our first responders can dive in and use it right away.
One of the most important advantages we've seen from using Google Maps is being able to access this information remotely via mobile devices. Those of us that are away from the Emergency Operation Center can still obtain all the necessary data from our mobile devices at any location.
With Google Maps, we can make sure our staff has the information they need in real-time to prepare, respond and recover from disaster in the most efficient way possible. Being able to improve how we protect our community was the ultimate goal, and with this technology I believe we've succeeded.