Paper No. 7
Presentation Time: 3:15 PM
HAZARDOUS MATERIALS EMERGENCY PREPAREDNESS, A REGIONAL HAZARD ANALYSIS AND VULNERABILITY ASSESSMENT (Invited Presentation)
Environmental Scientists and Engineering Geologists have a unique background that makes them perfectly suited to work on a range of issues important to many levels of governmental agencies. Both natural and man-made disasters require policies in place to protect populations, and mitigate damage. Hazards inventories and maps are just the first part of the necessary preparations. The maps must be disseminated and explained to the public, while being integrated in to local planning and preparation. The College of Charleston together with the Berkley, Charleston, and Dorchester Local emergency planning committee developed the Hazardous Materials Emergency Preparedness (HMEP) project - a GIS risk assessment system for hazardous materials sites and transportation corridors. The ports region of Charleston SC is the eighth busiest port in the US. While the region its self has earthquakes, hurricanes, flooding, and other natural hazards. This project was designed to use GIS layers of the hazardous materials and create hazard and vulnerability assessments for all three counties. These assessments were developed into map binders that emergency management officials and first responders could use for regional coordination for planning and response. The binders include reports on the potential impacts a hazardous material spill on the surrounding areas with regard to the roads impacted, potential evacuation population, proximity of schools, nursing homes, or other critical facilities that would be susceptible to known hazardous materials hazards. This data enhances the capability of the region’s emergency management agencies in preparedness and recovery efforts. This project represents just one of the many non-traditional methods that geologist can contribute to public projects and the stability of a region.