Paper No. 2
Presentation Time: 8:15 AM
DORCHESTER COUNTY'S BETA TESTING SOUTH CAROLINA'S COMMON OPERATING PICTURE FOR SHARING NATURAL DISASTER / INCIDENT DATA
During a large scale natural disaster such as an earthquake, hurricane or other incident, emergency management responses are going to cross multiple jurisdictions. Currently agencies rely on information and data from their own communications and data systems relying on communications from other agencies to supplement their own. This lack of reliable, real-time across board information sharing can cause problems when differing agencies respond to offer assistance after a disaster. One of the most powerful tools in creating shared situational awareness is the use of a Common Operational Picture (COP) system. In December, 2010, the South Carolina Emergency Management Division (SCEMD) contracted with Earth Technology Integration to help create an Emergency Management COP (EM-COP) that would allow data to be shared between the SCEMD, the South Carolina National Guard, and all other county Emergency Operations Center (EOC) in the state. This EM-COP called “Palmetto Vision” puts the emphasis on getting data to flow from the county level (first responders) up to the SCEMD (statewide coordination). Dorchester County’s Emergency Management Department is a member of the EM-COP working group and has helped provide technical assistance with GIS data as well as being the Beta-Test for the Palmetto Vision system. Dorchester County lies within the South Carolina Ocean resource management critical zone and is subject to Hurricanes, earthquakes, flooding and other potential natural disasters. Locally, the main focus for Dorchester County’s Emergency Management Department is to make sure that the county’s critical GIS data, first responder information, and current incident mapping (i.e. seismic magnitudes, epicenter locations, or HAZUS outputs) can be converted into a format that can be quickly shared across all jurisdictions, while at the same time being able to process data from SCEMD and surrounding counties. As Palmetto Vision comes online, SCEMD is looking for partners such as local Colleges and Universities that would be willing to share data that can help in preparedness, mitigation, and response planning. This model of statewide cooperation should become a standard in disaster and hazards management.