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The role of emergency mapping in disaster response

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Material Information

Title:
The role of emergency mapping in disaster response
Series Title:
Quick response research report ;
Physical Description:
10 p. : ; 28 cm.
Language:
English
Creator:
Dymon, Ute J
University of Colorado, Boulder -- Natural Hazards Research and Applications Information Center
University of Colorado, Boulder -- Institute of Behavioral Science
Publisher:
National Hazards Research and Applications Information Center, University of Colorado
Place of Publication:
Boulder, Colo
Publication Date:

Subjects

Subjects / Keywords:
Emergency management -- Pennsylvania -- Craigsville   ( lcsh )
Communication in human services   ( lcsh )
Railroad accidents -- Pennsylvania -- Craigsville   ( lcsh )
Maps -- Craigsville (Pa.)   ( lcsh )
Genre:
government publication (state, provincial, terriorial, dependent)   ( marcgt )
non-fiction   ( marcgt )

Notes

Additional Physical Form:
Also issued online as part of a joint project with the Louis de la Parte Florida Mental Health Institute (FMHI) Research Library’s disaster mental health initiative.
Statement of Responsibility:
by Ute J. Dymon.
General Note:
Cover title.

Record Information

Source Institution:
University of South Florida Library
Holding Location:
University of South Florida
Rights Management:
All applicable rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier:
aleph - 001985157
oclc - 39138802
usfldc doi - F57-00044
usfldc handle - f57.44
Classification:
lcc - HV551.4.C73 D96 1990 no. 42
System ID:
SFS0001125:00001


This item is only available as the following downloads:


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NaturalHazardsResearchandApplicationsInformationCenterCampusBox482UniversityofColoradoBoulder,Colorado80309-0482 THEROLE OP EMERGENCYHAPPINGIN DISASTERRESPONSEByuteJ.DymonDepartmentofGeology/GeographyUniversityofMassachusetts QUICX RESPONSE RESEARCH REPORT #42 1990This publication is partofthe Natural Hazards Research & Applications Information Center's ongoing Quick ResponseResearch Report Series. http://VVWIN.colorado.edu/hazardsTheviewsexpressedinthisreportarethoseoftheauthorsandnotnecessarilythoseoftheNaturalHazardsCenterortheUniversityofColorado.InstituteofBehavioralScience#6 (303) 492-6818TELEFAX:(303)492-6924

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FINALREPORTQuickResponseResearchUteJ.DymonDepartmentofGeology/GeographyUniversityofMassachusetts,Amherst,MA01003THE ROLEOFEMERGENCY MAPPING INDISASTERRESPONSEMapsareakeyingredientinemergencyplanningfortechnologicaldisasters.DeLucia(1979)declaresthat"mapsarethefundamentalmediaofcommunicationforplanninginformation."Byprovidingspatialorganizationofthecriticalmovementsinahazardousevent,mapsareindispensabletoolsnecessary:tocoordinatetheeffortsofemergencygroupsandservicesbyusingagenerallyacceptedmodelforactions;toprovideaguideforpossible bythepublic;toaidthe flow ofresourcesandservicesbefore,duringandafteranemergency;toserve,especiallyduringtheevent,asthequickestmethodforlocatingataglancealltheelementsat work inaspecificgeographicarea without havingtoreadlargevolumesofinformation;toilluminateforemergencymanagersandforthe thephysicalconstraintsoftheincidentsiteandthemostadvantageouschoiceofactionstotake;andtoserveaseducationaldevicesorpublicrelationstools.Despitethebasicroleemergencyplanningmapscanplayinpromotingcross-departmental,cross-agencyandcross-jurisdictional ofemergencyresponseefforts, review ofthecartographicliteraturerevealed few referencesconcerningtheuseofemergencymaps.WithsupportfromtheNaturalHazardsResearchandApplicationsInformationCenterinBoulder,Colorado,aQuickResponseStudyinvestigationofatrainderailmentinruralPennsylvaniasoughttodetermine what and how manymaps were availableforuseduringtheemergencyand howtheVwere employed.Thesebasicquestionsshapedtheinquiry:1.Whatpoliticaljurisdictions,governmentoffices,andagenciesorprivateorganizations were involvedorresponded?2.Whatkindsofmaps were employedbytheseactorsduringemergencyresponseefforts?3.Whatmaps were availableforusebythegeneralpublicand what maps were actuallyusedand owned byevacuees?TheEmergencyEventMapuseduringatrainderailmentandsubsequentexplosive

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firewasthefocusofthisresearch.ThistechnologicaldisasterstruckCraigsvilleonApril22,1990,atapproximately9:30pmwhen29carsofa97-carBuffaloandPittsburghRailroadtrainbeingpulledbyfivelocomotivesderailedonasteepslopeinthetown.Onederailedcarcarried2000gallonsofsodium hydroxJde, adraincleaner,buttwelveofthederailedtankersheldmorethan100,000gallonsofcrudeoil.Overthespanoftheemergency,fourofthesetankersexploded,andthecoalinnumerousopen-toppedcarscaughtfire.Causticsodiumhydroxideandparticulatesfromtheburningcrudeoilbuiltacloudmorethanahundredfeethighwhichwaskeptclosetothegroundbyatemperatureinversion.Topreventfurtherdispersalofthiscloud,airtrafficwasforbiddenina5milediameterzonearoundtheaccidentsite.Anairadvisorywasissuedwarningtheelderly,thosewithrespiratoryproblemsandtheyoungtoclosewindowsandstayindoors.FourteenfirecompaniesandfiveambulanceservicesunderthedirectionoftheFireChiefoftheWorthington-WestFranklinVolunteerFireCompanyprovidedemergencyservicesduringthefirst three daysofthecrisis.Theevacuationofapproximately400residentsintheCraigsvilleareatookplacethenightofthederailment.Asstubbornfirescontinuedfortwodays,threatconditionsledtoadestructivepotentialsufficienttocause:firedamagetofourhomes,extensivecontaminationofthelocalwatersupply,fishkillsdownstreamalongtheAlleghenyRiver,lossof12,000trouthatchlingsstockedinBuffaloCreek,ablackoilfilmonstructures,healthhazardsfromfouledairforaweek or longerandeconomiclossto several localfarmbusinesses.Twofirefighterssustainedinjuries.butthere were nofatalities.ResearchStrategyTwosurveyquestionnairesadministeredininterviewswithemergencypersonnelandevacueesincludedquestionsaboutresidency,educationaland career background,mapuse,mapavailabilityandmapneeds.Followuptelephonecallsweremadetocomplete20interviewswithofficialsandrepresentativesofvolunteeragenciesandthirtyinterviewswithevacuees.Threefocishapedon-siteobservations:1>identifyingmapsavailableforusebyemergencypersonnelintheCommandCenterandinemergencyvehicles;2)determiningtheextentofmapuseatthederailmentsite;and3>establishingtheroleofmapsincommunicating risk tothemedia.ResearchFindingsResultsrevealedthattherewasnomapshowingresidencesavailabletoguideemergencyefforts,andthepublicwasevacuatedwithouttheofficialdecisionmakerconsultingamap. Emer gencyresponsepersonnelcomplainedaboutalackofmapsoftheappropriatescaleanddetailforuseintheCommandCenterandintheofficeoftheIncidentCommander,FireChiefoftheWorthington,WestFranklinTownship,therewasnotonemaponthewalls.A USGStopographicalmapandaGeneralHighwayMap,bothbroughttotheCommandCenterbythePennsylvaniaEmergencyManagementAgency,werereferredto,buttheimpactareawas

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largerthanthisone-USGSquadranglemapshowed.BecauseCraigsvilleislocatedneartheuppercornerofa USGSquadrangle,fourUSGStopomaps were neededtoshowallofthelandimpacted;therefore,eventhetopomapemergencyrespondershadavailabletouse was incomplete.Inhisroleas water systemsmanager ArmstrongCounty,onepersonusedhiswetlandmapofBuffaloCreektoadvisePennsylvaniaDepartmentofEnvironmentalResources(PADER)onstrategiestoprotectthesurfacewatersoftheareaduringthenightofthederailment.TheIncidentCommanderdirectedtheevacuationwithouttheuseofonemaptoshowthelocationofresidents.Emergencyresponsepersonneloperatedsolelyfromtheir own mentalmapsofthearearesultingintheapplicationofasystemofcollectivementalmaps.Thevideotapeshotbythefirecompany'sphotographerandcommentsfromCraigsvilleresidentspointtothedangersofconductinganevacuationwithoutappropriateresidencymaps.Firecompanyradiocommunicationscapturedontheofficialvideotaperevealthatemergencypersonneldiscussedstreetlocationdirectionsatlength.Iftheyhadbeenabletoreferenceidenticaltownmaps,lessvitaltimeatthepeakofthecrisis would havebeenwasted.Evacueeinterviewsrevealedthatthere were indications two isolatedandunusuallocationsofresidencesresultedinoversightsduringevacuation.Hadtownmapsbeenavailable,thesehomesneednothavebeenoverlooked.Finally,thefactthatthisderailmentemergencyandevacuation were handledsuccessfully was duetotherelativelylimitedareaimpacted.Hadthecloudbeenmoretoxicorthefirearealarger.thelackofmapsforevacuationandcontrolofthephysicalagentcouldhavehadevenmorecriticalconsequences.Evacueeinterviewsrevealedthefollowing:1)nomaps other thanmentalmaps were usedbythepublicduringtheevacuation;2)nearlyone-fifthofthepeopleinterviewed,all new residentsinthecommunity,saidtheycouldseetheadvantageofhavingamapavailableforuseduringanevacuation;3)evenif they hadwantedtouseone,thirtypercentoftheinterviewees own nomapsatall;and4)themajorityhadPittsburghandPennsylvaniaroadmapsbothintheirhomesandintheircars.Alreadypublishedmaps were notviewedbytheevacueesasessentialforemergencyevacuations."Crisismapping,"a new genreofmappingfordecisionmakingandriskcommunication, was foundtoexistduringthisemergency.AtleastsixofthefederalandstateagenciesDrcompaniesoperatingoutofthecommandcenterpreparedhand drawn sitesketchestofacilitatedecisionmakingandriskcommunicationduringtheemergency.This new typeofcartographictoolservedvariousfunctions.OnetapedtothewalloftheCommandCenterthemorningaftertheevent was usedtoorganizewatersamplingeffortsbythePennsylvaniaDepartmentofEnvironmentalResources.Anothercrisismap was faxedovernightbythePEMAstaffat

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theCommandCentertotheirHarrisburgofficetoprovidethebasisforphoneconsultationsthenextday.Themostimportantcrisismappreparedduringthisincidentwasasketchofthezigzagged,derailedrailroadcarsdrawnona17"x24"posterboard.TheFireChiefpostponedmakingcriticaldecisions controllingpotentialexlosionsonMondayuntilthiscrisismapwasavailable.AtanewsconferenceonTuesday,thissameroughlydrawncrisismapprovidedthechiefmeansforcommunicatingtothemediainanewsconferencethedegreeofpotentialrisksremaining.Crisismaps were producedbytheEPA,NSTBandBuffaloandPittsburghRailroadtomitigateandtoreconstructtheaccident.Atruismthatcharacterizesthisdisasteris"thecloseryougettotheincident,thefewerthemapsthatareavailable." At thestatelevelinPennsylvania,acomprehensivecomputermappingsystemprovidesdetailedemergencymaps.Partofthismappingcapabilityisaonemilliondollar"TAGAVAN"thatcanperformchemicalanalysisandproduceplumemapsattheemergencyincidentsite.ConditionsintheCraigsvillecasepreventeduseofthisvan.Beforethederailment,requestswentouttoeachcountyinPennsylvaniatosubmittothestatecountydatatobeincorporatedintothestatewideGeographicalInformationSystem(GIS).Thismappeddatathenbecameavailabletoindividualcountiesinaformwherebytheycouldaddinformationtoproduceupdatedmaps.TheskillsnecessaryforuseofthisGISbycountyandstateemployeesarestillbeingacquired,andupdatingofthecountydataisnotyetcomplete..ConclusionsandRecommendationsInemergencyplanning,theroleofdetailedmapsindisastermanagementhasbeenneglected.IntheCraigsvillecase,emergencypersonnelexpressedastrongneedforblownuptopographicalmapsandresidencymaps.Byproducingcrisismaps,theywereabletodocumentthedetailsofspatialrelationshipsandthechangingelementsoftheemergencytocontrolandmitigatetheconsequencesofthedisaster.Inboththeresponseandrecoveryperiodsofthistechnologicaldisaster,crudecrisismapshelpedemergencymanagers:graspthegeographicfactsnecessarytodealwiththephysicalagent,explainriskstothemedia.documentbetterrecordsofthehistoryoftheincident,andreconstructthedisastertoestablishwhatlessonswerelearned.Crisismappingisfillingavoidandshouldberecognizedasacriticalpartofemergencymanagementthatneedstobeintegratedmorefullyintoplanning.MorespecificrecommendationsbasedoninsightsgainedfromthisQuickResponseresearchincludethefollowing:1.Thereisaneedfor toproducelocaltownmapswhichincluderesidences.2.Theimportantroleofcrisismapsneedstobeacknowledgedbyemergencyplannerssomaterialsfortheir

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productionaretakentothesitesoftechnologicaldisasters.3.Toimprovetheeffectivenessofcrisismaps,guidelinesfortheirnecessarycontentanddesignshouldbedeveloped.Thiswouldincludestandardizationofmethodsforshowingaccuratelocationsofsamplingsites,tracingdynamicconditionsduringtheevent,portrayingrelationshipstoothergeographicallocationsandphenomena,andindicatingdirectionsandscale.4.Bydeterminingtheperson who istasked with drawingcrisismaps,trainingcanbeprovided.5.Researchisneededtoestablishwhetherimplementationofcomputermappingcapabilitiesforcrisismappinginthefieldiswarranted.6.Emergencymapping,especiallycrisismapping,deservesspecialattention.onthepartofcartographers,decisionmakersandemergencymanagers.Emphasis was putonthemappingaspectsofthisincident.Foramoredetailedreport,includinganalysisofthesocialfactorsexistinginthiscommunitythroughapplicationofQuarantelli'smodelofevacuation,ajournalarticlehasbeenpreparedand will besupplieduponrequest.