Fort Wayne’s (Allen County, US) most vulnerable residents will be safer in emergencies, with the introduction of GIS. The program uses Allen County’s geographic information mapping system- i-Map-to pinpoint isolated and at-risk people living throughout the community. That information then can be used in an emergency to warn them and/or their caregivers of impending danger, particularly if evacuations are necessary.
The effort really began 18 months ago, when Joley, director of the Volunteer Center used organizations such as Easter Seals ARC, the Allen County Council on Aging and group homes, such as those McKinney manages, to identify people who would need help during an emergency– those with disabilities, who are fragile, elderly, isolated, etc. The idea has been so successful that Joley said her organization is working with officials in Boston to expand the use of GIS technology during emergencies there.
During a hazardous material spill, for example, GIS could allow officials to identify the area to be evacuated. And during large power failures, the technology could identify people with special health needs, so help could be sent.