Humanity Road Mapping Operation Blue Horizon
Requests for Rescue (SAR) and Urgent Requests for Assistance (RFA) are culled from social media by Humanity Road volunteers and plotted in the application viewed live. Data is also being received from the Cajun Navy. Data live updates to the map from the Humanity Road database. We are removing cases that have been rescued when the rescue is marked closed. Closed cases are not always possible to confirm but are cycled off the map when we can confirm them thanks to the Cajun Navy and our volunteers behind the scenes.
National Shelter System– Open Shelters
This Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) map layer displays data from the National Shelter System (NSS) database. The NSS is synchronized every morning with the American Red Cross shelter database. It supports federal, state and local government agencies and voluntary organizations responsible for mass care and emergency assistance.
South Carolina Hospitals
The layer displays South Carolina Hospitals. It includes South Carolina Hospitals Association published addresses.
North Carolina Hospitals
This layer is from the NC State Center for Health Statistics, Division of Public Health, Department of Health and Human Services. It lists medical facility locations.
Hurricane Evacuation Routes
This Homeland Infrastructure Foundation Level Data feature layer displays the locations of hurricane evacuation routes in the United States. These are designated routes used to direct traffic inland in case of a hurricane threat.
About this initiative
Volunteers representing multiple organizations are collaborating in response to Hurricane Florence. The organizations include Humanity Road, GISCorps, Montgomery County, MD CERT, Data Information from NAPSG. Tasks included identifying and mapping rescue requests, identification of urgent needs, and situational awareness. The tasks were completed through the cooperation of sharing database information, leveraging a data aggregation tool, automated and manual scanning of social media platforms, and usage of Skype for communications that provided team situational awareness throughout the period of activation dubbed
Operation Blue Horizon
Operation Blue Horizon involved the mapping of rescue requests made through different sources (Cajun Navy and Crowd Relief databases, and, Facebook and Twitter social media platforms).
Ten (10) individuals representing the 4 organizations identified 101 rescue requests from the databases and social media platforms. These 101 rescues were from 16 of the 100 North Carolina counties. Nearly 40% (39) of the rescue requests have been marked resolved as of 1800 hrs, September 16th.
Information sharing amongst team members was vital to identifying the 101 rescue requests. There were nearly four dozen times in which team members shared information amongst one another. For example, the GISCorps Team shared several maps associated to hospitals in SC and NC, shelters, FEMA shelters, NWS Precipitation, Facebook’s crisis and power map, and an ArcGIS Online New Bern flood waters map. Montgomery County, MD CERT volunteers shared links to information pertaining to hospital closure/wait times, mobile hospital deployment, shelters status, flood levels, road closures, hot spots, mandatory evacuations, NOAA flood warnings and weather forecast updates, data mining websites, news updates, and Twitter hashtags.
Scanigo: Summary of North Carolina Social Media Monitoring
Several volunteers mined social media data through Scanigo. As of 6pm, September 16th, volunteers were monitoring social media in 204 towns in 8 North Carolina counties on the coast and 486 towns in 21 counties near the coast. 263,850 tweets had been generated pertaining to the 8 coastal counties – the first counties to be impacted by Hurricane Florence. 145,406 tweets had been generated pertaining to 21 inland counties, with an anticipation the tweet volume for these counties, and additional counties, will continue to increase in the next 24 hours. Based on the path of the storm, combined with issued watches and warnings, 13 additional counties & 181 towns will be monitored on September 17th. This represents 40% of all counties in North Carolina
About the partners
Montgomery County, MD CERT, http://montgomerycert.org/
Special Thank you to Humanity Road Digital Humanitarian Team volunteers Reid Weigleb and Evan Twarog GIS Specialists who facilitated the development of the map, a process that we have been working on for the past year..