Creating Effective Disaster Preparedness, Response, and Recovery Resources for the Nevada Division of Emergency Management

In 2020, the State of Nevada’s Department of Public Safety began discussing the possibility of using Esri’s ArcGIS disaster response and damage assessment solutions to support emergency preparedness, response, and recovery more efficiently and effectively within its Division of Emergency Management (DEM). With Blue Raster’s extensive knowledge on these configurable solutions, Nevada’s DEM selected our team to partner together to build out the Preliminary Damage Assessment (PDA) Tool utilizing ArcGIS in Nevada’s specific environment.

NVDEM Damage Assessment

With the PDA Tool, Nevada’s DEM is able to:

  • Conduct initial damage assessments following natural disaster(s) or destructive event(s)
  • Capture the extent and severity of damage to property
  • Streamline evaluation of need for resources and acquisition of resources after disaster(s)
  • Aid emergency management
  • Collect damage reports
  • Perform initial assessments
  • Monitor the impact of disaster(s)
  • Provide critical information to stakeholders and the public

For the next few months, our team collected the necessary data to bring into the ArcGIS applications; configured and tested the disaster-management capabilities; and created several workflows in ArcGIS Online, ArcGIS Hub, Survey123, and ArcGIS Dashboards that would soon be presented to Nevada representatives from the state and local levels, as well as tribal lands.

To successfully build out the services Nevada DEM needed, our team also collaborated with Esri to secure the purchasing of Surge Licensing activated through Esri’s Disaster Response Program and requested through the State. With Surge Licensing, the division can request as many additional licenses as needed during the time of a disaster response without having to manage a large number of users on a day-to-day basis.

Nevada DEM’s PDA Tool utilizes:

  • ArcGIS Online to host and serve out content to the applications within the PDA Tool—including ArcGIS Dashboards, Survey123, and ArcGIS Hub
  • ArcGIS Dashboards to provide a comprehensive, at-a-glance view of the data and monitor trends
  • Survey123 so data can be collected via forms that are built into the tool; this includes operational surveys that can be accessed through the Damage Assessment Content group

ArcGIS Hub which offers a public site for county and local users and an internal destination for Nevada DEM; it also serves as a platform for connection and engagement between government entities and residents and promotes resources and data that are useful to the community

ArcGIS Experience Builder which is the configurable solution Blue Raster used to build the PDA Tool web application

In 2022, once the PDA Tool was in a good place, Nevada DEM brought in stakeholders—who were county officials, DEM employees, and local community and tribal leaders—so our team could deliver a series of trainings in their Emergency Operation Centers (EOC). Blue Raster GIS Analyst Andrew Patterson traveled to Carson City and Las Vegas to provide on-site, day-long trainings at the Nevada EOCs. These sessions included hands-on demonstrations, out-in-the-field practice, and thorough documentation so attendees could take what they learned during the training back to their communities and teach other people how to use this beneficial tool.

“Providing on-site training for Nevada DEM was a fantastic learning and teaching experience. I was able to work directly with the DEM’s GIS project manager and lead grants coordinator to provide day-long trainings at both the Carson City EOC and North Las Vegas City Hall. We used these trainings to not only showcase and teach the Preliminary Damage Assessment Tool but to also provide education on damage assessment best practices and its importance.” – Andrew Patterson, GIS Analyst, Blue Raster

NVDEM Training

Be Prepared in the Face of a Disaster

Blue Raster excels in creating fully operational emergency-management solutions. Interested in learning more? Contact us today to tell us more about your needs.

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