CUSEC GIS/IT Working Group Recognized with FEMA Award for Technological Innovation
September 2015 - CUSEC is honored to announce that our Geographic Information Systems (GIS) and Information Technology (IT) Working Group is the recipient of the 2015 FEMA Individual and Community Preparedness (ICPD) Award, Technological Innovation category. The award is based on the GIS/IT innovations leading up to and during CAPSTONE-14, a multi-year planning and exercise initiative involving the CUSEC Member and Associate States, the Federal Government, and Private Sector. During CAPSTONE-14, the Working Group created data sharing models and tools for decision makers for situational awareness before and during disasters. These systems have since become national models of excellence and were a test-bed to lay the foundation for future improvements for expanding regional and national shared situational awareness for emergency management and first responders.
The annual ICPD awards program recognizes outstanding efforts of individuals, programs, and organizations throughout the country working to prepare their
communities for emergencies. The winners developed innovative practices and campaigns in 2014 that have made outstanding contributions toward making communities safer,better prepared, and more resilient. According to FEMA Administrator Craig Fugate, "“Effective emergency management requires commitment, teamwork, and
engagement by the entire community before disasters occur. I congratulate the individuals and organizations that embody these ideals. Through their hard work and dedication, they are making our nation stronger and safer."
CUSEC will join ten other award recipients who will be recognized by FEMA on September 8, 2015 in Washington, D.C. During the recognition ceremony, recipients will share their experiences, success stories, and lessons learned with fellow emergency management leaders. Including CUSEC's GIS/IT Working Group, CUSEC Member State Alabama's Be Ready program also received an award for their "Alabama Be Ready Camp".
We would like to congratulate all award winners and program applicants and recognize their contributions to improving community preparedness. For more information on the 2015 ICPD Awards, please see the official FEMA Press Release.
Iowa, Louisiana, and Nebraska Participating in the Great Central U.S. ShakeOut
August 2015 - With just two months until the 2015 Great ShakeOut Earthquake Drills are set to occur, the states of Iowa, Louisiana, and Nebraska are now official participants in the regional effort known as the Great Central U.S. ShakeOut. Schools, businesses, individuals and organizations in communities within these states can now register to participate in the earthquake drill and be counted along with other CUSEC Member and Associate States.
The ShakeOut, scheduled for October 15, 2015 at 10:15 local time, occurs annually on the third Thursday in October, and occurs in states throughout the nation and several countries around the world. ShakeOut participants are encouraged to hold earthquake drills, make plans to be prepared for earthquakes and other disasters, and take action to mitigate against earthquake damage. Nearly 26.5 million people participated in the event in 2014, which is linked with FEMA's America's PrepareAthon! individual and community preparedness campaign.
Registration and information on how to hold an earthquake drill can be found on the ShakeOut website at www.shakeout.org.
CUSEC Receives Investment in GIS from Delta Regional Authority
July 2015 - CUSEC is pleased to announce a recent grant from the Delta Regional Authority, a federal-state partnership created by Congress to help create jobs, build communities, and improve lives through strategic investments in economic development in 252 counties and parishes across eight states.
Through this grant and investment in the region, CUSEC and our Member States will create the first regional Geographical Information System (GIS) in the CUSEC region, as part of our mission to reduce earthquake-related deaths, injuries, property damage and economic losses. GIS is an information system designed to capture, store, manipulate, analyze, manage, and present all types of spatial or geographical data. With the use of this GIS system, emergency management officials will have the ability to share information and achieve situational awareness across the entire region.
This system will speed States' ability for disaster response and recovery efforts as well as improving overall disaster preparedness from an emergency management perspective. “One of our highest priorities in this region is to ensure that our communities, businesses, and families are ready to bounce back economically from a natural disaster,” said Chris Masingill, Federal Co-Chairman of the DRA. “The disaster preparedness and mitigation capabilities that CUSEC and this regional GIS is bringing to Delta states will make our communities more resilient and more competitive for future economic growth.
The regional GIS initiative follows a successful test and implementation of several GIS advancements during the CAPSTONE-14 exercise in 2014. Current GIS improvements are slated to continue through 2016 and 2017. For more information on the Delta Regional Authority, please visit their website at www.dra.gov.