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The Apalachee Regional Planning Council (ARPC) is a multi-purpose agency that was created in 1977, one of ten Regional Planning Councils in the state of Florida. The ARPC provides technical assistance in the areas of economic development, emergency planning, transportation, environmental planning, and quality of life to meet the needs of member local governments within the nine-county Apalachee Region in northwest Florida, shown below.

Apalachee Region of northwest Florida

A large portion of the region that ARPC serves was devastated in 2018 by Hurricane Michael. As such, they have been working closely with FEMA, counties, and local municipalities in the area to determine the extent and scope of damage to housing in the vicinity. While they have some available data, much of the Region is under-represented due to lack of staff and funding. They currently host a mapping and data portal, which utilizes ArcGIS Online (

ARPC requested help from GISCorps in finding a volunteer who has experience with a post-disaster housing needs assessment. Volunteer Bill Bishop of New Jersey stepped up to fill this role, drawing from his experiences with Hurricane Sandy in his home state.

ARPC was unable to fund staff time for this project, but they did have several discussions with the volunteer who provided them with valuable guidance for future developments.

“The volunteer we worked with was a perfect fit for the project, very knowledgeable. “

Sara Hibbard, GIS Specialist, ARPC

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