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The National Alliance for Public Safety GIS Foundation (NAPSG) has been a long time partner of GISCorps. Since 2017, NAPSG and GISCorps have partnered on over a dozen crowdsourced disaster relief responses involving hurricanes, earthquakes, tornadoes and flooding. Early iterations of the project were conducted using Esri’s Story Map Crowdsource template. It then evolved into Operations Dashboards using the Attachment Viewer web application. Now in 2020, a new iteration has been built using Experience Builder.

Slack channels have also become a critical facet of managing volunteers. CEDR Digital Corps, a fellow partner with a specialty in leveraging social media to help those in need, injected several helpful integrations between Twitter and Slack. We have added a validation team who confirms the locational accuracy of each post and populates value-added information such as structure damage level and FEMA Community Lifelines.

Though the technology is ever evolving, the main goal of the project is to provide early situational awareness to first responders and emergency managers at all levels. During large events, we are in daily contact with federal emergency managers. During smaller events, NAPSG ensures local emergency operation centers are well informed.

Current Activation: On Standby during 2020 Hurricane Season

The majority of these disaster response projects are crowdsourced, and therefore open to all volunteers. You can learn more about participating by reviewing the most recent evolution of our Volunteer Portal, built on Esri’s Experience Builder platform. Instructions, FAQs and a video showing the basic workflow can all be found on the Portal. We also have a 2020 Disasters Crowdsourced Photos Hub page for further exploration of the data. All data is open for use. 

Past Activations:

Many of our past responses can be seen below or click this link for a standalone version. 

2020: Puerto Rico Earthquake, Middle Tennessee Tornadoes, Southeast Tornado Outbreak, Michigan Dam Failures, Tropical Storm Cristobal, Hurricane Hanna, Hurricane Isaias, Hurricane Laura

2019: Hurricane Barry, Hurricane Dorian

2018: Hurricane Florence, Hurricane Michael

2017: Hurricane Harvey, Hurricane Irma, Hurricane Maria

Additional projects and publicity:

Several spin-off projects have resulted from the Crowdsource Photo projects including QA/QC of 2020 tornado damage in Seneca, South Carolina and Hurricane Florence flood level estimations for the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory which was included in this research publication.

NAPSG Project Reports:

Volunteers Geo-Locate Crowdsourced Photos for Hurricane Delta

Hurricane Delta, the 7th named storm of the 2020 Gulf storm season, made landfall early evening on Friday, October 9,...
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Volunteers geo-locate crowdsourced photos for Hurricane Sally

Hurricane Sally was the 18th named storm in the 2020 Atlantic Season, forming over the Bahamas in Early September. The...
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Volunteers geo-locate crowdsourced photos for Hurricane Laura

Hurricane Laura became the first major hurricane of the 2020 Atlantic storm season as it trekked across the Gulf of...
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Volunteers geo-locate crowdsourced photos for Hurricane Isaias

Hurricane Isaias was the second hurricane of the 2020 Atlantic storm season. The National Alliance for Public Safety GIS Foundation (NAPSG) requested...
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Volunteers geo-locate crowdsourced photos for Hurricane Hanna

Hurricane Hanna became the first hurricane of the 2020 season on July 25,2020, brining heavy rain and storm surge flooding...
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Volunteers geo-locate crowdsourced photos for Tropical Storm Cristobal

Tropical Storm Cristobal formed in the Bay of Campeche on June 1st. After impacting Mexico, it moved north across the...
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Volunteers geo-locate crowdsourced photos for Michigan dam failures

On May 19th, two dams on Central Michigan’s Tittabawassee River failed after days of heavy rain inundated the area, forcing...
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GISCorps Admin Team Renewed for 2020 Hurricane Season

Mid-2020 Update: To keep up with this busy season, three additional volunteers have joined the NAPSG Crowdsourcing Admin Team. Welcome,...
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Volunteers QA/QC Tornado Damage Data in Seneca, SC

Following the tornado outbreak in South Carolina on April 12, the South Carolina Emergency Response Task Force (SCERTF) via the...
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Volunteers geo-locate crowdsourced photos for Southeast tornado outbreak

On April 12-13, a series of devastating tornadoes touched down across the Southeastern United States. Mississippi, Alabama, and South Carolina...
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