Hurricane Laura became the first major hurricane of the 2020 Atlantic storm season as it trekked across the Gulf of Mexico towards the Louisana/Texas border. The National Alliance for Public Safety GIS Foundation (NAPSG) requested support from GISCorps volunteers for the long-standing Disaster Crowdsource Photos effort, to provide situational awareness to emergency managers. Hurricane Laura came ashore at Holly Beach, LA, overnight between August 26th & 27th as a Category 4 hurricane on the Saffir Simpson scale. Quickly being downgraded to a tropical storm, Laura continued north into Arkansas before turning east causing multiple tornadoes and power outages across Louisiana, Arkansas and Tennessee.
Thirty volunteers joined the effort contributing more than 186 hours and 422 photos in 4 days. Thanks to all the volunteers that contributed: Jonathan Heiss, Vickery Cleveland, Elena Kraus, Sonya Wilson , Austin Adkison, Miranda Harvey, Christy Rees, Miguel Silva, Ingrid Jourgensen, Kyle Palentino, Jessica Randall, Paul Paddock, Mia Maschal, Sadie Barker, Kenneth Hornfeldt, Sarah Burns, Lisa Dubas, Johnathan Clementi, David McSpaden, Katherine E. Melton, Darby Levin, Keith Johnson, Alexander McFadden, Megan Wunderlich, Adrien Hoff, Brigit Anderson, Saeideh Hejazi, Alyssia Church, Jana Pimentel, Brandon Goblirsch, Toni Scott, Misha Alia Awad. This project was managed by Core Committee members German Whitley and Erin Arkison with assistance from Holly Torpey.
After Hurricane Isaias at the beginning of August, some improvements were made to the Volunteer Portal to help volunteers receive feedback on their photo submissions. These improvements have dramatically improved the amount of images that were approved by the Admin Team and have helped reduce the amount of confusion. GISCorps expects to activate for all major weather disasters in 2020 using this platform. Explore all past disaster events NAPSG and GISCorps have partnered on using this Crowdsource-style platform embedded below or at this link.