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IkeGPS Katrina Case Study


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IkeGPS Katrina Case Study

  1. 1. Surveylab Case StudyIndustry: Military & Disaster ManagementUser: US Army Corps of Engineers (USACE), Louisiana, USAHurricane Katrina Disaster RecoveryHurricane Katrina was the costliest natural disaster of United States history, as well as one of the five deadliest.In September 2005, Hurricane Katrina caused wide-scale damage to the Southern United States.According to the US National Hurricane Center, Katrina was the costliest natural disaster, as well as oneof the five deadliest hurricanes in the country’s history. It caused severe destruction and loss of life alongthe Gulf coast from central Florida to Texas, much of it due to the storm surge. Property damage wasestimated at $81 billion (2005 USD). ikeGPS’s damage assessment capabilities were showcased by the USArmy Corps of Engineers (USACE) in the US Military Forces large-scale disaster relief and recovery effort.It proved to be a safe, rugged and integrated mobile data capture solution that could be deployed quicklyto capture verifiable data in hazardous locations and support optimal decision-making.Large-scale damage assessmentHurricane Katrina damage trail was extensive. For example, Louisiana’s New Orleans Times-Picayune dailynewspaper reported that the town’s levee system catastrophically failed, eventually flooding 80% of thecity and large parts of neighboring parishes. According to the US Department of Commerce, Mississippibeachfront towns were the worst hit with waters reaching 6–12 miles (10–19 km) inland from the beach.Many federal agencies such as Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and US Military Forcescontributed to the response and relief operations. The Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) were also calledupon to assist in the subsequent disaster response efforts.Surveylab had been working closely with USACE on streamlining and integrating ikeGPS into existingasset management solutions. Based on the successes of previous trials and backed by extensivefieldwork and training, ikeGPS was an obvious choice for the large-scale damage assessmentthat followed the hurricane.ikeGPS website - CS Final Ex Comments 1|3 January 2011
  2. 2. Surveylab Case StudyIn the immediate aftermath, it was vital to know the precise location of particular landmarks deepwithin the disaster zones and their geospatial relationship to each other. The enormity of the damagemeant that many features of importance had been altered or obstructed. Pre-hurricane informationand digital data wasn’t complete and reliable enough to guarantee safe access for recovery workersin the worst hit disaster areas. Comprehensive, detailed and fast field data collection was thereforerequired to map damaged areas, obstacles and hazard zones before effective relief missions wereplanned and teams deployed.USACE operators kept safe while recording data on hazardous sitesUSACE was faced with numerous site accessproblems during the relief efforts. A largenumber of potential biohazards such asoil spills needed to be located as specificplanning or responses were required forthese areas.ikeGPS was deployed to survey these sites,collect photos and crucial location data for therecovery planning process. ikeGPS’s abilityto capture detailed geographic informationand field notes from a distance meant thatdangerous sites or sites with unsafe access Hurricane Katrina’s aftermath.could be identified and recorded fromafar by USACE while keeping ikeGPS operators safe at all times. The ikeGPS laser range finder allowedoperators to efficiently capture information on multiple sites located up to 1000 meters away from asingle, safe and secure location.Following damage assessment of critical infrastructure during the emergency, additional site assessmentsand further collection of infrastructure data were carried out in downtown New Orleans, along withsurveys of damaged canals and levees on the Mississippi River.Quick, fast and efficient ikeGPS deployment ensured effective decision-makingOnce USACE ikeGPS operators completed fieldwork, data collected via a user-specific applicationwas transferred directly to the US Engineering Infrastructure Intelligence Reachback Centre (EI2RC)centralized ESRI ArcGIS geo-database. Field data and photographs were integrated and verified againstexisting geo information. Data was quickly processed to create up-to-date maps of the areas surveyed. Themaps were posted online and used to plan and coordinate rescue efforts, allowing efficient decision-making.The use of ikeGPS mobile data capture solution in such a large scale recovery effort highlights the qualityand reliability of ikeGPS as a field information collection and mapping tool in emergency situations. Itssimplicity allows for fast and efficient large-scale unit deployment, whilst its flexibility allows operators toquickly adapt the device for the task at hand.ikeGPS website - CS Katrina Traps Final Ex Comments 2|3 January 2011
  3. 3. Surveylab Case StudyAT A GLANCEKey reasons USACE selected ikeGPS • Allowed quick assessment and verifiable data to be collected on hazardous sites, or sites with restricted access • Site assessments performed before planning and coordinating disaster response missions and sending rescue teams • ikeGPS had already performed well in previous asset management trials • ikeGPS to corporate GIS database workflow already successfully tested in pre-Katrina missions and backed by extensive fieldwork and trainingKey benefits for USACE • Laser-range finder allowed operators to efficiently capture information on multiple sites located up to 1000 meters away, from a single safe and secure location • Fast data collection system and easily deployed in the field • Ease-of-use and integrated features into a single handheld rugged device • Could be deployed quickly and integrated seamlessly with current ArcGIS systems for optimal decision-makingTechnology used • ikeGPS field data collection solution from Surveylab • ESRI ArcGIS • ArcPad Mobile GIS softwareFor more information please contact:Richard TaylorVice President - ikeGPS Americasrichard.taylor@ikegps.comoffice: (281) 681 0356fax: (281) 681 9252www.ikeGPS.comikeGPS website - CS Katrina Final Ex Comments 3|3 January 2011