GIS Professionals Can Help in Disaster Response Effort to Hurricane Katrina

NOTE -- All positions are filled at this time; thanks to everyone who offered to help.

GISCafe has set up a special Katrina Discussion Forum

September 1, 2005 - URISA's GISCorps is seeking volunteer assistance to respond to the Hurricane Katrina disaster, and GITA is also in the process of obtaining a number of GPS receivers and arranging for GIS management expertise for the Mississippi EOC in Jackson.

If you can be of any assistance in this enormous disaster response effort, please let GITA know – they will be coordinating efforts with GISCorps to try to help authorities in Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama. Please respond to Email Contact or to Shoreh Elhami directly as indicated in the following message.

From GISCorps:

This is an urgent request. If you are qualified for these two positions, email Shoreh Elhami ( Email Contact)as soon as you can (also attach your resume).

In response to the Hurricane Katrina disaster, GISCorps has been asked to provide 20 volunteers to Mississippi Emergency Operation Center (EOC) in Jackson, Mississippi. They need two groups of ten volunteers:

Group 1: Must have at least 5 years of experience and well versed in using ArcGIS 9.0 in an SDE environment, comfortable in making maps and conducting quick analysis. Experience in disaster management is a plus.

Group 2: Must have at least 5 years of experience and well versed in using ArcGIS 9.0 and GPS software and equipment. **Must bring their own laptop loaded with 9.0 and also must bring a GPS unit compatible with ArcGIS**. This group will be working with search and rescue teams and K9 units mainly collecting data and navigating.

The following provides some general information provided by EOC office:

  • Both groups must be able to fly out within 24 hours
  • Must be able to stay for 5-7 days
  • Will work in 12-hour shifts
  • They provide lodging (in tents and on cots)
  • They will provide meals
  • Must bring boots, sleeping bags, and clothes suitable for field work and be prepared for an extremely hot weather
  • Must arrange and pay for your own flight, will be reimbursed for the cost of the ticket later. Jackson airport should be open to commercial flights. Memphis is a 4 hour drive away and a secondary option.
  • Group two must bring own GPS and laptop (no exceptions)
  • Group two will be working in very harsh conditions and must be prepared to deal with that.
They can apply and become a volunteer by filling out the volunteer form here.

Additionally, FEMA suggests relief organizations that request either cash donations or donations and volunteers:

Organizations Requesting Cash Donations

Note: 800 and 888 phone numbers work only in the U.S. and Canada

American Red Cross
English: 800 HELP NOW (435 7669)
Spanish: 800 257 7575

Operation Blessing
800 436 6348

America's Second Harvest
800 344 8070

Organizations Requesting Donations and Volunteers

Adventist Community Services
800 381 7171

Catholic Charities USA
+1 703 549 1390

For further information, visit the Web site for the National Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster.

Review Article
  • October 09, 2008
    Reviewed by 'Elhami, Shoreh'
    Dear Volunteer,
    We would like to inform you that all 20 positions are filled at this
    time and the deployed volunteers are either on their way to Jackson or
    will arrive there in within the next day. The response to our alert has
    been extraordinary and we have added 260 new volunteers to our database
    since yesterday(it's over 530 now)!
    We are now adding the names of qualified volunteers to a wait list.
    Should any of the selected volunteers end up not going or if we are
    asked to provide more volunteers to other organizations, we will take
    your application into consideration.
    Thanks for your generosity and willingness to help out in these
    difficult times.
    Warm Regards,
    Shoreh Elhami, GISCorps Chair

      Was this review helpful to you?   (Report this review as inappropriate)

For more discussions, follow this link …

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