A new partnership
CHHS has gained a valuable partner in Towson University (my alma mater) for its work on Maryland’s two resource management projects for the FY08 Regional Catastrophic Preparedness Grant Program. Towson’s Center for GIS (CGIS) will be working with us on what we call Project 6: Key Resources. For those unfamiliar with CGIS, it is a self-supporting professional organization within the university’s Division of Economic and Community Outreach. Staff use geographic information systems (GIS) technology to develop opportunities and solve challenges in government, business, and non-profit organizations.
Project 6 is very technical in nature, especially to us lawyers at CHHS, which is why we sought out Towson for its expertise in this area. The goal of Project 6 is to assess resource management systems and determine interoperability requirements on a regional level. At the end of our work, the FEMA Region III jurisdictions (D.C., DE, MD, PA, VA, WV) will receive an in-depth evaluation of their resource management systems, a plan for enhancing their systems to allow regional interoperability in resource management, and templates for standardizing data collection for key resources.
To accomplish that goal, CGIS teams will collect and analyze data and variables for each jurisdiction’s existing and planned resource managements systems, and the resource types being tracked by the systems, that support the DHS target capabilities for emergency management: Evacuation and Shelter-In-Place, Mass Care, Medical Surge, and Economic and Community Recovery.
CHHS staff will work very closely with the Towson team throughout this process, and perhaps pick up a new skill along the way!