What’s new in the Public Safety Damage Assessment Template?

Recently the Public Safety Damage Assessment Template has been updated.  There are now both 10.1 and 10 versions.  The main element that is new in this 10x release is the data collection forms.  We used the State of Idaho Damage Assessment Handbook as a guide and found the three key forms that they fill out in the field: Public Assistance (damage to public facilities), Individual Assistance (damage to residential buildings), and Business Assistance (damage to commercial buildings).  We turned these forms into feature classes.

These three feature classes can then be collected in the field.

And map to three different feature classes in the EmergencyOperations Feature Dataset.

We often hear stories (perhaps horror stories) from our users where they’ll get a pile of paper forms after an event and someone will say, “make me a map!”

Getting out in front of the process and having the forms, equipment and process in place beforehand will help prevent issues like this. Time and time again we’ve found that using ArcGIS for Windows Mobile to support the damage assessment process can dramatically reduce the time to collect this type of information as well as increase the accuracy.  Obviously, from a GIS perspective, we likely think that the main output that people would be looking for would be a map.  This may often be true.  There are other cases where people are just looking for a report.  In some cases, they may have some uber spreadsheet template already put together with macros that create the report.  To support this scenario, we’ve worked on updating the Microsoft Excel and CSV conversion tools.

You can use these tools to export the results of the data collected in the field directly to a CSV or MS Excel document that can be copied right in to the report.

A couple of other things to note: obviously, this template still comes with the basemap data for Naperville, IL.  It uses the technique of caching the basemap data (note the addition of the nice night theme basemap).  As you think about implementing this for your jurisdiction that is certainly a great option.  Also note that with each ArcGIS Server Advanced Enterprise License users (in the U.S.) are entitled to 100 deployments of StreetMap Mobile with great data from Nokia/NAVTEQ.  You can simply download the data from Esri Customer Service.

One of the other elements included in the template is the U.S. National Grid 1 km cells for Naperville.  You can download 1000 m cells for the whole U.S. from ArcGIS.com.  These data are broken up by UTM zones.  Here is a handy reference list of the U.S. National Grid UTM Zone Layer packages for the coterminous United States:

For our friends in Alaska in Hawaii, here is the list:

In a future post we’ll cover how to prepare this U.S. National Grid data with the Public Safety Damage Assessment template.

We certainly hope that this helps support some of your workflows.  Please provide us with your feedback (using the comments section of the template).  Does this match the same process in your state or county?

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  1. dcoombe says:

    I cannot download either the 10.1 or 10 template. After sign in the option is still unavailable.