Emergency Responder’s Resource Management Tool
A system whereby emergency response personnel could effectively manage relief package delivery to households affected by flood disasters in Lake County Indiana was desired. One of the essential components required of the system was a means to visualize disaster affected areas, package delivery points, and optimized routes for package delivery. Additionally, a secondary system for calculating optimized routes on a supercomputing cluster and a method of transferring data sets to and from the visualization component was needed.
The prototype solution developed used Google Earth as the visualization component; this was updated remotely via a PosgreSQL database backed PHP web site. A raster color map algorithm processing GIS survey data files was developed and utilized in the calculation of optimized routes; data transfer between the web server and the supercomputing cluster occurred via HTTP POST transactions in conjunction with the common ‘wget’ executable available on the Linux-based supercomputing cluster.
Utilization of freely available software packages proved effective as a low-cost solution to the problem. External evaluation of the system was favorable; an effort is being made to expand the prototype to a fully functional tool for use by emergency responders.