Links: Use of GIS in Emergency Management

This page provides links to resources for more information on the use of GIS for Emergency Management. The list is compiled and maintained by the Emergency Preparedness Committee of the Minnesota Governor's Council on Geographic Information.

The resources are arranged in the following categories (click on a link to jump to that category):


  • APHIS: Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS), U.S. Department of Agriculture emergency response efforts make up part of a cohesive government-wide endeavor. Link is to the Office of Emergency Management and Homeland Security.
  • CAP: Civil Air Patrol (CAP) has come a long way in the last couple of years. By congressional mandate, they are now equipped with aircraft and systems that allow real time visual download of via web or satellite. This is made possible through the Airborne Realtime Cueing Hyperspectral Enhanced Recon (ARCHER) system being deployed on their aircraft.
  • Civil Support Teams: Minnesota National Guard’s 55th Civil Support Team serves as the on-site capability of the Department of Defense for supporting state and local authorities in the event of an incident involving weapons of mass destruction. In day-to-day operations, they are often called to suspicious sites in conjunction with local and state agency hazardous waste/bio-hazard teams to assist with determination. GIS is used extensively while developing an understanding of the situation and communicating the facts.
  • DHS: U.S. Department of Homeland Security Preparedness & Response website.
  • EACC: The Eastern Area Coordination Center serves federal and state wildland fire agencies within the twenty-state Eastern Area (EA). Site serves as the EM node for these efforts.
  • FEB: Federal Executive Board of Minnesota sponsors an Emergency Preparedness Committee for Federal agencies in the Twin Cities. Links from this page go to numerous EM-related agencies.
  • FEMA: Federal Emergency Management Agency home website.
  • FEMA Region V: Home website for the FEMA Regional office responsible for Minnesota.
  • HSEM: Homepage for the Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Management, Minnesota Department of Public Safety.
  • ICEFISHX: Intelligence Communications Enterprise For Information Sharing and Exchange is an internet-based intelligence sharing initiative and alert network designed to collect and disseminate information relating to terrorist operations and other criminal activities to law enforcement, government agencies and the private sector within Minnesota, North and South Dakota.
  • Minnesota Board of Animal Health: As the official animal disease control and eradication agency of the State of Minnesota, the Board was created to protect the health of the state’s domestic animals.
  • Minnesota Department of Transportation: Homepage. Site is loaded with links to on-line and downloadable maps.
  • OEP: As part of the Minnesota Department of Health, the Office of Emergency Preparedness coordinates preparedness activities and assists local public health agencies, hospitals, health care organizations and public safety officials in their efforts to plan for, respond to and recover from public health emergencies.
  • USGS: The U.S. Geological Survey serves the Nation by providing reliable scientific information to describe and understand the Earth; minimize loss of life and property from natural disasters; manage water, biological, energy, and mineral resources; and enhance and protect our quality of life.
  • USNORTHCOM: U.S. Northern Command was established Oct. 1, 2002 to provide command and control of Department of Defense (DoD) homeland defense efforts and to coordinate defense support of civil authorities. Their EOC extensively uses GIS to maintain continuous watch on potential adverse developments.
  • Wildfire Information Center, Minnesota Department of Natural Resources: Homepage. Site is used to display fire status and other related data on online maps.



  • Department of Homeland Security Geospatial Data Model: The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Geospatial Management Office developed the DHS geospatial data model (GDM) to support geospatial interoperability and information sharing. Geospatial operations at the DHS will be based on the model, as will data exchanges with allies in the homeland security and disaster management community.
  • HSIP (No link available): Homeland Security Infrastructure Program Gold is a unified homeland infrastructure geospatial data inventory assembled by NGA in partnership with DHS for common use by the Federal Homeland Security and Homeland Defense (HLS/HD) Community. It is a compilation of over 300 geospatial datasets, characterizing domestic infrastructure and base map features, which have been assembled from a variety of Federal agencies and commercial sources. State and local government partners of DHS may access the HSIP Gold v.2 data for visualization via the DHS Integrated Common Analytical Viewer (iCAV) using their login credentials for the DHS Homeland Security Information Network (HSIN).
  • USGS Emergency Response Resources fact sheet:  Online geospatial resources for the Emergency Services Sector, including earthquakes, floods, hurricanes, landslides, tsunamis, volcanoes, wildfires, terrorist attacks, and accidental oil spills.



  • Hospital Available Beds for Emergencies and Disasters (HAvBED) System: HAvBED explores the feasibility of a national real-time hospital-bed tracking system to address a surge of patients during a mass casualty event. GIS is an integrated component to facilitate rapid situational awareness.
  • HSIN: Homeland Security Information Network is a Department of Homeland Security web system that recently fielded a module dedicated to EM. It incorporates a rudimentary GIS as the first attempt to build a national Common Operating Picture (COP).
  • PHIN: The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Public Health Information Network is a national initiative to improve the capacity of public health to use and exchange information electronically by promoting the use of standards, defining functional and technical requirements. It will incorporate GIS as a core component.
  • WDIN: Wildlife Disease Information Node of the National Biological Information Infrastructure monitors data for disease outbreaks in wildlife populations.



  • FEMA Online Courses: The Emergency Management Institute (EMI) offers self-paced courses designed for people who have emergency management responsibilities and also for the general public.
  • FEMA Other Training Opportunities: From FEMA’s website, links to courses and degree programs in EM and related fields at various institutions.
  • First Responder Training and Exercises: Link hub sponsored by DHS.
  • HSEM Training: Training and educational opportunities for Minnesota-based Homeland Security and Emergency Management professionals, their staffs, allied organizations and individuals.



  • ESRI On-Line Courses*: Live Training Seminars are recorded and made available as either a Training Seminar or a Web Course a few weeks after the live presentation. Training Seminars are free. Web Courses include the recording plus an exercise, exam, and certificate of completion and may have a nominal cost.
  •*: An ESRI sponsored site that promotes basic understanding of GIS.
  • HAZUS-MH (Multi-Hazards) for Decision Makers*: One of the free ESRI courses.
  • HAZUS-MH Training and Conferences: A variety of GIS-related EM training offered by FEMA.
  • HAZUS-MH Training Course: Travel, lodging, course materials and instruction are provided free of charge for sessions at the Emergency Management Institute, Emmitsburg, MD.
  • USGS’s GIS Educational Resources: A vast collection of resources to learn about GIS through hands-on and structured learning.



  • iCAV: iCAV is a geospatial-intelligence analytic tool that allows DHS and its mission partners to better prepare, prevent, respond and recover from natural and man-made disasters. Used with the Department of Homeland Security’s Homeland Security Information Network (HSIN).
  • The Palanterra: ESRI based GIS system developed by the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency used for high end response planning and management. Used by USNORTHCOM, U.S. Secret Service and other major agencies to create an agency-specific Common Operating Picture.



  • ARC Explorer*: ARC Explorer homepage. Free GIS software program that utilizes ESRI ArcIMS compatible software. You can also access the ESRI homepage through this link. ESRI software is used in many EM applications.
  • CAMEO: EPA’s Computer-Aided Management of Emergency Operations (CAMEO) homepage. Can also download MARPLOT and ALOHA software.
  • HAZUS-MH: Hazards U.S. Multi-Hazard (HAZUS-MH) is a nationally applicable standardized methodology and software program that estimates potential losses from earthquakes, hurricane winds, and floods. HAZUS-MH was developed by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) under contract with the National Institute of Building Sciences (NIBS). Due to the program's size and associated data bases, it must be ordered. Other restricted modules are available for man-made disasters.
  • LandView® 6: U.S. Census Bureau LandView download site. Works with CAMEO, MARPLOT and ALOHA.
  • NGA: National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency. Download software, charts and other homeland-related geospatial products produced for the military and intelligence communities. De-scaled for public access.
  • Other FEMA Sponsored Programs: A collection of information and software primarily related to floodplain analysis.



  • GIS and Public Health: Sponsored by the National Center for Health Statistics at the Centers for Disease Control. This site is a collection of links concerning GIS use in the health community.
  • Lessons Learned Information Sharing is the national network of Lessons Learned and Best Practices for emergency response providers and homeland security officials. There is a section devoted to GIS. You must register to use this site.
  • NSGIC: The National States Geographic Information Council's Geospatial Preparedness webpage provides a collection of Homeland Security/Emergency Management GIS Resources.



  • CalSurv: California Vectorborne Disease Surveillance System maps outbreaks of various diseases in California.
  • Environmental Data Access: By selecting a specific environmental factor (water, air, ground water), data concerning monitored sites is displayed. Sponsored by the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency.
  • The National Map: A product of the U.S. Geological Survey. It provides basic public access to high-quality, geospatial data and information from multiple partners to help support decision making by resource managers and the public.
  • TIGER Map Server Browser: Online access to the U.S. Census Bureau’s TIGER file map server. Allows you to create online maps with census data overlays.



  • AMEM: Association of Minnesota Emergency Managers is an association of professional emergency managers dedicated to advocating and advancing effective emergency management capabilities and practices within Minnesota.
  • EMAC: The Emergency Management Assistance Compact is a congressionally ratified organization that provides form and structure to interstate mutual aid.
  • FGDC: The Federal Geographic Data Committee is an interagency committee that promotes the coordinated development, use, sharing, and dissemination of geospatial data on a national basis. This nationwide data publishing effort is known as the National Spatial Data Infrastructure (NSDI). The NSDI is a physical, organizational, and virtual network designed to enable the development and sharing of this nation's digital geographic information resources.
  • GISCorps: Operating under the auspices of the Urban and Regional Information Systems Association (URISA), GISCorps coordinates short term, volunteer-based GIS services to underprivileged communities around the world. They responded in the aftermath of Katrina with 33 volunteers.
  • HAZUS.Org: HAZUS Group Users homepage.
  • HIFLD: The Homeland Infrastructure Foundation-Level Data Working Group is a coalition of federal, state, and local government organizations, federally-funded research and development centers (FFRDC), and supporting private industry partners who are involved with geospatial issues related to Homeland Security (HLS), Homeland Defense (HD), Civil Support (CS), and Emergency Preparedness and Response (EP&R).
  • MetroGIS Emergency Preparedness Committee: A site sponsored by the Emergency Preparedness Committee of MetroGIS, a voluntary collaboration of organizations in the Minneapolis-St. Paul Metropolitan Area that use geographic information systems technology to carry out their business functions.

  • Minnesota GIS/LIS Consortium: The Minnesota GIS/LIS Consortium is a forum for communicating information to, and improving cooperation among, those interested in GIS and Land Information Systems (LIS) in the State of Minnesota.
  • MEMA: The Metropolitan Emergency Managers' Association (MEMA) is an association for professional emergency managers in Minnesota’s metropolitan areas.
  • NSGIC: National States Geographic Information Council homepage.


* The EPC does not necessarily endorse the views expressed or the facts presented on this site. Nor does the EPC endorse any commercial products that may be advertised or on this site.


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