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The Newsletter of the Minnesota GIS/LIS Consortium
Table of Contents

MN GIS/LIS Consortium

From the Chair
2006 Conference
Silent Auction
ArcGIS 9 Workshop
Scholarship Committee
2007 Conference in Rochester
Call for Polaris/Lifetime Nominations

DNR's WMA Finder
MnDOT Interactive Basemap
Red River DEM Project

Governor's Council
Call for Governor's Commendation
Call for FY07 Council Members
Parcel Study

Forum on GIS Future
GeoWeb Broadcast
2005 Twin Cities Air Photos
MetroGIS Annual Report

One Call Service
Is Pictometry GIS?
Ortho Use in Western MN
Ortho Use in Southern MN
Emergency Management Training

Higher Education
St. Mary's Update
Airborne Remote Sensing

NRCS Soils Update
NASA Earth Observatory

K-12 Education
Firewise Education

MN Dads at Home
MetroGIS Non-Profit Appts.

Virtual Deer Camp

Other Places
GIS in English Middle School
Gas Prices Mapped
$1000 laptop
Get Rid of Techno Junk


Be Prepared! Free Emergency Response Training Online
By Randy Knippel, MetroGIS and GCGI Emergency Preparedness Committees

As GIS users, we have access to a wealth of information and sophisticated tools at our fingertips to analyze it. However, GIS skills alone are not enough to make us effective in emergency situations. Emergencies are intense, with no room for error. Emergency responders are well trained and highly disciplined to minimize mistakes and maximize effectiveness. An understanding of some of the foundation topics of emergency response is essential for anyone providing GIS support to responders.

In 2003, the Secretary of Homeland Security was directed to develop and administer a National Incident Management System (NIMS). NIMS provides a consistent nationwide template to enable all government, private-sector, and nongovernmental organizations to work together during domestic incidents.

The Incident Command System (ICS) was established by the NIMS as the standardized incident organizational structure for the management of all incidents. The concept of ICS was developed more than thirty years ago, in the aftermath of a devastating wildfire in California.

Both NIMS and ICS are well known in public safety and relied upon to ensure resources are applied without hesitation in an emergency. A thorough knowledge of these topics is a foundation for more specific public safety training.

FEMAThe Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), through its Emergency Management Institute (EMI), provides emergency response training on a variety of topics. They also have many courses available online through their website: Registration is required but generally available to anyone who needs it. Most classes include some form of testing and certification.

Two classes should be considered essential:
IS-100 Introduction to the Incident Command System (ICS)
IS-700 National Incident Management System (NIMS) an Introduction.
These classes can be found online at: and

GIS support for emergency response can only be effectively applied when it is closely integrated with emergency management and response activities. The best way to do that is to become as knowledgeable about the standards and procedures that govern those activities. That knowledge will help you to be in a better position to provide effective GIS support in an emergency, rather than just in the way.


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