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Locating vulnerable people during flooding incidents

In emergencies, Calderdale Metropolitan Borough Council uses geographic information to reduce the time spent locating vulnerable people from four hours to just minutes.

  • Using GIS to make the most out of our client information has enabled us to vastly improve our response to emergency incidents. The identification of vulnerable persons used to take a number of hours but this can now be achieved in just a couple of minutes.

    Phil Shire, Head of Wellbeing and Social Care

The challenge

People living close to the River Calder have experienced severe flooding in recent years and local authority emergency planners were keen to see how geographic information might support the understanding of the number of properties affected, the location of vulnerable people and provide a ‘head start’ regarding the location of rest centres and the organisation of appropriate transportation.

The solution

Now if there is a flooding incident, geographical information systems (GIS) are used to give a visual and analytical overview of the properties and people affected using the Environment Agency™ flood-warning boundaries, Ordnance Survey digital maps and Calderdale Council’s Local Land and Property Gazetteer (LLPG).

The data is securely made available to key staff that can query the location of all known vulnerable persons and this is an efficiency saving that has the potential to save lives. Without GIS, it would take four hours to cross-reference and identify the vulnerable persons already known to the council who have been affected by a given emergency.

By applying GIS and the LLPG, response time is improved dramatically, but cross-referencing is still required. By linking the council’s vulnerable persons database to GIS, results are reduced to a minute. Their MBX tool now delivers a response from multiple datasets in minutes.

  • Massive time-saving locating known vulnerable citizens during emergencies.
  • Instant location of affected properties.
  • Improved location intelligence for decision-making (evacuation routes and access/rendezvous points).

The products used

Download this case study PDF – 144kB


Related case studies

On 5 September 2008, approximately 61 mm of rainfall was recorded falling on the county. This led to significant widespread river and surface water flooding, affecting properties and infrastructure – a major challenge for the council.

A prepared plan of action is vital for saving lives and protecting property and critical infrastructure in the event of flooding. Having accurate and reliable data is critical for the success of any plan.

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