Monday, October 29, 2012

Hurricane Response: Why many don't go to evacuation centers - Reason #1

One Reason - try interpreting the flood area map 

Each time we face a complex emergency here in New York, you can see improvements in pre-planning, coordination and response readiness.  That's a good thing.

Broadcast media are constantly reporting updates and directions.  And New Yorkers are tuned in. 
But for detailed information you're referred to official sources: 

I'm going to focus on the critical information that is widely distributed in the leading websites:  NYC OEM, MTA , NYCDOHMH, and others. 
You can be the judge of how easy to read and use these critical sources are: 
OEM HURRICANE EVACUATION MAP 






In 2007  we published the findings of a study we did using intercept interviews in Harlem, showing people the then current evacuation map GIS Maps to Communicate Emergency Preparedness: How Useable Are They for Inner City Residents? ( Journal of Homeland Security and Emergency Management)

The vast majority of residents (83%) who hadn't completed High School ( nearly 50% of Harlem residents) could not use the map to determine if they lived in a Flood Area, nor could they find where the closest Evacuation Center was. 

Any ideas on how to make it much easier for New Yorkers to find out if they're in a flood zone? 

Any ideas on improving on the current maps?