ORLANDO, Fla. --- Geocove, Inc., the Orlando technology firm that developed the award-winning ARM360 GIS-based disaster assessment system for local, state and regional governments and NGOs worldwide, recently won a major state award for the design and implementation of a disaster damage assessment reporting tool in the City of Fairfax, Virginia.
The Virginia Emergency Management Association presented its Innovative Technology Award to Geocove and the City of Fairfax for the system, which allows the public to report damage in real time following a storm or other disaster event using a smart phone or computer.
Geocove founder and chief executive officer Karyn Tareen said City of Fairfax Emergency Coordinator Ken Rudnicki initiated the project and Geocove designed and built the regional system.
“Ken worked with a number of computer software design companies on the concept and then submitted a grant request to Virginia Department of Emergency Management (VDEM) to proceed with the development for a smart phone app that would cover Northern Virginia, which is VDEM Region 7,” Tareen said.
Damage and photo reports submitted by local residents who are already on the scene will be automatically directed to the local jurisdiction emergency management office, Tareen said.
“We know that accurate damage assessment is the principal need following a major disaster,” Tareen said. “Emergency officials need to know how bad it is and which resources are most needed where, and the sooner they assess this information the sooner we can deliver aid to the victims,” she said.
Geocove has been a world leader in the development of disaster assessment tools powered by local residents with their smart phones.
“Smart phones and tablet devices are the most widespread communications devices we know and people at the scene have a tremendous opportunity to use their technology to help disaster relief agencies do their job,” Tareen said.
“Our system enables residents at the scene to begin the reporting process so that the local jurisdictions can more quickly have a picture of the situation,” she explained.
“This app will allow local jurisdictions working with limited resources the ability to focus those resources based on the reports by the disaster survivor’s input,” Ken Rudnicki stated.
Geocove is a member of the University of Central Florida Business Incubation Program at Central Florida Research Park in East Orange County.