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Public Health Preparedness

globe with purple cones and red cylinders, ambulance

Geographic information serves as the common denominator for any public health preparedness solution because location data is essential to every phase of planning, response, and recovery. GIS scales to events ranging from inclement weather conditions to pandemics. It helps state and local governments scope out the extent of a public health crisis and predict the path forward for allocating resources and monitoring processes and outcomes. Maps and apps enable public health officials to coordinate efforts with other agencies and external stakeholders. The public health preparedness community can make major inroads by embracing GIS data, models, communication and engagement hubs, and location-centric applications.

Resource allocation

A high-impact response and recovery plan requires the right resources in the right place at the right time. GIS can forecast surge and optimize resource allocation, so you can place resources precisely where they are most needed. Mapping and analysis can expose gaps in capacity, show at-risk populations' needs, aid in effectively distributing supplies, and inform personnel allocation. Location intelligence supports the distribution of resources where people and need intersect.

Vaccine distribution scenario planner

Decision support

The key to using location intelligence is to build it into the public health emergency preparedness plan. Prepare early for the data and analysis you will require in responding to a crisis, and draw on past events. Data-driven decision-making is about using authoritative data to answer fundamental questions at a moment's notice. GIS is crucial because so many questions hinge on location data.

Incident status dashboard

Communication and collaboration

No matter how large or small the health response is, situational awareness is critical. Every health crisis requires support from a wide variety of disciplines, including public safety, human services, and health care. Those stakeholders need a common operational picture of what is happening and where so that they can communicate and collaborate effectively. GIS supports a range of communication and collaboration efforts.

Arizona Operations Dashboard

Civic engagement

Civic engagement can take on many forms before, during, and after a natural disaster or health emergency response. Location provides context for an emergency response that offers a more intuitive approach for public engagement and risk communication. The more people understand the effects of a crisis in relation to where they live, work, and play, the more engaged they become. GIS can support community education through storytelling with maps, public notifications, and citizen input.

My hazard information map


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Leaders can use GIS to achieve equitable, speedy vaccine distribution.

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