Knowing is Half the Battle — Planning in the Disaster Management Continuum

Project: Ptolemy
Jan 29, 2018 · 2 min read

When your community is in crisis, there is no such thing as being too prepared. From understanding the demographics of those impacted to available shelters and supply lines, it pays to have a plan.

Project: Ptolemy is a disaster management platform that aims to benefit the community in all phases of the disaster management continuum: planning, response, and recovery. Of these, the most crucial is planning. Understanding where your community is vulnerable in advance of any crisis will empower first responders, inform recovery efforts, and most importantly, save lives.

The team at Project: Ptolemy is hard at work every day amassing and curating as much global demographic data as possible. Demographic information is key to any response effort. It is important to determine vulnerable populations within the community such as children, the elderly, or the disabled.

For disasters in the United States, Project: Ptolemy has models and standards built into the platform for determining impacted populations, from agencies such as the American Red Cross and Federal Emergency Management Agency. Even the most basic scenario can determine concentrations of individuals who are the most vulnerable. We use these tested and proven models, based on US Census data and the American Community Survey, to determine not just demographics, but also other key planning information such as where translators might be required or where evacuation assistance is most likely needed.

We also use models verified in the Emergency Management community to predict shelter needs and the comprehensive supply needs of an impacted population. Determining shelter locations and capacities are one of the most crucial elements of a plan. You will need to know where people can go, what they will need when they get there, and determine potential accessibility issues to shelters during a disaster. In the plan for your community, you can identify your own available shelters and determine the ones that are the most accessible to your community members — without putting them in harm’s way!

All the models are customizable and can be modified to better suit your community; for instance, a desert community might need more than the standard prediction for bottled water supply than a typical community. You can even save these customized model templates for future use.

Project: Ptolemy is a platform for disaster management planning, a social ecosystem for disaster and emergency managers, and a useful tool for tracking community recovery.

Stay safe.

Stay updated on our progress!
Twitter: @projectptolemy

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