Youth Preparedness Council: Call for Nominations (Only 8 Days Left!)
The deadline is quickly approaching!
FEMA is collecting applications for the Youth Preparedness Council (YPC) and there are only 8 days left to apply or nominate someone – so hurry and submit your application today!
FEMA’s YPC is a unique opportunity for youth leaders to serve on a highly distinguished national council; to complete a self-selected youth preparedness project; to voice their opinions, experiences, ideas, solutions and questions on youth disaster preparedness with the leadership of FEMA and national organizations working on youth preparedness; and to participate in a Youth Preparedness Council Summit.
Youth can apply on their own or individuals who are familiar with their preparedness activities can nominate them. Applicants/nominees must be between 12 and 17 years old. Applications should emphasize youth disaster preparedness activities that the applicant/nominee has participated in or can be related to a disaster the applicant/nominee has experienced. Application narratives should describe a specific emergency situation and/or example of a disaster preparedness activity that would qualify the nominee to serve on the council.
The application deadline is April 19, 2013.
For more information about the YPC application and FAQs, please visit http://www.ready.gov/youth-preparedness.
We have added a new product to the Depiction line-up of products and services – Depiction Tutor. You can purchase 1 hour blocks of one on one time with Depiction experts for $50 per hour. This one hour can be used all at once or in two sessions. They can be via a telephone call or as a goto meeting session where the Tutor can see your screen and help you solve the problem you are facing. This can also just be used as a tutoring session giving you one on one help. The tutor will either be a member of the Depiction staff or a Depiction Preferred Consultant. Once you purchase the time then we will assign a tutor and set a mutually agreeable time to meet and help you with your problem. You can purchase these blocks of time at www.depiction.com/tutor.
Problems seem to happen in threes. First our geo-server went down, then USGS changed the location of their elevation data and now Yahoo has changed their API which is what we used for geo-coding the starting location for new Depictions. Existing long time users may not notice either of these problems if they are creating new depictions in their home areas because the data may still be in their cache. However, new users and trial users will definitely notice this as will new DepictionPrep users. We have a fix for both problems and the current download on the website is an interim build 12522 which fixes these issues. We will be coming out with an official build next week but if you are experiencing these issues then you can download the new version from the website. We have noticed that the new USGS elevation source is very slow. Apparently they are now returning 1 degree tiles that are 250mb in size and if your boundary happens to cover more than one tile then you could have to download multiple tiles. We hope to have our geo-server up and running next week and so we can have reasonable elevation download times.
It appears that all of our data sources are changing. Now the initial location geo-coding has ceased to function. We use Yahoo and they recently changed their API (application program interface) which caused our malfunction. We hope to have a fix for this in the next day or two. We have actually fixed the problem and are in the process of testing the build to make sure it is OK. We have also fixed the Elevation Quickstart data source. Unfortunately they changed how they are serving out the data and give it out in 250mb chunks and so it takes much longer for it to download. Existing users won’t notice much of a change if your elevation data is in your cache for your area but new users will certainly experience this. We are working to find a solution to this problem as well. We are sorry for any inconvenience these problems cause you.
If you attended our recent Webinar on creating Rapid Situation Maps, we were a bit embarrassed when we found that elevation data wasn’t loading. At that moment we blamed it on a new Beta build that we were running but as it turns out the service where we get the data changed their API and so the elevation quick start source wasn’t working for any build. We are in the process of fixing this problem and will be putting out a new build as soon as we can. If you have downloaded elevation previously for your area then it will probably still be in your cache but if you are a new user or are doing a Depiction in a new area then you will run into this problem. You can still get elevation data directly from the USGS web site. Watch this webinar recording to find out how.
James is currently the Emergency Services Officer (ESO) for the United States Air Force Auxiliary Civil Air Patrol: Shelby North Carolina Composite Squadron MER050
He is responsible for all Emergency Services Operations, Training and Instruction to all personnel. Qualified Trainer/Evaluator in Communications, Ground Team Operations, Urban Search and Rescue, Advanced Land Navigation, Survival Training and NIMS operations. Coordinate large scale Operational Readiness Inspections (ORIs) utilizing the National Incident Management system, Multi-Agency and Multi-Jurisdictional exercise coordination for disaster response.
How long have you been using Depiction?
I have been using depiction for over 3 years for Emergency Services and Business applications.
I was searching for mapping software for use in simulated exercises for the business I was working for at the time. The drills were required due to the fact that I was the Facility Security Officer at a classified facility in Cary, North Carolina.
I hadn’t tried other mapping software, but I was using Microsoft PowerPoint, using images from mapquest, then having to manual place static content on the document.
I am the Emergency Services Officer at Shelby Composite Squadron MERNC-050 (USAF Auxiliary-Civil Air Patrol) in Shelby North Carolina. I am responsible for coordinating drills and working with other agencies on developing emergency plans for the Squadron. I apply the tools in depiction both at work and at CAP.
At Civil Air Patrol I run depiction for drills associated with natural disasters, aircraft crashes, coordinated search and rescue efforts (APRS Module) and mapping emergency service resources in the area (Fire Dept’s, Police Dept’s and Hospitals)
The integration of data to find resources, the ability to integrate weather patterns within the depiction and revealers to control content.
Civil Air Patrol had an exercise on the weekend of January 18th to conduct a search and rescue training on my 50 acre property which required 4 teams of varying skill levels (referred to as Ground Team Members [GTM] and Ground Team Leaders [GTL]). We used depiction on an overhead projector in the mobile incident command post and as reports came in over the radio we updated the depiction to reflect the search. The exercise was for the recovery of a downed aircraft with unkown injuries. The depiction software allowed the IC team to keep track of GTM/GTL movements, incident responses and resource allocations. At the end of the exercise we used the collected data to conduct the NIMS debrief to all the teams.
If you were to recommend Depiction to someone else how would you explain why you think they should buy it?
I would tell them about all of the features and the flexibility of the software, and I would go the distance and show them actual exercises I have set up and used. I strongly believe that no exercise or live incident would be complete without Depiction, the software streamlines management of the NIMS process, provides real time updates and provides the Incident Commander with an edge not available from drawn maps. The weather integration, APRS add-on and the ability to take real time updates via email keeps everyone in constant communication. It is my responsibility at the Squadron to ensure accurate reporting of the incident, maintain the safety of the ground and air personnel and coordinate with other agencies to respond to life threatening events. I would not trust any other software but Depiction to ensure I can execute all of the aforementioned.
Our geo-server that serves out some of the quick start data was infiltrated by some geo-worms and had to be put down for awhile. We hope to have a new server up shortly. The main one that many people use is the Elevation (Depiction) there is however an alternate elevation source which is the one you should choose for the moment. The following are the QuickStart data sources that are affected.
- Elevation(NED 30m – Depiction
- Historical Hurricane Tracks
- State and Province Boundaries
- Tornado Tracks
- US Congressional Districts
- US County Boundaries
- Water Bodies
We will let you know when this has been resolved.
The Publish-to-Web (PTW) add-on for Depiction Mapping software is now available for sale and download on the Depiction website. The normal price is going to be $124.95 but we are offering an introductory price of $99.95 through June 30, 2013.
The PTW offers a whole new way to share your depiction stories. You can see a sample of what a Publish-to-Web story would look like here. So anybody with a web browser and Microsoft silverlight installed can view your PTW. They will be able zoom in and out and pan; open, hide, move and resize revealers; mouse over icons and show hovertext.
Some of the things you could do:
- A police department could show crime incident locations in their city.
- A neighborhood wide garage sale could show the location of all the homes that are participating.
- A city government could show information about a new project in the city.
- A Red Cross chapter could show the location of all of their volunteers and shelters.
- Show the impact of Tsunami on your community.
- Show what areas of your community would be flooded based on floods of various sizes.
Send me your idea on what you want to show with PTW to firstname.lastname@example.org and I will send you a coupon code for another $25 off the PTW add-on.
Put PTW Idea in the subject line.
The site listed below provides links to state data repositories for download. You should check out your state and see what is available. It also points to data sources for Canadian Provinces.
In our monthly Depiction Webinar on January 23rd, 2013, Russell Deffner gave a great presentation covering the following topics:
- What is Depicton?
- Navigting the Website
- Exploring the application
- Building your first depiction
- Simulation and collaboration
It was a great introduction to Depiction and so if you missed it please check it out. If you are new to Depiction it is a great basic overview.
You can view it here.