Posts tagged cert

Some feedback from a customer in Maine

Our ARES/CERT Communications group used the Depiction software this past weekend for the first time. It is amazing. The ability to go from topographical, street and satellite imagery is amazing. We were able to track our groups along tree lines and in fields as they did their search. In Maine we had a girl about 20 months old that disappeared during the night. Her father says that someone took her but there was no evidence to support that. The police have done multiple searches for her but have had no luck. There was someone in the home town where the girl disappeared that had seen a car at a business that was closed and he had reported it to the police. They did not search the area where he saw the car. He asked for our help and we responded to his needs. We spent about 5 hours searching an area about 100 to 150 acres. The software along with our Byonics  All in One Trackers was a great mix to allow for accurate viewing of the search and the ability to post positions of interest that we came across. We used Depiction along with APRS Live to accomplish this. There are a few things I would like to see changed for search and rescue use but it is way better than anything that we have had until now.

Thought you might like to hear about our use of your software. Keep up the good work.

Thank you

Bob Gould

Oxford County ARES/CERT Communications

Oxford County IMAT

Maine Communications Unit Leader

Depiction sponsors community exercise series

Depiction is excited to be helping out with a series of online community exercises, to help groups like Citizen Corps groups, neighborhood associations and others prepare themselves for disaster. The first of these “Formidable Footprint” exercises will be on October 30, and focus on a hurricane scenario. More details from Ric Skinner, a Depiction Preferred Consultant who helped connect us with the event:

Disaster Resistant Communities Group (DRCG) will develop, facilitate and evaluate a series of disaster exercises for neighborhoods entitled “Formidable Footprint – A Neighborhood Tabletop Exercise”. The “Formidable Footprint” series of exercises will serve as an opportunity for community and neighborhood organizations, including Citizen Corps, Community Emergency Response Teams, Map Your Neighborhood Teams, and Neighborhood Associations to assess the ability of neighborhood residents to work together to prepare for, respond to and recover from a variety of natural disasters which can affect the lives of neighborhood residents.

According to Skinner, DRCG recognizes that GIS is an important tool for Situational Awareness and a Common Operational Picture. “Formidable Footprint” scenarios – hurricane, earthquake, flood, wildfire, tornado, influenza pandemic — will incorporate Depiction mapping, simulation and collaboration software (Depiction, Inc.; http://www.depiction.com) to provide players with exercise-relevant maps with which they can interact, making the exercise more real and meaningful.

We are looking forward to these events, and think they hold a great deal of promise to help prepare communities around the country.

Depiction in Virginia

The past week, I’ve been in Virginia and Washington, D.C., meeting with a wide variety of folks about Depiction.  I got back home to the west coast about 3:00 AM on Wednesday morning. I was chased out of DC a day early by last weeks storm, then out of Richmond and Norfolk, with the fear of the “snowpocalypse” nipping at my heels each time, forcing Greyhound, Amtrak and United Airlines to shut down and cancel service the day before anything hit, “just in case”.

Despite all the snow, I was able to meet with many remarkable people—Senate staffers, Army officers, folks at DARPA and VMASC, amateur radio operators, civil engineers, CERT volunteers, emergency managers and more.

Too much happened to fit into a single blog post, but I wanted to highlight a few people I had a chance to spend time with.

Joe I. is a Depiction user and the person who invited us out to Virginia in the first place. Joe is a leader in the regional ARES districts (Amateur Radio Emergency Services) and involved in a ton of other emergency preparedness and response related efforts. I greatly appreciate his enthusiasm for Depiction and his generosity in connecting us with people all across the state. Thank you, Joe!

Keith V. is the chair of the Portsmouth CERT group, and has a lot of energy and passion for growing the CERT team and increasing their training. Thanks to an introduction by amateur radio operator and new Depiction customer Terry L., I was able to show the power of Depiction at their monthly CERT meeting. Keith unrolled a laminated 3’x4’ map of the city with its color-coded neighborhoods, along with dots scattered about representing locations of CERT volunteers. The problem is that the map is rather outdated, and Keith is having trouble getting the busy city staff to provide him with an updated hardcopy map with all the new CERT member locations. He was excited about Depiction being able to visualize his teams and neighborhood resources on a map that he could easily manage. We’re looking forward to working with Keith and his group.

There were many, many other wonderful people I had the chance to meet – it was exciting to see their reaction to the software and hear their many ideas for how it could be used. We look forward to working with folks in Virginia and across the world to help them meet and overcome the challenges they face every day.