One of the lessons learned from Hurricane Katrina and coastal storm events in Massachusetts is that information-sharing methods need to be improved. Rescue and response efforts can easily be hindered by damaged street signs, and destroyed computers and mapping data. Remember that while your community's response personnel may be able to navigate areas without maps, outside assistance likely won't have the local knowledge to do so. Copyrighted private-sector maps, aerial photographs, and other data often can't be easily and legally shared. Consider backing-up important geospatial data in a secure, inland location where it can be retrieved in emergencies, and planning ahead to make sure that critical information is available during events. In addition, communities should have hard-copies of important documents in their emergency operations center in case electrical systems are interrupted.
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