Screen capture of the Hurricane Dorian Event Support Map (ESM). The GIRT provided situational awareness and resource management to the bureau through the Dorian ESM. Hurricane Dorian was an extremely powerful category 5 hurricane that skirted the US Atlantic coast. The image shows the USGS base map information and incorporates USGS stream gages as well as the hurricanes observed track and forecast position. This map provided USGS managers with situational awareness of the hazard and the capability to manage bureau resources during the event. (USGS)

USGS Geospatial Information Response Team (GIRT) Earns 2021 Esri SAG Award

The USGS, Geospatial Information Response Team has been selected to receive a Special Achievement in GIS Award at the 2021 Esri worldwide User’s Conference.

The USGS established the Geospatial Information Response Team (GIRT) to facilitate the effective coordination, communication, dissemination and visualization of geospatial data and information during a disaster event.

This award recognizes the hard work conducted by the GIRT for the past year. Esri President Jack Dangermond selected the GIRT for special recognition from more than 100,00 other candidate projects. The award was announced during the Esri User’s Conference plenary session on Monday, July 12.

What is GIRT?

The USGS established the Geospatial Information Response Team (GIRT) to facilitate the effective coordination, communication, dissemination and visualization of geospatial data and information during a disaster event. As part of the National Geospatial Program, the GIRT ensures that timely geospatial data are available for use by emergency responders, land and resource managers, and for scientific analysis.

 

The Value of the GIRT

With the increase of extreme manmade and national disasters, the Nation needs to become more resilient to these emergencies through better preparedness, reduced duplication, and establishing better communications. These steps can assist in response and recovery effort to save lives and mitigate the long-term social and economic impacts on the Nation.

The National Response Framework (NRF) was developed to provide the guiding principles that enable all response partners to prepare for and provide a unified

national response to disasters and emergencies. The NRF provides five key principles for better preparation, coordination, and response:

1) engaged partnerships,

2) a tiered response,

3) scalable, flexible, and adaptable operations,

4) unity of effort,

5) readiness to act.

The NRF also describes how communities, tribes, States, Federal Government, private sector, and non-governmental partners apply these principles for a coordinated, effective national response. The USGS has adopted the NRF doctrine by establishing several earth-sciences, discipline-level teams to ensure that USGS science, data, and individual expertise are readily available during emergencies. The GIRT is one of these teams.

In an emergency and response capacity, the GIRT is responsible for facilitating the coordination, communication, dissemination and visualization of geospatial data and information prior to, during and after a disaster event. The GIRT leverages Bureau resources and partner assets for the acquisition, processing, and archiving of geospatial data; discovery, access, and delivery of data; anticipating geospatial needs; and providing coordinated products and services utilizing the USGS’ exceptional pool of geospatial experts and equipment.

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