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Lincolnshire Resilience Forum extends use of geospatial tech in emergency planning

Dashboard in LRF emergency control room
Dashboard in use in the LRF control room
Image source: Esri UK

Lincolnshire Resilience Forum (LRF) has gone live with new geospatial technology to help it better prepare for emergencies across the county.

It has recently deployed image recognition and drone applications with an Esri UK real time mapping dashboard to identify static caravans in the event of emergencies such as flooding and severe weather.

Deep learning tools in the new system are being used to identify unknown caravans using drone and satellite imagery, to gain a more accurate understanding of where residents need to be evacuated from in the event of a major flood. This has traditionally been difficult due to licensing regulations, land ownership and registry data.

Preparing for tidal inundation is a top priority for the LRF due to Lincolnshire having one of the largest single land masses in the country at risk of such an event, along with Europe’s highest density of static caravans at more than 34,000.

Esri drone software is supporting the capture of aerial data and the creation of 3D digital twins of potential higher risk zones. The company said that LRF can now can create digital twins more quickly, particularly for control of major accident hazards (COMAH) locations, which involve dangerous substances such as gas and oil refineries.

Modelling risks

“Lincolnshire is a large county with no motorways and few dual carriageways so response and evacuation planning is critical,” said Steve Eason-Harris, emergency planning officer at Lincolnshire County Council, who is also the lead officer for GIS and resilient communities for the LRF.

“These new innovations are enabling emergency planners to model risks affecting the county to maximise response, improve communication and coordination and reduce, as practicably as possible, the impacts on the wider communities of the county. Creating the new caravan dataset in particular will dramatically improve intelligence.”

He added: “Constant innovation is critical at the LRF, the objective being to use new systems to ensure we get the right resources to the right people at the right time.”

The mapping dashboard integrates data from over 30 agencies for display on mobile devices and giant touch screens in the county’s emergency centre. It provides a faster and more advanced method than paper maps and spreadsheets of showing partners what the situation is before, during and after an emergency.

LRF is also developing a workforce application for deploying, tracking and communicating with volunteers in the field to support vulnerable people who need assistance the most. The system will update the control centre via a mobile app when volunteer tasks have been completed and alert the team with any requests for medical intervention or transport assistance.

Data from the app will also feed directly into the mapping dashboard in the control centre.


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