Integrating Vulnerable Populations into Georgia's GODAWGS

  • Georgia

Successful Integration through Interagency Partnerships in Georgia's GODAWGS

Learn more about the interagency partnership between Georgia Department of Public Health (GDPH) and Georgia Emergency Management Agency (GEMA) to integrate custom Social Vulnerability Index (SVI) layers into Georgia Online Disaster Awareness Geospatial System (GODAWGS).

One of the first steps in emergency preparedness planning is to identify the vulnerable populations within your community.  Through mapping, planners can visually identify populations within their community, who are potentially at greater risk during an emergency. In partnership, the Georgia Department of Public Health, Georgia Emergency Management Agency (GEMA), and the North Carolina PERRC project team adapt the CDC Social Vulnerability Index. The Index is incorporated into the Georgia Online Disaster Awareness Geospatial System (GODAWGS), GEMA’s online geographic information system. These layers depict vulnerable populations relative to the 1) state, 2) GEMA Area, 3) public health district, and 4) regional coordinating hospital jurisdictions, according to the CDC’s Social Vulnerability Index for Disaster Management, to meet the identified needs of partner agencies. The varying SVI measures calculated by the UNC NCIPH Project Team provide specific socially and spatially relevant information to help public health officials and local planners better prepare communities to respond to emergencies and extreme events, such as severe weather, floods, disease outbreaks, or chemical exposure. The integration provides a common approach throughout the state to identify areas of high vulnerability within the emergency preparedness planning and response areas within the State of Georgia.

    In May 2014, the Georgia Department of Public Health, in coordination with the Georgia Emergency Management Agency, held a one-day training workshop. The "Georgia Social Vulnerability Index Training Workshop." This one day training workshop will provide attendees the opportunity to:

    • Learn about the development of a Social Vulnerability Index (SVI)
    • Watch an on-line demonstration of the SVI showing how to map socially vulnerable populations at the state and national level
    • Learn about the Georgia resources on GODAWGs to map the SVI by Georgia Health Districts, RCH and EMA regions
    • Participate in a hands-on training session on how to use the SVI online tool to assist in local emergency response planning

    The 50 attendees included a range of individuals involved in planning for emergency preparedness and response, including but not limited to the following:  State and District Public Health Emergency Preparedness and Response (EPR) planners including emergency coordinators (ECs), healthcare liaisons (HCLs) and public information officers (PIOs), Healthcare Coalition members, GEMA regional representatives, American Red Cross members.

    The workshop included speakers from:  

    • Georgia Department of Public Health (GDPH)
    • Georgia Emergency Management Agency (GEMA),
    • University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill, NCIPH Project Team, and
    • Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

    For more information about this integration and training opportunities, contact the Project Team.