Orlando, Fla. --- Residents in Northern Virginia can now help their community’s emergency response agencies by submitting information about damage to their home or business after a storm.
The Northern Virginia Damage Reporting Tool (NOVA DRT) software system was unveiled on Sept. 1, at the start of National Preparedness Month. The system includes smart phone apps, available for free to residents, which can be downloaded from the iTunes App Store or the Google play store. For residents who do not own a smart phone, NOVA DRT can be accessed on the Internet at www.novadrt.org.
Ken Rudnicki, Emergency Management Coordinator for the City of Fairfax and Immediate Past President of the Virginia Emergency Management Association (VEMA), said NOVA DRT elevates disaster preparedness efforts by making it easier to learn when and where a disaster is occurring.
The system allows emergency managers to view a map of the damage reports, with validation from the resident photos, and download reports of damage totals.
“This application will allow local jurisdictions to identify the resources needed to assist residents quicker and more accurately,” Rudnicki said.
“In addition, it will provide the higher levels of government a more accurate picture of what it’s like when disaster strikes,” he said.
Geocove, Inc. (www.geocove.com), the Orlando, Florida firm that develops GIS-based technology solutions that help government agencies and non-profit groups coordinate responses to disasters and emergencies, was awarded the contract to develop the proprietary NOVA DRT software system.
“With NOVA DRT, residents can provide a rapid, eye-on-the-ground look at problems that authorities can then use in their decision making activities,” Karyn Tareen, Geocove’s President said.
Using the NOVA DRT app, a resident can create a damage report by tapping on pictures that most closely identify damage and flood levels, record their precise location and even include a photo of the damaged building.
Behind the scenes, the NOVA DRT system leverages the participating communities’ address and property databases to build accurate reports for emergency managers. These reports are crucial for requesting aid in an emergency. Esri’s GIS software was selected as the technology platform for the NOVA DRT system as most communities in the region are already using it for their mapping platform. “Without creating complicated new databases to maintain, we are able to reference the existing community databases to provide added intelligence to the system,” Tareen said.
“Quick access to damage reports and information allows emergency managers to request and deploy the right resources, enabling the communities to recover more efficiently,” she explained.
For stability and scalability, especially for a large scale event, the NOVA DRT system is hosted in the cloud by ROK technologies.
NOVA DRT was funded by a grant from FEMA's Grant Programs Directorate, U.S. Department of Homeland Security.
For more information about the NOVA DRT system, including participating communities, please visit www.novadrt.org
Geocove is a member of the University of Central Florida Business Incubation Program in the Central Florida Research Park in East Orange County.
* * *For more information contact
Karyn Tareen, President/CEO, Geocove, Inc., 407-210-3925 ext. 11, firstname.lastname@example.org
Carol Ann Dykes, Site Manager, UCF Business Incubation Program, 407-207-7426, email@example.com;
Larry Vershel or Beth Payan, Larry Vershel Communications Inc 407-644 4142 firstname.lastname@example.org
Geocove, Inc. provides scalable assessment solutions built using the power of GIS across a multitude of industries. The Geocove team has extensive experience in providing assessment, reporting and mapping tools for emergency management, building officials, public health and other government agencies as well as utilities and other private industries. Geocove, Inc., a privately held corporation located in central Florida, is an authorized partner of Esri, the world’s leading GIS software provider. Please visit http://geocove.com
About ROK Technologies
ROK provides Cloud based IT Infrastructure, Consulting, and Hosting for the ArcGIS® Platform. Please visit http://www.roktech.net/
About the UCF Business Incubation Program
Since its founding in 1999, the UCF Business Incubation Program has helped more than 300 emerging companies (including more than 120 current clients and more than 90 graduates) create over $500 million in annual revenue and generate an average wage that is 45 percent above the average wage in the area. With nine facilities across the Greater Orlando community, the Business Incubation Program is collaboration in economic development among the University of Central Florida, The Florida High Tech Corridor Council, Orange, Seminole, Osceola and Volusia Counties, and the cities of Orlando, Apopka, Winter Springs, Sanford, Kissimmee and St. Cloud. The UCF Business Incubation Program was named Incubator Network of the Year for 2013. For more information about the Program and its clients and graduates, please visit www.incubator.ucf.edu