Officials and community responders at ground zero need updated maps and data to aid Maui wildfire search, recovery, and relief efforts

August 14, 2023

By: Chani Goering

Maui, HI (Aug 13-16) — Days after the catastrophic Maui wildfire event unfolded, with numerous teams of officials and community responders deployed to the impacted areas, maps and updated data remained critical to daily operations.  A key focus of Maui Emergency Operations Center interagency coordination is to sustain lives, ensure the safety of survivors and responders, perform culturally sensitive and detailed search and recovery efforts, and secure transitional and temporary housing for displaced residents.

As firefighting activities continued in the upcountry areas of Kula and Olinda, utility companies and public agencies worked to restore critical services and infrastructure.

To support a broad operational understanding of the numerous activities underway and an understanding of the latest public safety protocols, a Daily Operational Picture was developed by the joint agencies at the Emergency Operation Center (EOC).  Leveraging Pacific Disaster Center (PDC)’s existing data, mapping expertise, and DisasterAWARE platform, the center took on the support role to provide expertise and tools needed for the emerging need.  The platform, along with massive data processing efforts were launched to enable daily briefings at the EOC.

The Daily Operational Picture is being used to facilitate daily knowledge-sharing and to provide insight into the rapidly changing situation on the ground.

DisasterAWARE continues to provide a common foundation of reliable information sharing and visualization upon which new decisions and actions can be made.

A public version of the Daily Common Operational Picture was also developed for public awareness:

Mapping of new information remained a high priority. Working in Collaboration with the County of Maui Enterprise GIS, Department of Management, PDC continued to integrate and map new information in its DisasterAWARE situational awareness, risk intelligence, and early warning platform. DisasterAWARE remained the common operational picture for all responders, making critical data available online and remotely to all stakeholders.

About PDC

Winner of the 2022 United Nations Sasakawa Award for Disaster Risk Reduction, the University of Hawai’i’s Pacific Disaster Center (PDC) is a global leader in the application of life-saving disaster management science, early warning technology, and advanced analytics. Our risk intelligence products provide decision-makers with the essential insights and information needed to act early to protect communities from hazards.PDC works to support the most demanding needs of nonprofits and government organizations worldwide in a collective mission to create a safer, more disaster-resilient world.

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