Extending GIS Emergency Management System (GEMS)

Publication Date


Committee Chair

Karen K. Kemp, Ph.D.

Committee Members

Mike Phoenix, Ph.D.


In this post-9/11 world we find ourselves in, the possibility of a catastrophic manmade disaster happening near us, or more importantly directly to us, are ever more real. Additionally, the threat of natural disasters is omnipresent so we must respond with utmost haste in the preparations for the unthinkable. The University of Redlands is uniquely situated within both a tectonically active region and a floodplain as well as being eight miles downstream from a dam. This project builds upon the Geographic Information Systems Emergency Management System (GEMS) designed by Kevin Johnson. GEMS is a Geographic Information Systems based Emergency Management tool that empowers the University of Redlands Department of Public Safety and administration to develop and execute plans that respond to natural and human disasters.

All emergency management systems have a common method of organization. One of the major components of this organization is the collection, analysis and dissemination of information. The University of Redlands, although an independent organization, is no exception. The University of Redlands falls under the jurisdiction of the California Office of Emergency Services who, mandated by the State of California Government Code section 8607, employs the Standard Emergency Management System (SEMS). One of the principal requirements of SEMS is the reporting of the total value of damaged structures. The University of Redlands Crisis Management Plan stipulates that it follow SEMS and that methods be devised to provide the necessary information to other SEMS agencies. There is no method specified in the University of Redlands Crisis Management Plan to satisfy this requirement.

GIS Emergency Management System, version 2.0 (GEMS 2.0) is a digital, GISbased emergency management tool that facilitates the collection, analysis and distribution of data on the damage to structures on the University of Redlands campus and the number of displaced persons. GEMS 2.0 integrates the goals of the University of Redlands Crisis management Plan and the requirements outlined in SEMS. By modifying commercial off the shelf software, GEMS 2.0 is highly portable and scalable.

Full text is available at the University of Redlands


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