GIS-Centric Solution Provides Ideal Application to Assist in Emergency Situations
September 15, 2010 -- Sandy, UT — The City of Charlotte, North Carolina, has designed their emergency preparedness plan around Cityworks by Azteca Systems, Inc., the leading provider of GIS-centric management solutions. This solution for tracking calls and managing work in emergency situations provides the City confidence in knowing that if and when they face an emergency, they will be prepared to respond in the most efficient manner possible.
Having been struck by Hurricane Hugo in 1989 which left over 235,000 city customers without power and resulted in over five months of cleanup efforts, the City of Charlotte is well aware of the benefits of being prepared for an emergency. When Cityworks was implemented at Charlotte in 2009 for work management, City administrators quickly recognized Cityworks DataPump (a disconnected check-out system for field use) as an application that could be adapted for use in emergency situations and decided to design their emergency plan around it.
Staff created a personal geodatabase on each emergency computer, including some field laptops, which contains only feature classes that would be absolutely necessary during an emergency to speed up the application. Utilizing a backup generator, staff will still be able to respond to calls with Cityworks service requests and work orders using DataPump.
With the new emergency preparedness solution, Cityworks assists the City in planning and responding to customer emergencies, tracking calls coming into the emergency center, and dispatching the help needed to work crews with the location, asset information, and/or customer responses to those requests. In addition, every emergency PC runs independent of the network so work orders and service requests can be created on the fly by any user that has been configured to log on the PCs.
The final step in the process will take place if and when an emergency has taken place or when the City is notified of a call for severe weather, ice, or the remnants of a hurricane, in which case they will sync the remote DataPump databases. This will update the feature classes, recreate the address locator, and check out 1000 service request and work order IDs to each emergency computer before disconnecting from the production database. Once things are stable, DataPump can check all the data back into the SQL production database on the server and normal operations can resume.
“DataPump is a module normally used to allow field crews access to their Cityworks data in the field,” explains Amy Rockwell, Senior Business Analyst for Engineering and Property Management at the City of Charlotte. “In this case, we are using DataPump as a key part of our emergency response plan to keep our operations running during severe weather or a storm event. This backup plan has been setup and tested; however, we have not yet had the opportunity to employ it. But we know that if we ever have to employ it, we are prepared and ready to go, which gives us extraordinary peace of mind knowing firsthand the repercussions of a disaster event and the benefits of being prepared for this type of situation.”
“Multiple Cityworks sites, like the City of Charlotte, have implemented Cityworks for disaster preparedness,” states Brian Haslam, President of Azteca Systems. “Because of the flexible nature of the program, Cityworks can be customized for a wide variety of uses. Its GIS capabilities along with its proven and tested maintenance management technology make it an ideal solution for disaster response and recovery. We are pleased Cityworks can be utilized to assist and improve such critical tasks.”
The City of Charlotte is the 18th largest city in the U.S. with a population of 687,456 in 2008. Located within the Southern Piedmont of North Carolina along the state’s border with South Carolina, it is the most accessible city between Washington DC and Dallas. Charlotte has been recognized by relocate-America.com and CNNMoney.com as one of the best places to live, combining the cosmopolitan city with the ease of Southern charm.
About Azteca Systems, Inc.
Founded in 1986, Azteca Systems, Inc. is the leading provider of GIS-centric Enterprise Management Systems. Built exclusively on top of ESRI’s leading GIS technology, Cityworks is powerful, scalable, and affordable, designed for agencies that own and care for critical infrastructure, capital assets, and property.
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