Mobile Application Improves Data Collection for Illinois Flood Risk Management
Time is precious during a flood event consequently an efficient response is most important. In support of this concern, this pilot project provided the necessary components to identify lead times, evacuation plans, quantities, equipment, materials, and personnel to respond to a flood event, thereby shifting limited resources from planning to implementation. The MICA (mobile information collection application), a Silver Jackets pilot project, established a standard operating procedure to provide the Illinois Emergency Management Agency (IEMA) and the Department of Natural Resources, Office of Water Resources (IDNR-OWR) personnel log-in access to MICA. MICA tablets were deployed just in time for seasonal flooding. Team Member MICA tablet field use and exercises from April through September provided the necessary training for record Illinois River flooding occurring in July 2015 and again in December 2015 on river tributaries. The team also developed and added an IEMA Initial Damage Assessment Form.
As a result, this pilot project has reduced flood damages and improved life safety. The pilot project MICA Phase II leveraged MICA Phase I knowledge to develop and incorporate additional essential features such as sketch tool, photo geo-location documentation, and data storage and retrieval. Phase I IDNR MICA team usage was extended by 12 months for Phase II feature field evaluation. Phase II has provided participants with an opportunity to beta test MICA Version 3.0. As a result, it is expected that this pilot project will continue to reduce future flood damages and improve life safety. The methodology developed in this pilot project has been documented and can be used as the framework for other projects in similar communities across the nation.