Pacific EMPRINTS Home Skip Navigation Links

ArcGIS Exercise: GIS Mapping for Vulnerable Populations in Emergencies


Approximately 90 minutes

Course Description:

The course “GIS Mapping for Vulnerable Populations in Emergencies” is designed to give you a basic understanding of how to apply ArcGIS geographic information system tools to map and identify vulnerable populations and facilities using different data sources and to map hazard events, create threat evacuation zones, and rapidly assess the potential total number of evacuees, affected facilities, and vulnerable populations in those threat and evacuation zones due to a mock earthquake and related hazard events. It is an exercise in tutorial format, with step-by-step instructions utilizing data for the island of O`ahu and the Wahiawa community. It requires access to ArcGIS ArcView version 9.2, or later.

This course was created by Pacific EMPRINTS, at the University of Hawaii at Manoa, Department of Anthropology. Creation of the course was funded by the US Department of Health and Human Services Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response, Grant No. T01HP6427-0100.


The material covered in this course is related, in part, to the following capabilities from the Homeland Security Target Capabilities List:
  1. Common: Communications
  2. Common: Community Preparedness and Participation
  3. Common: Planning
  4. Respond: Citizen Evacuation & Shelter-in-Place
  5. Respond: Critical Resource Logistics & Distribution
  6. Respond: Emergency Public Information and Warning
  7. Respond: Mass Care (Sheltering, Feeding, Related services)
  8. Respond: Onsite Incident Management
  9. Respond: Search and Rescue

Learning Objectives:

By the end of this course, participants will be able to:
  1. Utilize GIS tools to map US Census demographic data by Census block
  2. Combine table join, field calculation, and statistics operations to estimate total population and vulnerable population counts in community
  3. Use GIS tools to map facility locations based on tabular GPS coordinates
  4. Use address geocoding to map health facility and school locations based on a table of street addresses
  5. Apply spatial queries to rapidly determine number of emergency and health facilities and schools in community
  6. Use GIS proximity analysis tools to buffer a hazard event and create threat evacuation zones
  7. Combine GIS overlay, spatial queries, and table statistics tools to estimate total number of evacuees in threat evacuation zones, identify affected facilities, and estimate vulnerable populations in affected facilities.

Target Audiences:

Administrators, Emergency/Disaster Planners, Other Public Health personnel

Certificate of Completion:

A Certificate of Completion is available to be printed for this course upon completion of the post-test with a score of 80% or higher.

Cost: FREE*

*subject to change without notice.