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News — 23 August, 2012

Tropical Storm Isaac getting to Haiti

Came accross this serious hurricane warning today from NOAA, informing that the tropical storm Isaac may hit Haiti severely from the next 24-36 hours. We think it is worthy to take Isaac seriously and so we are starting a local preparation coordinated by Jaakko Helleranta and Brian Wolford who have been living in Haiti for almost two years and have carried out many OSM activities and participated to HOT programs there.

Came accross this serious hurricane warning today from NOAA, informing that the tropical storm Isaac may hit Haiti severely from the next 24-36 hours.

We think it is worthy to take Isaac seriously and so we are starting a local preparation coordinated by Jaakko Helleranta and Brian Wolford who have been living in Haiti for almost two years and have carried out many OSM activities and participated to HOT programs there.

HOT can harness on the data preparedness work it has been conducted around the haitidata.org platform within the context of the wider World Bank OpenData Resilience Initiative (OpenDRI). Haitidata.org allows for sharing valuable knowledge (reports) as well as vector and raster data for DRR and IM/GIS experts in the Island which articulates well with the UN OCHA Core Operational Datasets and complements the OSM database.

In addition to this, HOT would play in combination a role with the in-country coordinators to articulate surveys with satellite imagery processings about flood/landslides extents and other relevant damage assessments on key infrastructure.

Brian and Jaako have started to:

  • join the local OSM mappers we trained over the two past years in various regions of the country
  • gather the useful equipments available for OSM mapping
  • ensure labs/ hubs will be ready to support the mapping efforts on the ground both in Port-au-Prince (Haiti Communitere) and in Saint-Marc

Nicolas and Severin are introducing them to the key humanitarian and government actors in Haiti to ensure that any OSM response effort will be articulated to the wider response plans and efforts.

Some remote help would be needed (imagery set-up, mapping...) and Jaakko and Brian will keep the team posted as the situation evolves. A Wikipage has been created.

If we are lucky this will have just be a good simulation exercise and a way to check who we can count on amongst the local mappers, the humanitarian actors and the government. In the course of the day, the forecast shall get more focused and our action plan refined.

Nicolas, Severin, Jaako & Brian