Health department readies GIS system for assessment

An article on MobileVillage describes a program in North Carolina, partially funded by a grant from the CDC to provide Rapid Needs Assessment in times of health crisis in the state.

The program will use handheld computers, networking, and GIS to pinpoint problem areas, establish routing of emergency services, and maintain up-to-date information.

Although it is unclear how this kind of coordination would happen if this kind of emergency was coupled with massive power and infrastructure loss (such as what we saw in September with Katrina), it is definitely of interest in situations of major health crisis, or in the determination of an area of effect for a crisis.