GIS to help with Delta’s hazard mitigation plan

The Center for Interdisciplinary Geospatial Information Technologies at Delta State University was recently selected to perform geospatial information system work associated with the Delta’s regional hazard mitigation plan. More than $16,500 was awarded to help with this project.

The goal of the the plan is to identify threats to the community, prioritize perception of associated risks and plan to take action to reduce collective risk through risk reduction projects.

For the past month, Talbot Brooks, director of the GIS Center at Delta State, has been meeting with Wade Inc. representatives to discuss plans of implementing a cooperative educational program with the GIS Center.

The program will fund internships and leadership and will focus on performing data processing for drone data and providing computational assistance with irrigation management.

An important part of this process is community involvement. Community members are strongly encouraged to keep an eye out for announcements about public meetings related to the hazard mitigation planning process. Wide participation is needed to confront threats head-on.

“The Mississippi Delta is one of the most hazard-prone regions of the United States. Name a disaster, and our area is threated to one degree or another — earthquakes, floods, tornados, hurricanes, severe storms, blizzards, ice storms, severe winds and drought are all known to area residents,” said Brooks. “About the only thing we’re reasonably safe from are volcanic eruptions. Those just haven’t found a way to happen here yet.”

The hazard mitigation planning process consists of: public involvement through a series of meetings; identification of hazards that could affect the participating jurisdictions; assessment of the vulnerabilities within the study area to these hazards in terms of the number of structures and people affected; identification of mitigation actions that can reduce the risk from these hazards; and development of an implementation strategy identifying roles and responsibilities.

When dealing with the potential for disaster, Brooks believes the old saying “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure” holds true.

The project will be put to practice this spring as Bolivar County Emergency Management, Mississippi Emergency Management, True North (a subsidiary of Neel-Schaeffer) and Delta State University’s Center for Interdisciplinary Geospatial Information Technologies work with community members to update the regional hazard mitigation plan.

For more information about the center, contact Brooks at

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