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U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

Tools for Improving Situational Awareness

Situational awareness can give communities the information they need to make smarter decisions about the ways that they use resources; prevent and mitigate threats; and promote health security. Learn about tools that your city, state or community can use to learn more about their options to promote disaster health security and to help them make smarter decisions when seconds count.

GIS-Based Tools

  • HHS emPOWER Map: The HHS emPOWER Map is an interactive online tool to help community health agencies and emergency management officials in disaster preparedness as they plan ahead to meet the emergency needs of community residents who rely on electrically powered medical and assistive equipment to live independently at home. The integrated data accessible through the HHS emPOWER Map can help community organizations, including hospitals, first responders, and electric utility officials, work with health officials to prevent health impacts of prolonged power outages due to storms and other disasters on vulnerable residents.
  • GeoHEALTHGeoHEALTH is ASPR’s secure Geographic Information System (GIS) based, electronic, interactive mapping application. This application incorporates information from numerous sources both internal and external to HHS. GeoHealth provides a single visual environment for enhanced situational awareness, assessment, and management of resources for planning and response to natural, man-made or pandemic events.

Social Media Analysis

  • NowTrending.HHS.gov:  NowTrending is a web-based application that searches open source Twitter data for health topics and delivers analyses of that data for both a specified geographic area and the national level. Health departments and other health entities can use this tool in multiple ways, including as an indicator of potential health issues emerging in the population, to build a baseline of trend data, or to engage the public on trending health topics.

Resource Collections and Assistance

  • HHS Response and Recovery Compendium: HHS Response and Recovery Resources Compendium is an online collection of the federal resources and capabilities available to mitigate the health impacts of emergencies. The compendium offers an easy-to-navigate, comprehensive, web-based repository of HHS products, services and capabilities available to state, state, tribal, territorial, and local agencies before, during, and after public health and medical incidents. The compendium spans 24 topics, each of which contains a list of the major HHS capabilities, products and services that support that function, a brief description of each and information on accessing them.

Threat-Specific Emergency Response Tools

  • CHEMM:  Chemical Hazards Emergency Medical Management CHEMM provides guidance on planning, response and recovery related to chemical mass casualty incidents.  The tool enables first responders, first receivers, other healthcare providers, and planners to plan for, respond to, recover from, and mitigate the effects of mass-casualty incidents involving chemicals.
  • REMM:  Radiation Emergency Medical Management REMM provides guidance on the clinical diagnosis and treatment of mass casualty radiological/nuclear events for health care providers.  The tool includes just-in-time, evidence-based, usable information with sufficient background and context to make complex issues understandable to those without formal radiation medicine expertise. 
  • WISER:  Wireless Information System for Emergency Responders: WISER is a system designed to assist emergency responders in hazardous material incidents. WISER provides a wide range of information on hazardous substances, including substance identification support, physical characteristics, human health information, and containment and suppression advice. The system contains information on over 400 chemicals and radiologic agents.

  • This page last reviewed: August 31, 2015