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On Demand August 10, 2006

Application of North Carolina's Geographic Information System for Agriculture Emergencies

Broadcast Date: August 10, 2006 | (1 hour, 30 minutes)


Handouts (7 pages)

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Post-Conference Materials


Program Overview

North Carolina Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (NCDA & CS) has a nationally leading Geographic Information System (GIS) that has been 15 years in development. The system, called the Multi-Hazard Threat Database (MHTD), has been used for eradication of swine pseudorabies as well as Avian Influenza (AI). GIS has emerged as a proven decision support tool that has gained a critical role in managing emergencies. In the 2002 AI outbreak, North Carolina eradicated the disease with only three commercial flocks affected and GIS was a critical component of that successful response. GIS enhances epidemiological investigation by improving disease tracking through integration of laboratory data and premises identification, routing, quarantine management, communication and analysis. Providing end-user access to the power of GIS has been one of the priorities of NCDA & CS for several years. To this end, North Carolina has employed several tools to provide viewing and editing functionality to the MHTD using private sector products produced by ESRI and Google.

The use of GIS in North Carolina has not been limited to livestock applications. Since 2001, the MHTD has become an asset as an all-hazards planning, preparedness and response tool for other sectors of agriculture as well as a resource for other state agencies. Utilizing GIS helps determine scale of emergency or event, estimate rate of spread or progression of a disease, assist in distribution of resources (personnel and equipment), identify at-risk populations and rapidly communicate complex information. These advantages improve situational awareness of any incident and assist in rapid recovery.


Martin A. Zaluski, DVM
Director, Emergency Programs Division
North Carolina Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services
Raleigh, North Carolina

Target Audience

Health professionals including administrators, veterinarians, environmentalists and emergency response personnel who are interested in new technologies to utilize in surveillance and response activities.

Contact Hours

None for this program.

Contact for Technical Assistance

Call 334-206-5618 or email ALPHTN.

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