Skip to main content

Objective 2

Develop tools with and for planners and decision makers

High quality hazard data are becoming increasingly available with advances in data collection technology (e.g., LiDAR) and computer software (e.g., ArcGIS). However, use of this data for planning purposes is limited by local officials’ ability to access the information, interpret it, and apply it in their communities. This is especially true for small and rural communities with less resources (e.g., time, technology, personnel). Additionally, hazard data are typically not paired with social data such as housing affordability, % of community with disabilities, % of community that is non-English speaking. These issues makes it challenging for local planners and emergency officials to use these data to assess local vulnerabilities, define mitigation projects, and plan for future development. 

To address these issues, the HCRI works collaborates with communities to develop interactive web platforms that consolidate relevant hazard, infrastructure, and social vulnerability data such that it can be easily understood and used by local officials to reduce hazard risks. This allows communities to engage in the data, have a voice in what data to include and how it appears, and ultimately enables them to plan for hazards and changing conditions.

Activities under this goal include 

1. Valley County FEMA RiskMap Project

HCRI was awarded a FEMA cooperating technical partner grant in 2022 titled ‘Humanizing Flood and Other Hazard Data for Use in Local Resilience Planning’. We are developing a web tool for Valley County, Idaho that consolidates relevant hazard, social vulnerability, and critical infrastructure data such that it can be easily understood and used by local officials for risk reduction and decision-making.

We are working with practitioners to ensure this work will:

  • help decision makers better identify vulnerabilities and prioritize hazard mitigation actions,
  • enable the communities to better understand and communicate risk, and
  • execute more holistically informed planning decisions for community resilience.

2. COVID Dashboards

In the spring of 2020, the HCRI was asked to develop a series of web tools to communicate the spread of COVID-19 in Idaho and at Boise State. To respond to this, a multidisciplinary team came together to develop user-friendly information dashboards, available in English and Spanish. The state dashboard was maintained daily for two years and recognized by Governor Little as a helpful resource for Idaho.

The Boise State dashboard is still active.

a. Idaho State COVID Dashboard (English) – 99,535 Views since 2020
b. Idaho State COVID Dashboard (Spanish) – 3,926 views since 2020

Spanish version of the State of Idaho Dashboard.
The page includes cases, deaths, graphs showing change over time, and a list of local resources.

3. Empowering Communities: Data Needs & Partnerships

Identifying community data needs through community engagement events and developing funded partnerships to address those needs.

4. Community Tool Development Model

Creating and publishing a model for developing tools with and for communities across Idaho.

Back To Top