Lawrence Livermore HOPS system aided in aftermath of Hurricane Sandy

Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory's web-based Homeland-Defense Operational Planning System aided emergency responders on the East Coast assist victims of Hurricane Sandy.

The HOPS program was used to provide Geographic Information System-planned operational tools and critical information about U.S. infrastructure to first responders making damage and emergency assessments.

LLNL estimates that more than 1,000 users took advantage of HOPS during the crisis, including federal, military, state, county and city emergency operations centers. The U.S. Department of Homeland Security geospatial information exchange managers used the system as well, primarily to provide infrastructure assessments and technical reachback services to the Pennsylvania National Guard and a number of East Coast emergency response agencies.

HOPS incorporates DHS infrastructure information about the entire United States. The information includes the location of flood and inundation zones, electrical and other utility services, fire and police stations, and public health centers.

"We now have a much richer data set that can be applied for sites that have major population centers or hazards, and can help emergency responders deal with major events, from earthquakes and hurricanes to terrorist attacks," Craig Wuest, the lab's HOPS leader, said. "Since it's Web-based, as long as you have Internet access, different agencies can receive and share information, and quickly update information for their responses."