The Impact of Online Software in Tackling Rising Wildfire ThreatsJune 21, 2023
Wildfires have become an increasingly pressing global concern. They have caused widespread devastation to communities, economies, and ecosystems.
Online software has become a powerful tool in transforming wildfire response strategies for local governments. This article will explore the pressing need for the right response strategy, and the key benefits of cloud-based solutions for land management.
The Alarming Rise of Wildfires in the U.S and Canada
According to Congressional Research Service, an average of 61,410 wildfires annually impacted an average of 7.2 million acres (about twice the area of Connecticut) from 2013 to 2022. And in 2022, 68,988 wildfires burned a staggering 7.6 million acres (about the area of Massachusetts).
The risk extends to millions of homes, with 4.5 million homes across the U.S. categorized as high or extreme risk. In Canada, the Washington Post shared: “The land area burned so far has exceeded 5,000% of normal in some provinces.”
As the threat of wildfires continues to rise, there is an urgent need for effective emergency response and preparedness.
How Online Software Transforms Government Wildlife Response
Online community development software can be a game-changer in enabling better wildlife response efforts. Local governments benefit from streamlined coordination since these solutions live and can be accessed online. Staff can share information and have conversations in real-time with each other and their fire department, add supporting staff from other communities with ease, and perform inspections in the field with any mobile device.
Streamlined Coordination and Communication:
Timely and accurate communication is crucial during wildfire response. Online software enables real-time information sharing with fire and police departments to help response teams make informed decisions and coordinate a unified response. It also facilitates seamless communication with citizens and inspectors to assess damage, issue repair and prohibited occupancy orders, and provide updates.
Multiple stakeholders can work together simultaneously to access and update vital information in the event of a wildfire. By collaborating on the same files simultaneously and in real-time, they can respond to wildfires more quickly. Response teams and government staff can streamline their coordination efforts by making informed decisions promptly for a unified response effort.
Support from Surrounding Communities:
Sometimes, natural disasters require additional support from surrounding communities. In the event of a wildfire, helpers from other departments and local governments can lend a hand. Cloudpermit offers an unlimited user license so when new users are added to the system, there are no additional charges. Departments can gain additional support without needing to wait for payment and can quickly work together as a team, like when the Township of Uxbridge experienced a tornado.
Online software like Cloudpermit gives response teams easy access to critical information. Building departments can keep all conversations and photos in a centralized location so they can access real-time and organized data in the field. This accessibility and organization can help response teams assess the situation, track progress, and maintain accurate records. Since staff can access information on any mobile device, they can conduct inspections in the field, issue repair and prohibited occupancy orders, and share information with fire and police departments in real-time.
Efficient Permitting and Rebuilding Processes:
Recovery and rebuilding are vital after a wildfire. Community development solutions enable governments to issue demolition permits for unsafe buildings and also issue building permits to start the reconstruction of damaged buildings. Software like Cloudpermit helps streamline front counter work and speed up the development approval process. Compared to paper-based processes, online processes enable building departments to issue building permits 80% faster.
The threat of wildfires continues so it’s becoming increasingly important for communities to find efficient ways to respond to emergencies. Streamlined coordination and communication, support from surrounding communities, centralized data, and efficient permitting and rebuilding processes, are important and valuable components to consider for any local government.