Worst Case Scenario : How Mindmapping Is Used In Disaster Situations

Hurricane Gustav, Hanna, Ike and Josephine all threaten aviation; this is how the Florida hurricane-response unit gets damaged commercial airports up and running

When Hurricane Katrina ripped through New Orleans in August 2005, it left behind an estimated $200 billion in damage, making it the nation's costliest natural disaster.

Today in Florida the Federal Aviation Administration's (FAA) rapid-response team are ready to meet the onslaught of the hurricane’s approaching behind Gustav.

The FAA’s job is to fan out to assess and repair the destruction to airports and air-traffic management systems. Their mission: to get airports quickly back in service both for the sake of commercial travel and to get federal emergency-response teams where they were most needed.

To help the planning, the FAA began using mind mapping software, even as a major hurricane was raging, to help develop a clear picture of the situation on the ground.

They can look at hurricanes, plan for them, prepare for them and then as things start happening can build up a complete picture of the situation.

The first thing they do is to make sure their personnel are alright and they use the software to create visual information maps to show where personnel are at all times. As calls would come in, their location and destination is logged.

The entire operation is entered onto the chart which rapidly expands, tracking everything from response teams to airport conditions, and organising information according to such categories as geographic area and type of equipment damaged.

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