The Department of the Interior’s Office of Emergency Management (OEM) and the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) have partnered to establish the Strategic Hazard Identification and Risk Assessment, or SHIRA, Project. The SHIRA project provides data, tools, and training exclusively for Department of the Interior personnel to improve planning for realistic threats to Department assets, resources, and people.
The Department of the Interior is responsible for a diverse set of assets that include personnel; visitors to public lands; facilities; infrastructure; historic sites; and natural, cultural, and economic resources. There are many natural and human-caused hazards that could negatively impact any one of these assets. SHIRA tools are being developed to help Department managers and senior leadership plan to prevent, protect against, mitigate, respond to, and recover from various hazards. At this time, SHIRA tools and data are available for Department of the Interior personnel only.
SHIRA tools are being developed by a dedicated team of scientists, computer programmers, tool developers, and emergency management professionals from OEM and USGS. OEM relies on the vast field experience of it’s employees, and coordination with Department bureau and office representatives via the Senior Executive Emergency Management Council and the Emergency Management Council to steer the SHIRA project. The USGS leverages the decades of scientific and technical expertise of its employees to improve the preparedness posture of the Department. USGS team members come from the Natural Hazards Mission Area, the Core Science Systems Mission Area, and the Hazards Vulnerability Team of the Western Geographic Science Center. This team also draws upon the wealth of hazard- and risk-related expertise found across the USGS risk community of practice as well as from other federal partners.
The SHIRA Team has identified and refined users’ needs for risk data and tools across the Department in various ways.
In 2018, the SHIRA team led a project kick-off workshop to determine which hazards and assets were of greatest concern to Departmental managers and to identify how they could use risk-related information in Departmental planning. See the workshop summary for more information.
The SHIRA team has conducted a series of interviews and site visits with Department managers across the country to record the planning needs and challenges in units and offices, to better understand how planning happens at the unit and office level, and to tailor products and tools to managers’ needs and abilities.
To improve the usability of our tools, the SHIRA team included expertise in user experience and user interface--commonly referred to as UX/UI. A usability expert was involved at the outset of tool development and conducts beta testing of every SHIRA tool with potential DOI users. Results of these beta tests are then used to revise tools before they are finalized.
The SHIRA Team worked with subject matter experts inside and outside the Department, including academic groups, and state and federal agencies, to compile knowledge for a wide array of hazards, assets, land management, data curation best practices, and tool development approaches.
The Interior Geospatial Emergency Management System (IGEMS) allows users to quickly estimate exposure of DOI personnel, facilities, sites with personnel, and lands to imminent or recent disasters
The Risk Mapper allows users to view a summary of hazard exposure levels for individual Departmental lands, assets, and resources. Users can also view the underlying geospatial hazard, land, and asset data.
Data are the foundation of the SHIRA project. SHIRA works with subject matter experts to identify the most appropriate, authoritative, and nationally consistent data for use in the various SHIRA web tools. These experts provide critical insight into the types of information that support all aspects of SHIRA.
The Geospatial Data Catalog is a curated collection of geospatial data. The data represent a wide range of 1) hazards, 2) lands either managed or administered by Departmental bureaus, 3) BIA Trust Lands, and 4) Departmental assets, facilities, and resources.
The Hazard Exposure Summaries allow users to select specific assets, units, bureaus, regions, or hazards that are of interest, and then view and download tables and graphs that summarize hazard exposure based on their selections.
For more information, please contact SHIRA@ios.doi.gov.