​Developing a Gas Situational Awareness System (GSAS) for Emergency Response

GTI recently concluded Phase 1 of a project for the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to develop a Gas Situational Awareness System (GSAS) to be used for major events that require response by more than one emergency responder, utility, or agency. The system provides a data exchange methodology for critical natural gas infrastructure operators and government agencies ensuring a coordinated response, allowing them to share information, provide situational awareness, assist with decision support during disasters, and hasten recovery. ​

The GSAS is based on the status of each structure while maintaining confidentiality of the distribution systems for individual electric, gas, water, phone, and cable utilities. It will provide almost immediate status information to all responders allowing them to know the extent of the event, the availability of infrastructure—such as accessibility to roads, bridges (open or closed), electric status (on or off) and the like—for each structure within the impacted area. GSAS will also feed information to each of the emergency responding organizations an​​d utilities so they can plan the details of their response and define where and when to deploy people and materials.

During Phase 2, GTI developed the initial data model required for processing information for a natural gas utility during a disaster event. The data model is a collection of tables describing the information to be tracked during a disaster to enable a utility to manage and perform their restoration activities with a much greater awareness of the disaster situation. The data incorporated into the model will also be used for required reporting to all levels of regulatory authority.

Data model design sessions were hosted in October 2015 in the New Jersey area, and focused on what business data is required to define the geography and details of the disaster event.

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