Personal Preparedness Mapping and Simulation Software

by | May 25, 2010 | Emergency Preparedness | 7 comments

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    Tom Martin at the American Preppers Network recently reviewed a new personal preparedness application called “Depiction,” which allows users to simulate disaster scenarios and plan accordingly.

    For those who’d like to learn more, check out the Online Webinar for Depiction Tuesday, May 25th, 2010 from 5:00 PM – 6:00 PDT.

    From Tom at APN:

    Check this out. I’d like everyone to take a look at Depiction. Now APN doesn’t receive any financial compensation for this promotion. We are bringing this information to you because I think this is something that’s definitely worth having and something APN plans to get ourselves.

    Imagine being able to put together disaster models like the big boys do but with software that’s affordable for the average person. I had the opportunity to see a demo of this program in action and I can definitely say this; “this is Pretty Cool!”

    Even if you lose grid power and connection to the web, as long as you are able to know where the disaster is located and the scope of the damage, you are able to plan your evacuation or bug out plans using your home computer or laptop and map out your disaster plan with Depiction.

    They will be hosting a free live webinar next Tuesday and all preppers are welcome to attend.

    A brief product overview is provided by Timothy Goddard of Depiction, Inc.

    What if the river rises eight feet? Or twelve? What if terrorists attack your city tomorrow? What if a forest fire cuts off your town from the rest of the country?

    Preparedness is largely about asking—and then answering—these ‘what-if’ questions about your community, and today there are mountains of data available online that can help you do just that. The hard part has been finding an affordable way to harness and visualize that data in a useful way.

    Depiction is mapping and simulation software used by professional disaster planners and emergency managers across the country, but built to be affordable and useful for everyday people. Depiction enables anyone to bring together publicly available data and your own knowledge of your surroundings to create interactive scenarios, or ‘depictions’ that help you prepare.

    • Map resources in your home and neighborhood—where are the gas and water shutoff valves? Who are your vulnerable neighbors?
    • Build contingency plans for your family—what’s the best route between home and work if an earthquake destroys all the bridges? Where do we meet if we can’t all get home?
    • Play ‘what-if’ with the hazards in your area—what if a tsunami hits the coast tomorrow? What if there’s an explosion at the chemical plant?

    When a disaster does happen, all the preparedness scenarios you created with Depiction are still there, even if the Internet is unavailable, since depictions are stored on your desktop like PowerPoint files that you can even share with your friends and family ahead of time. And during an unfortunate event, with just a battery-powered laptop, Depiction can serve as your personal tactical display, helping you map out information and simulate alternatives as you listen to updates over the radio.

    To learn more about using Depiction as a personal and family preparedness tool, Depiction, Inc. founder and President Mike Geertsen will be doing a free online presentation the evening of Tuesday, May 25 entitled “Technology for Personal Preparedness.” Mike, who started Depiction based on his experiences in Microsoft’s simulation games division, will discuss how technology is helping to make preparedness easier, and specifically show you how you can build powerful preparedness plans and scenarios in minutes using Depiction.


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      1. Yow!   Laughing at GS comments.   

      2. GS,

        I thought this was a wonderful article idea.  

        Maybe you should get a job or stop fighting with your wife.  Professional help maybe?  You sound angry. 

      3. This sounds like a very interesting tool – many thanks for pointing it out! 

      4. Hey Mac your sight is really interesting and it’s nice to see other peoples comments  but I think you need a flusher on it because  it appears some strange god keeps sending you its waste.

      5. Looks like Mac gave GS the boot.     Good job Mac.

      6. If an EMP or CME takes out your laptop…


      7. On the surface and for complete beginners, this looks good. However, I have found in life, the beaten path is the path most dangerous. I’m betting this software is far too generic to do better than my brain. Though I might use the “river rises 8ft” or such simulations to see what would happen, I would not use the routing part of it.

        If there is one thing I have learned in my 47 years on this planet is that a crutch slows you down. You must get off the crutch. This software could become that if depended upon. The disaster route capability of this is flat out dangerous. If people use it, they will be herded like cattle and thats bad. There is no substitute for exploration and testing and thinking.

        I fear that too many people will buy this software, use it and then put it away, brush their hands together and say, “Well! Thats taken care of!” In a disaster situation you do not know what you will run accross. You need a pliable mind and plan to survive. Actually, you need skills. My opinion is that a well set and adhered to plan is very likely to fail in the very first stages. The problem with this software is that it could very well get people set up with a good looking plan and then they simply stop thinking about it. When the time comes they’ll be lost because the thought process stopped long ago. After all, they have their “perfect plan”.

        I say, “NO! NO! NO!!!” While it might make you feel good it might contribute to your deadness if TSRHTF (R=Really). Backroads, little known routes, even off the map lanes and fields. THOSE are the things you need to know. I’m not saying this can’t be used as an effective tool, however, the trend in software is to try and solve all your problems, especially that one about having to do *ANY* thinking.

        Use this tool but use it as a tool not a replacement for your brain. The neophyte prepper might be tempted to substitute his exploratory and reasoning nature for this software. Bad. Using it as a tool to enhance your survival plan. Good!

        In my opinion the best plan is not a set plan. The best plan only includes a basic set of bullet points (both on paper and on the end of brass casings) and a whole lot of thinking on how to get them done. Even more important are the ways around the standard ways to get them done. If you’re not thinking on your feet, you’ll die pretty quickly.

        Don’t use this software as a crutch but a tool.

        Many people do this with many things. They bank tons of food and think they’re done.

        They stockpile weapons and ammo and think they’re done.

        They get 99 different disaster routes and think they’re done.

        I say no. Get a few plans together for this and that. Stock pile some food, ammo, fuel and other supplies. *THINK ALOT* about how to sustain yourself.

        If you buy nothing and stockpile nothing and you just think about what to do and how to do it, you’re halfway there! That is the first step.  After that, and extra loaf or bread, an extra box of ammo or a gallon of gas is a plus. First things first: Think About The Process: TATP. Once you do that, everything else will fall in line.

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