Agency of Transportation Programmer Response Tracked to Create Disaster Aid System

With the massive flooding and damage caused by Tropical Storm Irene in Vermont recently, programmers with the Agency of Transportation (AOT) have developed a system that may very well serve as a model for the orchestration of relief efforts for future disasters, according to www.rutlandherald.com.

Ben Lind, Justin Handley and Reed Kinirey have created a system that records and tracks a complex set of data, including the photographs and progress reports needed to document the work being done at 390 construction sites in Vermont following Tropical Storm Irene, and they did it all in only three weeks time.

Part of the system contained over 10,000 before, during and after photos of each construction site. These photos, in turn, were linked to pertinent information such as estimates and real cost data. The project has also made officials rethink how roads are built and how rivers are redirected. Primary question asked include: Should the rivers be allowed to follow their natural course, and should some roads even be rebuilt at all?

This leads into the second part of the project — the coordinating and awarding of bids. All made easier using the new system, it helped ensure that contractors and their crews were paid on time and that once the work was completed Federal guidelines were followed and the proper reimbursements were made.

When all was said and done, the accomplishments of the Agency of Transportation was astonishing, with all state roads in southwest Vermont being reopened within six weeks of the storm.

The future of the system developed in response to the damage wrought by Tropical Storm Irene will be tested as future natural and manmade disasters develop. Ultimately, its effectiveness will come down to those using it.

For more information about the AOT’s system, visit: http://www.rutlandherald.com/article/20111031/NEWS01/710319909/1002/NEWS01