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Department of Homeland Security announces IT resources to aid counties in response to COVID-19

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FEMA announced free access to software solutions and licensed datasets to assist non-federal governmental entities responding to COVID-19 Counties are able to access the Environmental Systems Research Institute’s software solutions and the National Geospatial Intelligence Agency’s licensed datasets

On March 28, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) announced free access to software solutions and licensed datasets to assist non-federal governmental entities responding to COVID-19.

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has an Enterprise License Agreement with the Environmental Systems Research Institute (Esri) that allows DHS/FEMA the ability to extend that agreement to government entities during an “incident of national significance.”  As a result of the current health crisis, county governments can now obtain free access to Esri software solutions for up to six months to help counties respond to COVID-19.  Esri provides geographic information system (GIS) software, web GIS and geodatabase management applications.

To access Esri’s resources, visit www.esri.com/en-us/disaster-response/overview and choose “Request Assistance” in the red banner then select “COVID-19 Response Package.” The package contains software, templates and suggested data schemas. Current Esri customers may also access free templates specifically designed for the COVID-19 response.

Additionally, Esri is offering free GIS technology and on-call technical expert help including data, software, configuration and technical support for organizations that have exceeded their GIS capacity and need emergency support.

Homeland Infrastructure Foundation-Level Data

County officials can also access the National Geospatial Intelligence Agency’s (NGA) licensed datasets to help with COVID-19 operational needs. NGA is providing access to non-federal governmental disaster/emergency response security agencies and personnel who are supporting Homeland Security/Homeland Defense missions per the current Homeland Infrastructure Foundation-Level Data (HIFLD) Data Use Agreement. Please note, this expanded access will expire once the current declaration of a national emergency ends.

This expanded access covers these additional data products:

  • Licensed Parcel Data
  • 2020 Roads and Routing Dataset
  • Dun & Bradstreet Business Points Data

For first-time users: Go to the HIFLD Subcommittee Home Page and choose “Request Licensed Data.” Complete the Disaster Use Agreement using “COVID-19” as the reference number. Once approved by NGA, you will receive access within 24 hours. Please note, before you can complete a Data User Agreement and access this data, you must have valid Homeland Security Information Network credentials. For further questions, contact HIFLD@hq.dhs.gov.

If you have any questions, please contact the Office of External Affairs, Congressional and Intergovernmental Affairs Division at (202) 646-3444 or at FEMA-IGA@fema.dhs.gov.

About Zach George (Full Bio)

Legislative Assistant

Zach George joined NACo in March 2016 and serves as a Legislative Assistant. He is responsible for writing and editing blog articles, conducting legislative research and providing legislative support for Environment, Energy and Land Use; Transportation; Telecommunications and Technology; and the Gulf Coast Counties and Parishes Coalition.

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