IDAHO FALLS, Idaho (AP) — Emergency planners say a digital library developed by Idaho researchers has become a critical tool in preparing for major disasters.
The Infrastructure Protection Digital Library is a searchable database that gathers and customizes emergency-related documents, images and websites on local, regional and federal levels.
Three specialists from the Idaho National Laboratory built the database a year ago, The Post Register (http://bit.ly/1myzJr1) reported.
Before the library, most of the information was disconnected and required extensive searching on state agencies' websites or blocked behind U.S. Department of Homeland Security firewalls, said Dale Christiansen, a program manager at the Idaho National Laboratory who worked on the project.
Now the information is in a searchable format like a Google web search. The information is filtered by geographic area, type of emergency and security clearance.
"Our biggest challenge, technically, was that the information that is needed for this governor's office, or whatever it may be, is all over the place," said Wayne Simpson, an architect in information management at the lab. "So our challenge was to bring all (the information) together into a central place, and then customize it for that specific end-user so that California is not seeing Idaho's information."
Laboratory spokeswoman Misty Benjamin says the library will soon be used to help officials determine how to restore servers after an emergency such as a flood or storm.
"The challenge is actually planning for those events," Benjamin said. "It might be a disaster that's caused by a human or it may be a disaster that's caused by nature."
Information from: Post Register, http://www.postregister.com