This section of the GeoCONOPS explores the details of applying geospatial technologies in support of anticipated incident-related efforts following a no-notice terrorist attack at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis, Indiana. The scenario was developed by DHS and modified slightly by the GeoCONOPS team for contingency planning efforts to assist in defining the government’s response to a terrorist-type event.

Geospatial Analysis methods were used to estimate losses in the affected area. For the purposes of this scenario, an unknown terrorist group employed a multi-prong attack with the primary goal to move personnel into predetermined locations, where the use of vehicle bombs, suicide bombers, and improvised explosive devices (IEDs) could be used to inflict casualties and create general terror within the populace.

The GeoCONOPS references this scenario to outline the anticipated geospatial activities that would occur as a result of this attack. Documenting the timing for application of geospatial tools provides an understanding of activities resulting from this no-notice event. Geospatial technologies can be applied to similar efforts following an actual terrorist or other man-made catastrophic event or support terrorism exercises.

Scenario Timeline

  • (D – 1 hr.) During an event, three suicide bombers are strategically pre-positioned inside the stadium with IEDs on their bodies.
  • (D+1–3 min.) The first suicide bomber detonates his IED followed by the other two within a three-minute time frame. Occupants of the stadium who are not immediately affected by the blasts attempt to evacuate resulting in further casualties.
  • (D+4 min.) Occupants evacuating the stadium move toward one of several general locations outside the stadium. A portion of the occupants will remain in the immediate area, clogging ingress for emergency responders.

                Some will head toward public transportation.

  • Others will head toward parking lots to retrieve their vehicles and depart the area.
  • Occupants will be in various states of physical and mental condition ranging from incapacitated to fully mobile with mental states to include shock and panic.
  • (D+15 min.) Second Attack, the main thrust of the attack is the second one at the evacuation points.
    • Main evacuee collection area (a main street outside the stadium), a Large Vehicle Bomb (LVB) disguised as an emergency service vehicle is detonated.
    • Blast dispersal and damage causes additional casualties/injuries, plus further panic.
  • (D+17 min.) A few minutes after the detonation of the LVB, a second set of devices are detonated at a public transportation gathering.
  • (D+20 min.) Third attack, another vehicle bomb is detonated in a parking facility near the stadium.
  • (D+30 min.) Fourth attack, disguised as an emergency vehicle, is detonated in front of the emergency room entrance of Indiana University Hospital.
    • Blast dispersal and damage causes additional casualties and injuries.
    • Incoming emergency vehicles to all local hospitals must now be searched for explosives, thus slowing down getting the injured to a medical facility.

Modeled Blast Impact

Modeling and analysis efforts provide an initial perspective into the scope of damage in the wake of the series of explosions, including social impacts (casualties, shelter requirements, displaced households, etc.), damage to buildings and essential facilities, and damage and loss of functionality to transportation and utility lifelines. As the event unfolds, modeled information provides the basis for determining potential impacts. This information is then replaced and validated as Response and Recovery efforts collect on-scene information supporting their operations.


The use of various IEDs spread to several locations and detonated at staggered intervals causes just under 500 casualties and injuries in a stadium containing up to 70,000 people. Within the stadium, the three explosions cause fatalities and many minor injuries. The public confusion and panic contribute additional injuries and possibly fatalities as efforts are made to escape the scene. The largest detonation at the gathering point outside the stadium causes the greatest number of causalities. The explosion at the hospital, while causing fewer casualties, forces the injured to travel or be transported to hospitals locations, further delaying urgent medical care and generating additional fear and confusion across the public. Causalities are further defined in Table 5–7.


 Displaced Populations

The event is isolated from residential areas, therefore, causing minimal displacement of the population. If a device contained a radiological or chemical component, it would have caused the evacuation of affected apartment buildings and businesses in the downtown area. Business operations in the immediate area are directly impacted as their customers, suppliers, and employees will not be able to access the area immediately following the event and may not return for some time.

Economic impacts of the attacks will have longer term repercussions in terms of business relocation, loss of tax revenue, fall in property values, and a drop in tourism and its impact on the retail, hotel, and leisure industries. Business and consumer confidence is adversely affected.

Evacuation/Shelter Requirements

Shelter requirements are limited due to the nature of the event. Nearby buildings directly affected by the blast will be evacuated to ensure the integrity of the structures before citizens can return to their homes and workplaces. Shelter requirements in the immediate area are minimal and several off-site facilities are activated to accommodate what are expected to be low requirements. In a case of suspected radiological or chemical release, residents would be instructed to Shelter In-Place, sealing a single area (an example being a room) from outside contaminants and shutting off all HVAC systems. These actions requests would be delivered to the affected population by the local authorities through the media, direct calls, and emergency notification systems. Table 5–8 identifies estimates to assist in making shelter decisions.


 Structure Damage

The explosions cause structural damage to the stadium and several buildings adjacent to the IEDs, compromising their structural integrity. The larger explosion at the outside gathering area causes massive window damage in the immediate area. At the parking facility, vehicles and citizens are directly impacted with flying debris. The explosion at the hospital destroys the emergency reception area, collapsing the covered entryway and disabling the emergency room functionality.

Efforts to model damages will be driven by early efforts to model the individual explosions. These products would be distributed to Law Enforcement and Emergency Response Personnel as soon as possible and serve as a foundation for additional geospatial products that will be required in the future. Accurate blast modeling will show responders the potential extent of damaged areas from a bird’s eye view, letting them see the whole picture. Figure 5-9 through Figure 5-14, represent the blast impacts.


Essential Facilities
(Critical Infrastructure)

The assessment of Essential Facilities would happen immediately following the event. Analysis of the blast impacts and various infrastructure systems and key facilities would be completed and distributed to federal, state, and local responders. In this situation there is minimal impact to infrastructure outside of the direct damages to the targeted buildings. All other systems are only impacted by intermittent power issues in the first couple days, proving to be of minimal impact.

Transportation System Damage

Immediate damage to the road-bed outside the stadium creates an impassible obstacle causing traffic to re-route. The Amtrak station damage stops rail transportation in the area as the tracks are blocked with debris and potentially damaged as well. Idle City buses are immediately dispatched to the scene in effort to evacuate citizens to transportation centers and shelter locations.

The local transportation routes are severely affected by the series of explosions. With blast debris and a rush of citizens fleeing on foot, the initial aftermath would cripple the ingress and egress routes as local law enforcement and medical support respond while at the same time maintaining concern that other IEDs could be in other vehicles. The mass rush of people vacating the area by car will cause gridlock across a large area, lasting for several hours. Further complications arise as citizens abandon their vehicles in effort to get to safety. This combined chaos inhibits access by first responders and injured citizens, leading to additional deaths.

Water and Power Outages

The blast causes loss of power in the immediate area due to damage to in-ground infrastructure, overhead electrical lines, and transformers. Water systems are not impacted outside of leakage in the immediate vicinity of the stadium and Amtrak station. The greater area is largely unaffected as the power and water systems are redundant in nature. The localized blast at the university medical facility causes their back-up generators to kick in to maintain critical support functions until patients can be moved to other facilities. Structures in the area of the stadium may experience temporary loss of power in the days immediately following the event.

Public Health

With the hospital’s emergency department severely damaged, it cannot accept any additional patients, forcing ambulance traffic and self-transports to divert to other facilities. Patients are being redirected to other area hospitals that are reporting lack of beds and staff available to provide care. Minor medical support continues to arrive on site and at the shelter locations. Any significant injuries are sent to area hospitals. Map products are provided at these facilities and hospital intake is coordinated with the on-site staff in effort to streamline patient intake and confidence.

Site Security

One of the first priorities following the attacks on the Lucas Oil Stadium will be the need to create security perimeters surrounding the damaged areas. The need for comprehensive and timely GIS products will play a critical role in the construction of these perimeters. Law Enforcement and Emergency Response personnel need to understand the entire situation so that construction of the various perimeters can be completed in a timely and efficient manner. Below is an example of a Security Perimeter graphic that would be created immediately following the attacks and distributed to the proper authorities for implementation. Figure 5-14 displays a Site Security map.

Scenario Summary

Although the blast impacts will be confined to a relatively small area, the consequences for the exposed population will be significant.

  • Economic losses will be in the millions of dollars.
  • There is localized damage to utility infrastructure.
  • Transportation corridors are heavily congested, and in some cases blocked, due to citizens leaving the area and police checkpoints.
  • Damage to some of the essential facilities will limit the response capabilities of fire, medical, law enforcement, and emergency management in the area most impacted.
  • Fear of similar attacks sparks spontaneous and unprovoked evacuations of a few large office buildings, schools, and a shopping mall.
  • Direct damage to the buildings in the immediate vicinity will generate significant US&R team requirements.
  • Requirement for temporary shelters after the event due to lack of utility services.

PPD-8 Mission Area Support

Geospatial activities are dispersed throughout all of the major PPD-8 Mission areas: Prevention, Protection, Mitigation, Response, and Recovery. These five mission areas serve as an aid in organizing our national preparedness activities in support of this terrorist scenario, and do not constrain or limit integration across mission areas and core capabilities. Within these five mission areas, core capabilities are outlined that may have geospatial support requirements. Response

Response includes those capabilities necessary to save lives, protect property and the environment, and meet basic human needs after the terrorist event has occurred. For the purpose of the GeoCONOPS, the geospatial support required for a terrorist event will be a scaled response defined by the magnitude of the attack. Response includes support to Critical Transportation, Environmental Response/Health and Safety, Fatality Management Services, Infrastructure Systems, Mass Care Services, Mass SAR Operations, On-scene Security and Protection, Operational Communications, Public and Private Services and Resources, Public Health and Medical Services, and Situational Assessment. Specific data available through the Response Mission is identified in Table 5–9.


 Critical Transportation

The attack around Lucas Stadium affected several of the transportation routes. These routes are used not only by the first responders but for the evacuation and delivery of additional response personnel, equipment, and services into the area. Geospatial support will assist in determining the affected routes and defining formal ingress and egress paths. Data developed would be shared through the City EOC and FEMA in effort to ensure access by local responders and the community to safeguard personnel and provide information on the condition of roadways, bridges, formal access points, and temporary restrictions (such as lane closure) to safely and accurately route vehicles.

Environmental Response/Health and Safety

The health and safety of the public is of prime concern. In the aftermath of the attack, the government needs to ensure the availability of guidance and resources to address all-hazards including hazardous materials, such as the potential release of the chemical substance. Geospatial support to this effort will include the mapping of the detonations to ensure awareness of potential danger zones, dust fall-out, and other environmental hazards for the citizens and responders. Subjects such as air quality, hazardous airborne building materials, and potential chemicals would be monitored and mapped on regular intervals.


Fatality Management Services

Early models will project fatality estimates and on-scene body recovery activity will begin immediately. Data collection for each individual will include recovery location, injury descriptions, and victim identification. Human remains may be processed in a secure mortuary facility. The related information collected may be immediately elevated to a classified state as efforts to support evidence collection and other analysis will be performed.

In a terrorist event with causalities, the magnitude of the attack will dictate the size and scope of the required mortuary services. The mortuary mission lies in the hands of the local government with assistance provided through FEMA. DMORT operations begin in 24–36 hours to assist with the remains of non survivors. This mission requires the creation and maintenance of a business process and supporting database to collect, maintain, and retrieve information on the names of the deceased and the location of the recovery.

Infrastructure Systems

The terrorist attacks outlined at Lucas Stadium and the other locations will have minimal effect on CI. Initial spatial analysis would be completed through interactions with federal, state, and local SMEs. In this scenario, analysis shows minimal impact to any major infrastructure assets. Geospatial support plays a vital role in identifying all of the CI in the area. Pre-existing map and data products are accessible at multiple venues and any direct impacts would be identified and shared with the emergency management community to ensure the local authorities of the current information to make command decisions.

Public Health and Medical Services

Medical support includes standing up temporary care facilities to meet the requirements of the emergency staff and patients affected by the event. Medical teams with be dispatched from local hospitals to treat on-site injuries. As the operations progress, minor support would be available on site and injured citizens who have fled the scene are directed to various hospitals.

The geospatial products available to support medical response efforts would include estimates of casualties from structural and direct impact, routing, and potential locations for federal resources due to loss of functionality at the local medical facility. Analyses are used to scale mission requirements and to identify areas where critical medical services requirements are required.

Shelter and Evacuation

Two shelters are activated at area schools. While these facilities are expected to have low volumes of long-term evacuees, they serve as a hub for event communications and the provision of various services to include federal assistance and locating friends and relatives. In addition, they will provide mass-feeding for the surge of stadium attendees as they await access to their vehicles and transportation home.

Emergency evacuations from the area will be required to transport the critically injured to care facilities. Since the closest hospital was also targeted, the distance that these patients may have to travel may be significant. The use of helicopters will be required due to the mass confusion occurring near the event locations. GAs would assist in assessing the surrounding area to determine adequate LZs for these assets as well as locations for temporary medical support. Sites will be required to treat the survivors that are rescued, triaged, and then transported to care facilities outside the impacted area. Sites need to accommodate both aircraft and over-road mechanisms of transportation. In order to support and sustain transportation activities, information such as access routes (ingress/egress) and airspace closures will need to be updated frequently.

Search and Rescue Operations

Although the area of operations in this event may be confined, the time-critical nature of SAR missions combine to heighten the importance of effectively utilizing geospatial tools to identify and prioritize the deployment of federal SAR assets. At the NRCC level, geospatial products will initially be focused at the impacted area and potential population affected. Blast radius models would be produced quickly and used by the on-scene commander to determine where to concentrate recourses. If a suspected plume was identified, then it would be authoritatively mapped by the IMAAC and/or DTRA and distributed to ensure rescue efforts are deployed in these areas.

US&R TFs would be deployed by FEMA immediately following this event. In addition, the state would deploy their own resources [Indiana Task Force 1 (IN-TF1)] and could request assistance from their neighboring states. Many of the US&R TFs have GAs within their ranks. These individuals provide direct support to the team with tactical products to include structure information, floor plans, site maps, and search management products.

 IMTs are deployed to support the operational requirements US&R TFs and manage the US&R mission. The IMT brings logistics, planning, and geospatial staff to the theater. Working with local authorities, the geospatial staff would provide products to manage the site operations specific to SAR. Geospatial products utilized within the IMT support the development of strategic and operational plans for US&R teams and general activities focus on the rescue of persons trapped in confined structures. GAs would assist in determining areas with high probabilities of structural collapse and spatially locating all information related to their operations.

On-scene Security and Protection

In the initial aftermath of the event, little will be known about the blast effects. This includes size, causalities, secondary effects, and if hazardous materials such as chemical or even radiation were involved. While lifesaving and life-sustaining operations are being carried out, and well after they are completed, the area will likely be considered a crime scene and treated as such. Damage to building and infrastructure will not be immediately known and so will be considered severe. Access to the site will be restricted. In the event of a terrorist attack, senior level government officials, including the President, will visit the affected, which will be led and coordinated by the US Secret Service.

On-site security efforts will be covered by local, state, and federal resources. Badging requirements will be put in place to control access to the scenes and protect the responders and evidence. Closed areas and security check points will be a vital part of the mapping data shared across the community. As the operations evolve, these elements will change to accommodate responder access, the removal of debris, and the coming reconstruction.

The attack will also cause the FAA to enact Temporary Flight Restrictions (TFR) over the Indianapolis area to restrict aircraft operations. A flight restriction issued under the authority of 14 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Section 91.137, is intended to protect persons or property, on the ground or in the air, from a specific hazard. It prohibits all aircraft from operating in the designated area, unless it is participating in disaster/hazard relief activities and is being operated under the direction of the official in charge of on-scene emergency response activities.

Geospatial support will include the mapping of the closed and restricted areas, which will be critical to all responders and the general public to ensure their safety. This effort will be crucial to ensure the safety of the responders as they work to look for survivors and the clearing of debris. The general public needs to be aware of areas off limits to enable the responders to do their task efficiently without outside interference and the concern for additional injuries.

Operational Communications

To ensure a safe and secure environment after the attack, operational communications with law enforcement and related security and protection operations will be required. Local commercial communications systems will be initially overwhelmed and service disruption will most likely occur. Geospatial support will revolve around products that detail the current damage areas and the identification of safe routes and areas that will ensure local authorities keep the public safe.

Radio communications continue to be vital across the emergency services community. With responders arriving from across the country, problems may arise with interoperability issues. The National interagency Fire Center (NIFC) could provide radio kits and radio repeater assets to assist. Geospatial technologies could be utilized to identify placement details and radio communication extents.

Public and Private Services and Resources

The provision to provide essential public and private services and resources to the affected area is another vital concern. Although this attack is limited in scope, emergency power to critical facilities, like the local medical facilities will need to be satisfied. In this situation, short-term power and fuel may be required to support the response efforts. The geospatial support will be called upon to provide the command centers with the required data to include the determination of potential parking lot space to accommodate refueling and the warehousing or supplies. Recovery

In this terrorist event, Lifesaving operations may last for 3–7 days and will overlap greatly with Recovery activities. These activities would include term medical care, temporary feeding, and sheltering support. After 10–15 days, rescue efforts wind down as the focus transitions to Recovery operations.

The short-term recovery will focus aggressively on providing a core level of services, temporary housing (if required), and financial support to displaced workers and businesses in effort to stabilize the local situation. Longer term efforts will include the timely restoration of damaged facilities and the strengthening and revitalization of the infrastructure, housing, a sustainable economy, and the health, social, cultural, historic, and environmental fabric of the affected communities. Specific data available through the Recovery Mission is identified in Table 5–10


Public Information and Warning

The delivery of reliable and actionable information following this event will be of utmost importance. With the multiple attack locations, citizens across the country will be fearful of another attack in the immediate area as well as other locations across the country. Immediate analysis of similar venues in other areas of the US will assist in ensuring that messaging is delivered to other communities. Notices will be delivered through multiple media sources to notify the citizens of shelter locations, assistance centers, available hospitals, and reunification facilities.

Economic Recovery

The overall effect on the economy will be two-fold. Locally, the economic losses due to damaged and destroyed structures may strain local budgets, and federal assistance will be required for reconstruction. On a national level, the fears of markets will take initial downturn in the aftermath depending on the severity of the attack. Locally, the goal is to return residential, economic, and business activities to a healthy state in the affected area. Geospatial support would encompass many of the products that have already been produced in support of the initial emergency; such has hazard areas, transportation issues, and damage assessment products. Additional efforts would be in place to model economic losses for the near and distant timeframes.

Health and Social Services

Following this terrorist event, recovery encompasses more than the restoration of a community’s physical structures. Of equal importance is providing a continuum of care to support individuals in maintaining or restoring health, safety, and independence, and in meeting the needs of survivors who experienced financial, emotional, and physical hardships.

Geospatial support to this area could assist in identifying individuals exposed to the event in effort to provide them with assistance related to post-traumatic stress concerns based on their opportunities to witness the explosions or aftermath. In addition, the tracking of individuals requesting assistance can be tied back to their locations at the time of the event, assisting health researchers in understanding the trauma witnessed by each individual.


The terrorist attack will have minimal impact on the local housing as the attack did not occur in any residential areas. If this event had a radiological or chemical element to the explosion, then a plume of potential harmful particles could cause the evacuation of apartment buildings and other facilities, which would result in the temporary relocation of the affected population.

The IA Program collects key information including damage address, mailing address, and current address. This location information enables ESF #6 to identify where the damage occurred and where applicants are currently located. In the days and weeks following the event, individuals move to formal shelters, move in with family and friends outside of the damaged areas, or move to regions beyond the impacted area. These simple address fields support analyses to determine shelter needs, survivor re-population, and return options for the foreseeable future.

Infrastructure Systems

FEMA’s PA program is activated following the terrorist event. As part of the PDA Teams, PA staff are deployed to the field to assess the overall impact, returning with reported data and maps. While these reports may not be geospatial in nature, their location information is analyzed for spatial content to derive their specific location incorporated into the event data holdings.

Impact to the Amtrak station is critical to the commuter traffic in the area. Efforts to expedite the repair to the facility will be validated through spatial analysis of the commuter traffic patterns on the rail-line. The re-opening of the rail line will stabilize the users of this transportation system immediately and bring normalcy back to the community. Any prolonged service disruptions will impact both the citizens and the Amtrak operators.

Damages to the public facilities to include the hospital must be assessed as soon as possible. Plans for debris removal and temporary repairs must be defined as a means for re-opening access and ensuring public safety and security. Geospatial staff supporting these efforts will assist in modeling the debris volumes and produce products to monitor completion activities.

Natural and Cultural Resources

Large public projects are subject to a special considerations review to include environmental impact assessment and condition of cultural resources assessment. These reviews consist of analyzing environmental data to understand proximity of the project to environmental considerations. Efforts are made to understand the locations of historical structures to minimize the impact of recovery efforts on these structures. Activities include mapping the location of historical structures and districts and the provisioning of historical map documents. Mitigation

Mitigation includes those capabilities necessary to reduce loss of life and property by lessening the impact of disasters. It is focused on the premise that individuals, the private sector, communities, CI, and the nation as a whole are made more resilient when the consequences and impacts, the duration, and the financial and human costs to respond to and recover from adverse incidents are all reduced. Mitigation efforts include Community Resilience, Long-term Vulnerability Reduction, Risk and Disaster Resilience Assessment, and Threats and Hazard Identification. Specific data available through the Mitigation Mission is identified in Table 5–11.


Community Resilience

Although mitigation is the responsibility of the Whole Community, much of the mitigation activity occurs at the local level. The assessment of risk and resilience must, therefore, begin at the community level and serve to inform our state, regional, and national planning. In this scenario, local efforts could focus on future planning for similar events to include evacuation planning for facilities and vulnerability assessments for other venues. Geospatial products for these planning efforts would include venue evacuation plans and traffic re-routing plans utilizing modeling and access to key local data.

Long-term Vulnerability Reduction

One of the areas communities can look to for the implementation of mitigation measures that target essential facilities (police, fire, hospitals, shelters), businesses, residences, and lifelines (transportation and utilities) is FEMA. The FEMA-developed “Reference Manual to Mitigate Potential Terrorist Attack Against Buildings” (FEMA 426) provides guidance to the building science community of architects and engineers to reduce physical damage to buildings, related infrastructure, and people caused by terrorist assaults.

This event scenario would result in structural changes being made to the buildings directly impacted in this attack. Traffic control, pedestrian access, camera monitoring, and other topics would be assessed. Geospatial tools would assist in the analysis looking at line-of-site, access opportunities, and transportation choke-points.

Risk and Disaster Resilience Assessment

States and local communities must assess risk and disaster resilience so that decision makers, responders, and community members can take informed action to reduce their entity’s risk and increase their resilience. Disaster risk reduction aims to reduce socio-economic vulnerabilities to disaster as well as dealing with the environmental and other hazards that trigger them. Geospatial support in the development of risk assessments would provide direct and practical connections between data analysis, modeling, and decision making within a spatial context using a variety of geospatial tools. These analytical products aid the communities in identifying risks and vulnerabilities to CI. Prevention

Terrorist events are predominately “No-Notice Events” and, therefore, have minimal pre-event emergency activities associated with them. Preventing an imminent terrorist threat to the homeland requires the capabilities necessary to avoid, prevent, or stop a threatened or actual act of terrorism. The threat is dynamic and complex and combating it is not the sole responsibility of a single entity or community. It involves a robust and collaborative investigative process to include the intelligence, law enforcement, and homeland defense communities. Ensuring the security of the nation also requires the execution of terrorism prevention through extensive collaboration with government and nongovernmental entities, international partners, and the private sector. Specific data available through the Prevention Mission is identified in Table 5–12.


Forensics and Attribution

In this scenario, the overall attack involved a systematic series of individual explosions. With this, the prevention efforts immediately following would have a high focus on identifying any follow-on attacks. Evidence collection, probably led by the FBI, would be key in linking the attackers and their specific weapons to other individuals and/or venues around the country. All resources would be working aggressively to harvest intelligence information and analyze it against content and geography. These activities would take place at the JTTFs, Fusion Centers, and other law enforcement facilities. Geospatial tools would support the visualization of all relevant information and be utilized in the analysis of key intelligence collected.

Intelligence and Information Sharing

The sharing of information for a terror- or other law enforcement-related event is much different than that of a natural event. Much of the early information collected will be restricted for much of the community. Various levels of security will be in place and there will be difficulties in the general sharing of information. Tools such as HSIN, Intellipedia, and internal Law Enforcement systems will be populated with key information and require the proper credentials to access.

It is imperative that the entities responding to and supporting the operations around this event maintain connections to the Whole Community. Sensitive information must be shared as appropriate and resources must be in place to remove unnecessary details to facilitate sharing across the community. GAs will be working in tandem on similar projects. Contacts maintained through the local JTTF and Fusion Center will assure that information movement is maintained and that all parties have visibility on critical information themes.

Interdiction and Disruption

The success of an operation to delay, divert, intercept, or secure a terrorist threat requires a coordinated effort. The use of intelligence and information sharing is vital to the successful conclusion of this type of operation. In this scenario, two vehicles appearing to be attached to Emergency Response are utilized by the combatants. Immediate analysis would look for similar vehicle purchases in the area and across the country. Retired ambulances and other apparatus are often sold with their original paint and some identification rendering them a simple solution for deceiving the public. If additional vehicle purchases are discovered, geospatial analysis could further analyze the details of this information and potentially track other vehicles from their point of sale using credit card receipts, fuel transactions, and traffic cameras.

One of the steps in interdiction and prevention efforts is the increased efforts in intelligence gathering and analytical capabilities. Obtaining information about the identity, goals, plans, and vulnerabilities of terrorists is extremely difficult but would be a high priority following this event. Resources such as the Regional Information Sharing System (RISS), the High Intensity Drug Trafficking Areas (HIDTAs) databases, the El Paso Intelligence Center (EPIC), and the International Association of Law Enforcement Intelligence Analysts (IALEIA) could be leveraged to assist in the intelligence gathering.

Screening, Search, and Detection

The identification, discovery, and location of potential threats and/or hazards appropriate to the event can occur through active and passive surveillance and search procedures. This may include the use of systematic examinations and assessments, sensor technologies, or physical investigation and intelligence. Geospatial support would work in tandem with intelligence means to track suspected cargo to predict destinations. Once identified and tracked, local authorities would perform the screening and searching of the suspected items to ensure the safety of the public. Protection

Protection includes capabilities to safeguard the homeland against acts of terrorism and man-made or natural disasters. It is focused on actions to protect the citizens, residents, visitors, and critical assets, systems, and networks against the greatest risks to our nation in a manner that allows our interests, aspirations, and way of life to thrive. We will create conditions for a safer, more secure, and more resilient nation by enhancing protection through cooperation and collaboration with all sectors of society. Specific data available through the Protection Mission is identified in Table 5–13.


Access Control and Identity Verification

While access control is largely associated with fixed facilities, field operations of this type would require significant levels of support in maintaining a safe and secure environment following the event. While most federal staff will be badged through their home organizations, consolidating the verification activities at temporary access points would be a challenge. State and local staff along with contract support staff would require on-site badging and expedited verification of identities. Geospatial systems would assist in these efforts with the potential to geo-locate individuals and equipment in real-time. These efforts would provide additional site security and support individual safety at the same time.

Intelligence and Information Sharing

Much like the Prevention Mission, Protection measures will leverage similar intelligence and information sharing requirements. Utilization of this information would directly support the protection of the site, responders, and workers in the area. Access control systems could be linked through a data environment to share location information on a multitude of different themes. Supporting the sharing across the community would be vital in supporting the overall protection mission.

Interdiction and Disruption

Protection-based measures for interdiction would include physical check-point screenings of individuals and vehicles. Analysis-based support could assist with vehicle license validation and tracking. Perimeter security and cameras would support monitoring to disrupt any efforts to gain unapproved access to the site.

Physical Protective Measures

The on-site protection would include high levels of security staff, perimeter fencing, and cameras to monitor site access. Spatial products would define the extents of protection and locations of all resources employed and bring in additional relevant data as required. Through the Access Control measured mentioned above, data systems could track individuals as they enter the scene, monitor their routes as they work, and check them out upon departure. The simple notion of verifying that all workers are accounted for and that the check in/out metrics are balanced throughout the event will ensure the safety of the community.

Situational Awareness

In this attack scenario, critical information will need to be provided to all decision makers with decision-relevant information regarding the nature and extent of the event, any cascading effects, and the status of the response. This situational awareness will include the assessment of actual damage using a variety of means, including airborne/satellite imagery and on-site field reports.

The NOC, detailed in Section 4 of this GeoCONOPS, serves as the nation’s nerve center for information collection and sharing. Pursuant to section 515 of the Homeland Security Act of 2002, the NOC is the principal operations center for DHS providing situational awareness and a COP for the entire federal government, and for state, local, and tribal governments as appropriate. It ensures that critical event-related information reaches government decision makers and enables the Secretary and other leaders to make informed decisions and identify courses of action during an event or threat. In concert with the NOC, the FBI’s JTTF will conduct terrorism-related investigations, sharing relevant as it comes available. Analytic and information-sharing efforts carried out by the JTTFs support investigative efforts and interact with the Fusion Centers.

Damage Assessment

Damage assessments provide a vital flow of information to the response community. In this event, the damage will be localized in nature, although with multiple explosions, the damaged areas will be spread throughout several locations. Through the initial use of ground truth data, the needed data models, and, to a lesser extent, imagery, the scale of the event and overall impact will be initially estimated and later validated. Initial ground truth data will provide the first responders with the immediate impact area in effort to assist in their efforts to effectively focus their efforts. The combination of data sources will provide rapid estimates and quantitative field observations to assist in making critical decisions in the early phases of the disaster response operation.

Imagery and Derived Products

For this event, the use of imagery will be limited as the impact area will be localized. Satellite-based imagery resources, although unaffected by the event will be used for post event analysis, but their immediate use will be of little value. Airborne resources can be deployed quickly and based upon the extent of the damage can be used to assist in some lifesaving missions.

Satellite Imagery

Under the International Charter, all participating satellite platforms will be available to the United States government through FEMA as the coordinator. These resources will satisfy high-level requirements for general damage assessment. The FEMA NRCC RS Coordinator will coordinate these collection efforts and assist in determining mission tasking and the balancing of available resources. If required, this effort will require the tasking of satellite resources to move from large, course coverage areas to tighter and higher resolution imagery collections thus removing these assets from the broader collection mission.

The Lifesaving Missions will require high resolution and spatially accurate data products to support their emergency activities. Initial field reporting will provide the ground truth on ingress routes to effected area. The use of proper imagery data and analysis will also aid in recovery efforts.

Airborne Imagery

Aircraft will serve as the primary source of imagery sources and provide the high-resolution products required for assessments of individual structures and systems. The airborne mission can have a fairly rapid start as the state coordinates with the local National Guard. Aircraft can provide aerial surveillance and reconnaissance for law enforcement to assist in the recovery efforts as well. With FEMA coordinating RS activities, it is imperative that ESF-based functions are engaged with the NRCC and JFO operations to identify requirements and report their geospatial activities. Lifesaving missions will benefit greatly from the increased resolution and coverage these platforms provide.

In addition to the urgent need to assist in recovery, public safety and force protection will require high levels of data collection in these areas to maintain law and order in the immediate vicinity. Oblique imagery further supports these efforts as it provides the ability to view the sides of buildings to further assess individual structures and determine locations suitable for rebuilding.

Mission Overlap

In some situations, satellite imagery and aircraft imagery are competing resources in the form of multiple platforms with similar instrumentation. With a localized event, a strategy will be developed to make best use of the available assets and ensure that efforts are not duplicated. Close coordination will be required between FEMA and the multitude of federal, state, and local partners. Efforts will be made to ensure that there are multiple uses for all imagery collected and that these data will be available to everyone with requirements to access it.


Imagery alone cannot be the single data source for situational awareness, as in most cases it only provides background information. The greatest return on imagery investment is the Imagery Derived Products (IDPs). These products expand on basic imagery by including simple attributes (e.g., destroyed, damaged) as well as more detailed information (e.g., degree of damage, damage type). These IDPs are developed based on customer requirements and vary greatly across the stakeholder community. In many cases, IDP requirements can be combined into a single analytical request and provided to several customers. In this setting, IDP analysis would also include debris volume monitoring and tracking.

As the executive agent for RS Coordination, FEMA has a role in coordinating the IDPs as well. With every specific data collection requirement, IDP development must be part of the deliverable regardless of the source. As IDP data will be utilized in briefings, map products, and web viewers across the country, it is imperative that information does not conflict and that sources are properly and easily defined.

Imagery Dissemination

The dissemination of the various imagery products in support of the terrorist event will be made available as needed. As the authoritative agent for data compilation and dissemination of imagery-based data, the USGS EROS Data Center will be the federal hub of post-event data. In addition, the imagery providers (government or commercial) can be expected to serve data to the stakeholders as allowed by data licensing. Third-party distribution options will be available through various public and private internet-based spatial environments as well, ensuring that full access is available.


The modeling communities will begin work immediately to estimate damages and model suspected radiological or chemical plume if detected. Damage models and plume data play a vital role in the first 12 to 24 hours following an event prior to factual details coming available. SMEs in the model methodologies and outputs play a critical role in interpreting the data and identifying proper use of the analyses to support damage assessment and lifesaving missions. These are used in conjunction with field assessments to delineate the area of operations and the nature and scope of damage.

The DTRA is the DoD’s official Combat Support Agency for countering weapons of mass destruction (WMD). DTRA addresses the entire spectrum of blast, chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear, and high-yield explosive threats. DTRA would provide modeled information initially from an off-site location and would deploy resources into the theater to initiate activities focused at increased accuracy and information quality for the response and law enforcement communities.

In addition to DTRA, the National Guard Civil Support Teams (CSTs) would provide support as well and coordinate their efforts with DTRA and others. The DHS IMAAC would provide modeled information on the airborne threats, utilizing the various national laboratories to conduct their analysis.

In support of the recovery missions, USACE would provide support for modeled debris, food, and water for this event. In their support role to the FEMA PA program, their early modeling efforts would be replaced by ground data collected as they conduct the debris removal mission. Long-term modeling efforts will be utilized to support preparedness, mitigation, and judicial issues for the duration of the event efforts.

Each of these models provides an output product consisting of combinations of reports, maps, and geospatial data. These geospatial based products are vital in sharing the results with the stakeholder community. The modeling communities produce many similar products, which may be applicable to more than one mission. The geospatial products will have subtle differences, and interpretations of results should be supported by SMEs, including authoritative sources for the subject domain.

Field Data Collection

Imagery and models provide key data for early operations and will be used in conjunction with field information to provide improved situational awareness, complementing on-ground damage assessments and field data collection. First-hand data from the field will be the most important assessment in the initial response to the event supporting multiple missions. The inclusion of field data also lends credibility to imagery derived and modeled data feeds. Field data collection activities will include:

  • Incident Management Assistance Teams (IMAT) – Federal interagency team
  • Rapid Needs Assessment (RNA) – Federal and state interagency team
  • PA Inspection Teams – Federal and state interagency team
  • American Red Cross Inspection Teams – Paid and volunteer staff
  • IA PDA Teams – Federal and state interagency team
  • National Guard CSTs
  • NRC Radiological Monitoring Teams.

These and other field data sources provide additional perspectives into the reality of the field. While most of the data collected is done to support specific operational authorities, the data can be easily repurposed in support of the damage assessment and recovery efforts.

Geospatial Products

Emergency response and law enforcement decision makers at all levels need to understand the overall situation and magnitude of the event. Several specific information themes will support this, including:

  • Blast Radius for each incident
  • Casualties Projections (Current and expected over time)
  • Remains Recovery Locations
  • Displaced Population
  • Shelter Requirements
  • Structure Damage
  • Essential Facilities              
  • Transportation Systems Damage
  • Water and Power Outages.
Updated on October 25, 2018