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Harris County’s ‘StoryMap’ Awarded State Accolade on Innovation at 2021 TAMIO Conference

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The Harris County Office of Homeland Security & Emergency Management (HCOHSEM) was honored with state best innovation award at the annual Texas Association of Municipal Information Officers (TAMIO) conference in Round Rock.

HCOHSEM is one of many jurisdictions that have faced the unprecedented challenge of providing clear public information on COVID-19. As the emergency management agency for the third largest county in the nation, HCOHSEM created the COVID-19 StoryMap to create awareness and educate the public on the origins of coronavirus and its ongoing effect on public health.

“I am extremely proud of the work the communications team has done over the past 18 months. We are honored to accept this recognition from our peers around the state,” said Mark Sloan, Harris County Emergency Management Coordinator.

Updated regularly, the timeline shows how the COVID-19 quickly transformed public health at each participating country from an epidemic to a pandemic worldwide. StoryMap is a data visualization tool created by ESRI, Inc. The StoryMap is fed COVID information and case data from around the world and provides a quick glance into the continuous spread of COVID-19.

Disseminating reliable, understandable information and data is a critical component of an effective risk communication and community engagement strategy to fighting a pandemic. The development of the COVID19 StoryMap provided an avenue for Harris County to educate residents about the spread and impact of the coronavirus pandemic in the community. With access to visual information, residents, employers and other organizations can make informed decisions about risks involved with travel and other activities that can impact public health locally and around the world.

Link to StoryMap is provided below

TAMIO is an affiliate of the Texas Municipal League, which was organized in 1913 and currently represents some 98% of Texas’ urban population through its more than 1,150 member cities. Guided by its purpose statement—Empowering Texas cities to serve their citizens—the League helps city leaders meet the ever-changing challenges of governance. As partners, TML and TAMIO offer the best in representation and assistance to cities and their respective colleagues.