A posting on performance.gov says that a tool developed by the USDA for reaching out to communities in emergency situations is proving to be valuable to other agencies and for other purposes.
The USA-Targeted External Communications Query tool pairs maps and public datasets together to provide users with contact information for local media. “This is particularly useful for disaster communications when agencies like the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration or the Federal Emergency Management Agency need to quickly communicate with regions impacted by a hurricane or flood,” it says.
However, it says the tool has been used by some two dozen other agencies including for example the HHS for notifying communities about covid-related information and the GSA for increasing participation in local “hackathons” aimed at improving customer experiences on IT platforms.
In addition to targeting communications by geographic area, the tool can be used according to factors such as proximity to a river, railroad, highway or port; proximity to airports; congressional district lines; Native American tribal boundaries and lands; and more.
Users also can tailor the tool by adding data of their own or by incorporating data that are in the public domain, said the posting.