From C-Ville: The city of Charlottesville recently received a $1 million grant from the Virginia Department of Emergency Management to establish a regional and statewide information-sharing plan. According to Charlottesville Fire Chief Charles Werner, the region’s unfavorable experiences with wet microbursts and snowstorms in recent years made it clear that current protocol simply wasn’t cutting it.

Werner will lead the implementation of a joint system for public- safety organizations. Part of the project will focus on preemptive safety measures. Updated road sensors could electronically inform the Department of Transportation when temperatures approach the freezing point so road crews are prepared to prevent icy roadways. Flood river gauges would provide the same assistance in evacuating residents who may be in danger.

Shared data will be used to generate an interactive area map, which will include current weather and road conditions, evacuation zones, and events around Charlottesville. In the event of poor weather or a car accident, such technology would help reroute traffic patterns.

The project will create a model for information sharing that may be replicated in other parts of Virginia and potentially throughout the nation. According to the timeline, the project is set to finish by June 2012. Read the entire article here.