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In an emergency, every second counts.
At Ordnance Survey (OS) we understand that emergencies can happen at any time.
Our Mapping for Emergencies (MfE) service supports the resilience community and is available free of charge 24 hours a day, every day of the year, at no cost – in any emergency.
We provide geospatial support during any emergency or major incident, whether it's responding to natural disasters or security threats (all under the Civil Contingencies Act 2004).
MfE is primarily aimed at Category 1 and 2 responders (emergency services, local authorities, NHS bodies, the Health and Safety Executive, transport and utility companies). However, if you are from another part of the public sector or a commercial business and you urgently need help with mapping during an emergency, please call us.
Support is delivered by OS’s expert analysts, specifically trained in resilience, and can be provided remotely, or at your location.
We’ve responded to previous MfE requests with the following support:
- Geospatial analysis (address matching/querying, routing, cordon analysis, geo-location)
- Data manipulation and custom formatting
- Bespoke mapping
- Large-volume map printing
- Situational awareness
Outputs can be delivered in a range of formats, for example as data that can be re-used for later analysis. It can be loaded into common information sharing platforms, or as finished graphics, which can be used within presentations or situation reports.
Common map symbols to use in an emergency
The Civil Contingencies Secretariat in the Cabinet Office, working in partnership with Ministry of Defence and Ordnance Survey, has created a set of common map symbols to promote interoperability between emergency responders.
Download civil protection map symbology
The symbols have been created in both a vector format (SVG) and a raster format (BMP) for use in a geographical information system. Download the symbols:
- Civil protection map symbols (SVG zip file)
- Civil protection map symbols (BMP zip file)
- Civil protection map symbols (PNG zip file)
Examples of using OS data in an emergency
Here are some examples of when OS data has been used in an emergency.