Following historic coastal and riverine flooding in New Hanover County, North Carolina, emergency managers realized that critical planning assumptions were incorrect as flooding was experienced in unanticipated locations.


New Hanover County is evolving to address the challenges of the 21st century by improving its operational capability, creating better plans that adapt to the changing environment. The use of decision intelligence insights is instrumental in providing resources to County Officials, enabling them to make more informed decisions when it comes to evacuations, planning, and resource allocation. This, in turn, will support the most underserved and marginalized communities.

4Cast combines deliberate and crisis action planning with data science and decision intelligence to inform planning development. Our planning approach uses the most current and granular data available to support industry-standard processes in order to develop preparedness, mitigation, response, and recovery plans.


We started the process by mapping the needs and gaps of New Hanover County. The planning systems were modelled into the 4Cast platform to provide a visual understanding of the areas that were prone to flooding, as well as the areas with the most vulnerable populations. Our team then ran scenario-based gaming simulations based on the plan and model, allowing County officials to understand, in greater depth and precision, how their plan could perform when implemented in the real world.


We developed multiple New Hanover County decision intelligence insights and recommendations based on the seven FEMA community lifelines and equity considerations, utilizing ESRI open-source data, in addition to data provided by the jurisdiction.

  • Identified the impact to the region based on 10ft and 20ft flood scenarios
  • Provided recommendations to county officials based on the flood scenarios
  • Provided equitable insights on the areas and considerations in the region that need to be prioritized prior to a disaster
The ability to have additional tools to validate data and adapt it into useable decision intelligence insights will help County Officials make better informed decisions when it comes to evacuations and all-hazards planning. The emergence of this technology will allow jurisdictional leaders to leverage this promising decision support tool and be ahead of the game.”


Anna McRay, Assistant Director Emergency Management, New Hanover County, NC