The Disaster Response Map Symbols (DRMS) are an effort to create a standard set of symbols that may aid disaster managers and responders to create efficient maps, capable of distributing and analyzing information in a fast and easy manner. Maps used in disaster response operations (both in printed or digital support) usually need to include large amounts of information. As such, strategies must be found to display symbols that can be easily identifiable including when represented in small sizes.

The DRMS does not intend to replace existing symbols but offer an alternative covering a wide range of infrastructures, events and resources. The DRMS was developed by responders and feedback was also given by emergency officers in both during development and will continue to be accepted, allowing for future versions to include both a larger and more efficient  symbols, attuned to the needs of responders worldwide.

The DRMS includes 5 families of symbols divided in a single font (DRMS T1)  including vehicles, infrastructures, mobile/temporary services and teams, events and ships. In the DRMS are also included a number of special symbols.

One advantages of the symbols is the use of a simple, visual system to denote the level of damage associated to each feature. The system enables its use by color-blind responders and when it is necessary to represent the symbols in smaller sizes.


The Disaster response Map Symbols DRMS was created by the Association of Volunteer Emergency Response Teams, under the coordination of Vasco Manuel Mantas and the collaboration of Peter Guth and Donald Springer.

Information visit http://drms.rpec-cert.info


Vector map showing streets and census blocks with symbols overlaid, including the level of damage after a subsidence event.

Standard marking system used in search and rescue operations mapped over each house using MicroDEM icon composer interface.

  Symbols exported for display in Google Earth.

Last revision 5/9/2016