Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Coordination in emergency response management

Coordination in emergency response management (Rui Chen, Raj Sharman, H. Raghav Rao, Shambhu J. Upadhyaya, Communications of the ACM
Volume 51, Number 5, 2008) looks at the phases of planneing and response to a disaster and what ICT support suits each phase.

The paper is written from a U.S. perspective, which is unfortunate as the US Government has a poor record in planning and response to natural disasters and desmotrated a lack of ability to implement workable ICT disaster management systems. The authors would have done well to look to countries with more success in ICT based disaster response, in Europe and Asia.

The most useful part of the paper is the scenario presented, with a goods train derailment spilling hazardous materials. Unfortunately the authors did not develop the scenario fully.

There are now well documented case studies of the use of ICT in disasters, asuch as the Sahana Open Source Disaster Management system, used in the 2004 Asian Tsunami. Exercises such as the Australian Government's Exercise Eleusis '05, are also well documented.

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