Requirements disaster management system
Based on experiences of the emergency responders a list of requirements was provided to which the system had to meet:
- Situational awareness: during a crisis it is very important that all organizations involved are aware of the situation in the disaster area (geographic boundaries of the disaster area, location of hazardous objects, etcetera). Nearly all data collected or needed in a disaster management system have an important spatial component. It is necessary that all staff have access to the same, actual geographic information, displayed in a Geographic Information System (GIS).
- Real-time location awareness: when trying to manage a disaster, it is especially important to know at any time the real-time locations of staff, citizens, victims, volunteers or response teams. Tracking and tracing of assets, people and equipment is essential. The ability to count casualties in affected areas is also extremely helpful.
- Sharing data among different organizations: when a disaster occurs, various organizations will respond instantly to manage and contain the impact of the disaster in situ. Other organizations provide information or knowledge, such as governmental or meteorological institutes, or utility companies. Those different organizations should work together and this requires management of communication and exchange of information.
- Large data flows: often there is a lot of data to be made available. The data can be static like roadmaps, as well as dynamic like meteorological data and operational data. This information has to be aggregated and/or filtered depending on the type and scale of the disaster, and the amount and type of organizations involved.
- Allow collaboration between (different) organizations: security restrictions like firewalls impede the essential collaboration between organizations.
- Support strategic, tactical and operational levels: each have specific requirements for type (reports, maps, images, videos, etc.) and scope (generalized, detailed, subject) of information.
- Work under extreme conditions: in case of a disaster, the network connections can be unreliable. The network can be overloaded because of large data flows and heavy use. The physical network can be severed. A disaster management system must be able to deal with these situations by ensuring alternative access to data, ensuring a good backup strategy, etcetera.
- Use the same applications that are used in day-to-day operations: small incidents can escalate to disasters; therefore itís important in emergency situations to use the applications responders are used to work with in their daily routine. Eagle offers functionality for all four phases in emergency management.