Information Cycle


  • Compile and validate dynamic data flows. Focus on having a big-picture view, on a timely verification of too-much information, on distinguishing noise from useful information, and identifying targets and representations of key information.
  • Specific communications with responders, stakeholders, politicians and media. Provide clear instructions to potential victims.
  • Improve the ability to extract useful information from crowd-sourcing (distinguish useful information from noise).

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Possible Solutions

Name Provider

(company, project, organization)

Short description
E2mC Project


E2mC (Evolution of Emergency Copernicus services) project aims at demonstrating the technical and operational feasibility of the integration of social media analysis and crowd-sourced information within both the Mapping and Early Warning Components of Copernicus Emergency Management Service (EMS).
Education in Disaster Management and Emergencies Khorram-Manesh, Amir; Ashkenazi, Michael; Djalali, Ahmadreza; Ingrassia, Pier Luigi; Friedl, Tom; Armin, Gotz von; Lupesco, Olivera; Kaptan, Kubilay; Arculeo, Chris; Hreckovski, Boris; Komadina, Radko; Fisher, Philipp; Voigt, Stefan; James, James; Gursky, Elin (2015): Disaster Medicine and Public Health Preparedness, 9(3), 245–255 Objective: Unremitting natural disasters, deliberate threats, pandemics, and humanitarian suffering resulting from conflict situations necessitate swift and effective response paradigms. The European Union’s (EU) increasing visibility as a disaster response enterprise suggests the need not only for financial contribution but also for instituting a coherent disaster response approach and management structure. The DITAC (Disaster Training Curriculum) project identified deficiencies in current responder training approaches and analyzed the characteristics and content required for a new, standardized European course in disaster management and emergencies. Methods: Over 35 experts from within and outside the EU representing various organizations and specialties involved in disaster management composed the DITAC Consortium. These experts were also organized into 5 specifically tasked working groups. Extensive literature reviews were conducted to identify requirements and deficiencies and to craft a new training concept based on research trends and lessons learned. A pilot course and program dissemination plan was also developed. Results: The lack of standardization was repeatedly highlighted as a serious deficiency in current disaster training methods, along with gaps in the command, control, and communication levels. A blended and competency-based teaching approach using exercises combined with lectures was recommended to improve intercultural and interdisciplinary integration. Conclusion: The goal of a European disaster management course should be to standardize and enhance intercultural and inter-agency performance across the disaster management cycle. A set of minimal standards and evaluation metrics can be achieved through consensus, education, and training in different units. The core of the training initiative will be a unit that presents a realistic situation “scenario-based training.”
SIN Kolmanic, Simon; Guid, Nikola; Nerat, Andrej (2013): Fire Safety Journal, 61, 26–35 Fire-fighters work under extremely stressful conditions where even their own lives and the lives of potential victims can be at stake. It is clear that there is no room for error and that extensive training is crucial in this regard. In Slovenia the greater part of the fire-fighting force consists of volunteers, whose training must be of the same quality as that of their career colleagues. Fire-fighters receive the bulk of their basic training in-house at their fire departments and by assisting at actual fires. More advanced training is received at special training facilities where the training is divided into a series of relatively short courses consisting of both theoretical and practical parts. This training culminates in a practical exam aimed at demonstrating their acquired knowledge. This article presents a new multimedia-based teaching tool SIN that has been designed for computer-supported theoretical knowledge delivery during fire-fighter training, where the emergency operations are visualised within environments familiar to the trainees. In order to save time the entire scenario is based on photographic images of real places. This application has already been successfully tested and is currently in use by the fire-fighter school at the Administration of the Republic of Slovenia for Civil Protection and Disaster Relief. (C) 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
A case study of factor influencing role improvisation in crisis response teams Rankin, Amy; Dahlback, Nils; Lundberg, Jonas (2013): Cognition Technology & Work, 15(1), 79–93 Common characteristics of crisis situations are ambiguous and unplanned for events. The need for improvised roles can therefore be an imperative factor for the success of an operation. The aim of this study is to deepen the understanding of the processes taking place during improvised work “as it happens”. A case study of a crisis management team at work is presented and provides an in-depth analysis of the information and communication flow of persons acting in improvised roles, including contextual factors influencing the task at hand. The analysis suggests that three main factors lay behind decreased performance by the team when some of its members were forced to take on roles for which they lacked professional training; lack of language skills, lack of domain knowledge and insufficient organizational structure of the tasks. Based on the observations from this case study, we suggest three ways of improving a team’s performance and hence resilience when forced to improvise due to lack of personnel in one or more required competence areas. These are training to take on the responsibility for tasks or roles outside ones professional area of specialization, developing formal routines for changes in roles and tasks and developing and using tools and routines for information sharing.
Specialisation and training for fire-fighters driving heavy rescue vehicles Vidal-Gomel, Christine; Delgoulet, Catherine; Gebai, Deborah (2012): Work-A Journal of Prevention Assessment & Rehabilitation, 41, 5177–5183 This work was undertaken in France at the request of a local fire and rescue school in order to conduct an analysis of driving two types of heavy rescue vehicle with a view to improving training. This study took place in a context of specialisation: the drivers of these vehicles will henceforth only perform this type of task. Consequently, specific training has been designed in advance. Our study concerns the improvement of this training, taking account of the particularities of driving these vehicles in emergency situations typical to the profession of fire-fighters. The results stress first that driving of rescue vehicles in emergency situations is a multidimensional collective activity. Driving strategies identified share certain common objectives: “optimising trajectories”, warn other road users, anticipate their behaviour and leave room for manoeuvre to counter and react to any unexpected behaviour. They include risks management for the potential victims of the incident and the risk of accidents during the journey. These initial results help identify certain recommendations for the training courses dealing with driving vehicles in emergency situations. They also provide a warning concerning the possible consequences of driver specialisation.
Challenges and obstacles in sharing and coordinating information during multi-agency disaster response Bharosa, Nitesh; Lee, JinKyu; Janssen, Marijn (2010): Information Systems Frontiers, 12(1), 49–65 Although various scholars have researched issues regarding disaster management, few have studied the sharing and coordinating of information during disasters. Not much empirical data is available in this field and there is sparse insight into the factors that may impede or facilitate information sharing and coordination among stakeholders. In this paper, we provide an overview of the relevant obstacles and challenges by examining existing literature and then investigating a series of multi-agency disaster management exercises, using observations and a survey. Although all the people who took part in our study agree that sharing information is important, for the success of their own organization as well as the exercise as a whole, the extent to which information is actually being shared among organizations is often limited by a number of factors that can be attributed to the community, agency and individual level. We found that relief workers are often more concerned with receiving information from others than with providing information to others who may benefit. Incentives for sharing information, understanding each other’s work-processes and the usability of information systems have shown positive effects on information sharing and coordination. The findings of our study have been formulated using six grounded propositions, which can be used by system designers and policy-makers upon validation in further research. We also provide directions for future research.
Crowdsourcing, citizen sensing and sensor web technologies for public and environmental health surveillance and crisis management Boulos, Maged N. Kamel; Resch, Bernd; Crowley, David N.; Breslin, John G.; Sohn, Gunho; Burtner, Russ; Pike, William A.; Jezierski, Eduardo; Chuang, Kuo-Yu Slayer (2011): International Journal of Health Geographics, 10 ‘Wikification of GIS by the masses’ is a phrase-term first coined by Kamel Boulos in 2005, two years earlier than Goodchild’s term ‘Volunteered Geographic Information’. Six years later (2005-2011), OpenStreetMap and Google Earth (GE) are now full-fledged, crowdsourced ‘Wikipedias of the Earth’ par excellence, with millions of users contributing their own layers to GE, attaching photos, videos, notes and even 3-D (three dimensional) models to locations in GE. From using Twitter in participatory sensing and bicycle-mounted sensors in pervasive environmental sensing, to creating a 100,000-sensor geo-mashup using Semantic Web technology, to the 3-D visualisation of indoor and outdoor surveillance data in real-time and the development of next-generation, collaborative natural user interfaces that will power the spatially-enabled public health and emergency situation rooms of the future, where sensor data and citizen reports can be triaged and acted upon in real-time by distributed teams of professionals, this paper offers a comprehensive state-of-the-art review of the overlapping domains of the Sensor Web, citizen sensing and ‘human-in-the-loop sensing’ in the era of the Mobile and Social Web, and the roles these domains can play in environmental and public health surveillance and crisis/disaster informatics. We provide an in-depth review of the key issues and trends in these areas, the challenges faced when reasoning and making decisions with real-time crowdsourced data (such as issues of information overload, “noise”, misinformation, bias and trust), the core technologies and Open Geospatial Consortium (OGC) standards involved (Sensor Web Enablement and Open GeoSMS), as well as a few outstanding project implementation examples from around the world.
SOCIAL MEDIA IN CRISIS SITUATIONS Chroust, Gerhard (2013): Idimt-2013: Information Technology Human Values, Innovation and Economy, 42, 13–22 Adequate response to wide-spread crises is becoming a global necessity and a social responsibility in view of the seemingly growing number of regional disasters endangering a growing number of people and even our society. Adequate response is highly dependent on the availability of appropriate information with the right contents, at the right time, and in the right place. The organized information acquisition and dissemination by official institutions (essentially top down) is an established method. In the last decade an alternative approach has been introduced, which promises to cover many of the gaps and blind spots of the classical approach: Social Media. We discuss the available Social Media and their use in responding to disasters.
Identification of local information items needed during search and rescue following an earthquake Guven, Gursans; Ergen, Esin (2011): Disaster Prevention and Management, 20(5), 458–472 Purpose – This paper aims to identify the local information items that are needed by search and rescue (S&R) teams for an effective disaster response following an earthquake. Currently, it is a challenging and time-consuming task to collect most of this information from a disaster environment. It was envisioned that the local information identified can be stored on distributed databases that are placed in the buildings and will be used to improve S&R operations. Design/methodology/approach – The information items are obtained through a literature review and via interviews conducted with experts from disaster response organizations. The data collected were triangulated to generate a data model, which was then validated internally and externally by expert feedback. Findings – A data model including a detailed list of information items required during S&R operations was generated, along with justification of the information needs. The findings show that not only information related to buildings, but also other information related to the residents and the contents of the buildings are needed, such as residents’ health information, and hazardous materials and their specific locations. Practical implications – The data model presented can be used by researchers to further develop systems that can be used during an earthquake. Originality/value – Previous studies have only provided a list of some important local information groups to be stored; however, they do not include in-depth studies on the information needs of S&R teams following an earthquake. In this paper, information needs were fully explored and elaborated, and a data model was developed covering information items required for effective earthquake S&R.
Dynamic and Context Aware Reporting of Observations from the Field for Situation Assessment in Crisis Situation Horndahl, Andreas; Gisslen, Linus (2015): Information Systems for Crisis Response and Management in Mediterranean    Countries, Iscram-Med 2015, 233, 132–139 An efficient process for gathering data from the field is crucial in managing crisis scenarios. In this paper we present a concept system for crisis management with focus on how observations from the field are reported using hand held devices and integrated into a common operational picture. The application used for reporting situation from the field adapts to the current situation in real time by adding and hiding input field based on what the user is reporting. Moreover, the user interface will also adapt to external information request. This is realized by utilizing risk event models for real time risk assessment and identification of areas where information is lacking which can generate new requests for information.
Critical Message Scheduling for Disaster Response and Recovery Phases Klinsompus, Ponthai; Nupairoj, Natawut (2015): International Conference on Ict Convergence (Ictc), 65–70 During disaster especially response and recovery phases, limited bandwidths and high rate of incoming messages make communication network vital resources. Allocating bandwidth to send critical messages such as well-being statuses, assistant activities etc. can determine the effectiveness of the disaster responses as messages are numerous, duplicated, and often timely critical. In this paper, we use the combination of contextual information including importance, urgency, and uniqueness to schedule messages under extreme situations. The experiments show that our scheduler can vastly out-perform traditional schedulers. This can ensure that precious information during disaster response and recovery phases are effectively handled.
Big data analytics for disaster response and recovery through sentiment analysis Ragini, J. Rexiline; Anand, P. M. Rubesh; Bhaskar, Vidhyacharan (2018): International Journal of Information Management, 42, 13–24 Big data created by social media and mobile networks provide an exceptional opportunity to mine valuable insights from them. This information is harnessed by business entities to measure the level of customer satisfaction but its application in disaster response is still in its inflection point. Social networks are increasingly used for emergency communications and help related requests. During disaster situations, such emergency requests need to be mined from the pool of big data for providing timely help. Though government organizations and emergency responders work together through their respective national disaster response framework, the sentiment of the affected people during and after the disaster determines the success of the disaster response and recovery process. In this paper, we propose a big data driven approach for disaster response through sentiment analysis. The proposed model collects disaster data from social networks and categorize them according to the needs of the affected people. The categorized disaster data are classified through machine learning algorithm for analyzing the sentiment of the people. Various features like, parts of speech and lexicon are analyzed to identify the best classification strategy for disaster data. The results show that lexicon based approach is suitable for analyzing the needs of the people during disaster. The practical implication of the proposed methodology is the real- time categorization and classification of social media big data for disaster response and recovery. This analysis helps the emergency responders and rescue personnel to develop better strategies for effective information management of the rapidly changing disaster environment.
Challenges to effective crisis management Reddy, Madhu C.; Paul, Sharoda A.; Abraham, Joanna; McNeese, Michael; Deflitch, Christopher; Yen, John (2009): International Journal of Medical Informatics, 78(4), 259–269 Objective: The purpose of this study is to identify the major challenges to coordination between emergency department (ED) teams and emergency medical services (EMS) teams. Design: We conducted a series of focus groups involving both ED and EMS team members using a crisis scenario as the basis of the focus group discussion. We also collected organizational workflow data. Results: We identified three major challenges to coordination between ED and EMS teams including ineffectiveness of current information and communication technologies, lack of common ground, and breakdowns in information flow. Discussion: The three challenges highlight the importance of designing systems from socio-technical perspective. In particular, these inter-team coordination systems must support socio-technical issues such as awareness, context, and workflow between the two teams. (c) 2008 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.
Big data analytics for disaster response and recovery through sentiment analysis Simon, Tomer; Goldberg, Avishay; Adini, Bruria (2015): International Journal of Information Management, 35(5), 609–619 Social media tools are integrated in most parts of our daily lives, as citizens, netizens, researchers or emergency responders. Lessons learnt from disasters and emergencies that occurred globally in the last few years have shown that social media tools may serve as an integral and significant component of crisis response. Communication is one of the fundamental tools of emergency management. It becomes crucial when there are dozens of agencies and organizations responding to a disaster. Regardless of the type of emergency, whether a terrorist attack, a hurricane or an earthquake, communication lines may be overloaded and cellular networks overwhelmed as too many people attempt to use them to access information. Social scientists have presented that post-disaster active public participation was largely altruistic, including activities such as search and rescue, first aid treatment, victim evacuation, and online help. Social media provides opportunities for engaging citizens in the emergency management by both disseminating information to the public and accessing information from them. During emergency events, individuals are exposed to large quantities of information without being aware of their validity or risk of misinformation, but users are usually swift to correct them, thus making the social media “self-regulating”. (C) 2015 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ltd. This is an open access article under the CC BY-NC-ND license (
Challenges to effective crisis management Soehner, Catherine; Godfrey, Ian; Bigler, G. Scott(2017): Journal of Academic Librarianship, 43(3), 268–273 Among the many roles librarians embrace, managing outreach, marketing, and communication are increasingly important. This is especially true during a natural disaster or other crisis situation that might occur in a library. Media and public relations are often the last aspects of crisis management that libraries consider when they complete emergency preparations. When a disaster or crisis occurs, communication to the public and to media outlets is imperative to reduce rumors and misinformation. Immediate communication is also known to maintain a “credible” reputation for the organization that is proactive in communicating facts about the crisis (Claeys & Cauberghe, 2012). The literature provides excellent advice for communicating during a crisis. However, theory is frequently different than putting this theory into practice. A description of a case study in one university library demonstrates implementation of the theory of crisis communication to achieve results of community engagement and trust. (C) 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Socializing in emergencies-A review of the use of social media in emergency situations Zheng, Li; Shen, Chao; Tang, Liang; Zeng, Chunqiu; Li, Tao; Luis, Steve; Chen, Shu-Ching (2013): Ieee Transactions on Human-MacHine Systems, 43(5), 451–464 Techniques to efficiently discover, collect, organize, search, and disseminate real-time disaster information have become national priorities for efficient crisis management and disaster recovery tasks. We have developed techniques to facilitate information sharing and collaboration between both private and public sector participants for major disaster recovery planning and management. We have designed and implemented two parallel systems: a web-based prototype of a Business Continuity Information Network system and an All-Hazard Disaster Situation Browser system that run on mobile devices. Data mining and information retrieval techniques help impacted communities better understand the current disaster situation and how the community is recovering. Specifically, information extraction integrates the input data from different sources; report summarization techniques generate brief reviews from a large collection of reports at different granularities; probabilistic models support dynamically generating query forms and information dashboard based on user feedback; and community generation and user recommendation techniques are adapted to help users identify potential contacts for report sharing and community organization. User studies with more than 200 participants from EOC personnel and companies demonstrate that our systems are very useful to gain insights about the disaster situation and for making decisions.