Pre-plan interoperability and enhance synergies


  • Agreed chain of command, specifying roles and capabilities in advanced.
  • Pre-plan should be known by all agencies and stakeholders
  • Legal framework for cross-border help,, emergency support, victim transportation, recognition of qualifications, …
  • Enhance synergies between experts and agencies at regional, national and international level. Share specialists and experts.
  • Emergency preparedness should be dealt with international / European perspectives.
  • European interagency round tables for lessons learned processes and the generation of new standards.

#communication #jointexercise


Possible Solutions

Name Provider

(company, project, organization)

Short description
IGNIS project: simulation tool and training packages Mobile simulation tool and training packages that can be used within the partner countries and across Europe to train fire officers in how to safely, effectively and efficiently command and control large wildfires; financed by DG ECHO
Darius project (Deployable SAR Integrated Chain with Unmanned Systems)) interoperability of unmanned air, ground and maritime vehicles in Search and Rescue (SAR) operations
IDIRA project (Interoperability of data and procedures in large-scale multinational disaster response actions) This core result of IDIRA will take the form an architectural framework and an exemplary implementation of a Mobile Integrated Command and Control Structure supporting co-ordinated large-scale disaster management.
Harnessing a Community for Sustainable Disaster Response and Recovery Acosta, Joie; Chandra, Anita (2013); Disaster Medicine and Public Health Preparedness, 7(4), 361–368 Objective: Nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) are important to a community during times of disaster and routine operations. However, their effectiveness is reduced without an operational framework that integrates response and recovery efforts. Without integration, coordination among NGOs is challenging and use of government resources is inefficient. We developed an operational model to specify NGO roles and responsibilities before, during, and after a disaster. Methods: We conducted an analysis of peer-reviewed literature, relevant policy, and federal guidance to characterize the capabilities of NGOs, contextual factors that determine their involvement in disaster operations, and key services they provide during disaster response and recovery. We also identified research questions that should be prioritized to improve coordination and communication between NGOs and government. Results: Our review showed that federal policy stresses the importance of partnerships between NGOs and government agencies and among other NGOs. Such partnerships can build deep local networks and broad systems that reach from local communities to the federal government. Understanding what capacities NGOs need and what factors influence their ability to perform during a disaster informs an operational model that could optimize NGO performance. Conclusions: Although the operational model needs to be applied and tested in community planning and disaster response, it holds promise as a unifying framework across new national preparedness and recovery policy, and provides structure to community planning, resource allocation, and metrics on which to evaluate NGO disaster involvement.
A FRAMEWORK FOR THE APPLICATION OF GROUP DECISION SUPPORT SYSTEMS TO THE PROBLEM OF PLANNING FOR CATASTROPHIC EVENTS BELARDO, S.; HARRALD, J. (1992); Ieee Transactions on Engineering Management, 39(4), 400–411 During the last 2 years the U.S. has endured extensive property damage and loss of life from the Hurricane Hugo and Loma Prieta natural disasters and expended billions of dollars in the aftermath of a major oil spill in Prince William Sound. Ineffective precrisis planning was, according to most observers, a primary factor contributing to the failure of these response efforts. The improvement of our capability to plan for and to manage the crisis response activities required when natural or technological disasters occur is a fundamental challenge to our technological society. The synergistic interaction of multidisciplined experts is essential to the creation of scenarios which specify a richness of detail and to the identification of critical decisions and problems which must be anticipated by the crisis manager. This paper discusses the application of decision analysis methods and decision support tools to the development of a scenario driven planning process. The methodology and structured group interactions on which this technology should be based have been demonstrated and are discussed in the context of planning for earthquakes and catastrophic oil spills. The improvement of the contingency planning process through the application of Group Decision Support Technology could provide a new foundation for the management of the response to catastrophic natural and technological events.
Site management of health issues in the 2001 World Trade Center disaster Bradt, D. A. (2003); Academic Emergency Medicine, 10(6), 650–660 The terrorist destruction of the World Trade Center led to the greatest loss of life from a criminal incident in the history of the United States. There were 2,801 persons killed or missing at the disaster site, including 147 dead on two hijacked aircraft. Hundreds of buildings sustained direct damage or contamination. Forty different agencies responded with command and control exercised by an incident command system as well as an emergency operations center. Dozens of hazards complicated relief and recovery efforts. Five victims were rescued from the rubble. Up to 1,000 personnel worked daily at the World Trade Center disaster site. These workers collectively made an average of 270 daily presentations to health care providers in the first month post-disaster. Of presentations for clinical symptoms, leading clinical diagnoses were ocular injuries, headaches, and lung injuries. Mechanical injury accounted for 39% of clinical presentations and appeared preventable by personal protective equipment. Limitations emerged in the site application of emergency triage and clinical care. Notable assets in the site management of health issues include action plans from the incident command system, geographic information system products, wireless application technology, technical consensus among health and safety authorities, and workers’ respite care.
Whole of Government Carayannopoulos, George (2017); Australian Journal of Public Administration, 76(2), 251–265 The frequency and severity of natural disasters has placed a clear emphasis on the role of governments in responding to these crises. During the past decade, disaster events have had a significant impact on the relevant communities as well as raising questions regarding the role of government and the bureaucratic coordination of planning and response processes. These events have placed a renewed focus on the ability of governments to plan, prepare, and respond in an effective way to crises. They have also tended to indicate that there remain serious challenges to government coordination and that crises create a unique series of challenges for the public sector. At the heart of understanding how governments respond to crises are notions of bureaucratic coordination. It has been suggested that joined-up or whole of government arrangements may provide an appropriate means in which to approach crisis management. As a result a number of key themes emerge including the nature of crisis management, role of leadership, understanding coordination, impact of organisational culture, and the interactions between individuals and institutions. This paper will consider these issues and provide a review of the relevant literature, to understand the synergies that exist in connected responses to crises. The severity of natural disasters has placed an emphasis on the role of governments in responding. The forensic examination which occurs after events indicates that there are challenges to managing crises. Whole of government arrangements may provide an appropriate means in which to approach crisis management which merits exploration.
Crisis Decision-Making During Hurricane Sandy Chandler, Thomas; Abramson, David M.; Panigrahi, Benita; Schlegelmilch, Jeff; Frye, Noelle (2016); Disaster Medicine and Public Health Preparedness, 10(3), 436–442 Objective This collective case study examined how and why specific organizational decision-making processes transpired at 2 large suburban county health departments in lower New York State during their response to Hurricane Sandy in 2012. The study also examined the relationships that the agencies developed with other emerging and established organizations within their respective health systems. Methods In investigating these themes, the authors conducted in-depth, one-on-one interviews with 30 senior-level public health staff and first responders; reviewed documentation; and moderated 2 focus group discussions with 17 participants. Results Although a natural hazard such as a hurricane was not an unexpected event for these health departments, they nevertheless confronted a number of unforeseen challenges during the response phase: prolonged loss of power and fuel, limited situational awareness of the depth and breadth of the storm’s impact among disaster-exposed populations, and coordination problems with a number of organizations that emerged in response to the disaster. Conclusions Public health staff had few plans or protocols to guide them and often found themselves improvising and problem-solving with new organizations in the context of an overburdened health care system
MEDRN – A mutual aid information network for emergency response Gomezjurado, Jaime; Reininger, Daniel (2006); Milcom 2006, Vols 1-7, 2965- Rapid and slow onset disasters require coordination between emergency responder and public health organizations. During a disaster many organizations are involved in the delivery of emergency services: emergency medical services (EMS), the fire and police departments, hospitals, public health officials, local authorities, etc. Resource planning, logistic coordination, and information sharing among all these units is therefore very important to save lives and reduce costs. To satisfy these needs, through grants from the National Library of Medicine, Semandex Networks is building the Medical Emergency Disaster Response Network (MEDRN). MEDRN uses Semantic Network technology to facilitate the access, dissemination and sharing of information across all parties involved in emergency management. The technology is currently fielded by SPAWAR, the Marine Corps and other Department of Defense (DoD) and non DoD national security agencies.
Planning for disaster Gregory, W. J.; Midgley, G. (2000) Journal of the Operational Research Society, 51(3), 278–290 Multi-agency planning is becoming increasingly important to organisations, especially those concerned with delivering services for the benefit of the community. This paper describes how a modified version of the methods from soft systems methodology (SSM), chosen through methodological reflections informed by critical systems thinking, was used to support the planning of a multi-agency counselling service that could be activated in the event of a disaster. Representatives of nineteen agencies were involved in this exercise, working together in six, one-day workshops. Feedback from participants, using four evaluation criteria (derived from the principles of SSM and the stated priorities of workshop participants), suggests that the methods of SSM, modified as described, show a great deal of promise as a support to multi-agency planning.
Collaborative Incident Planning and the Common Operational Picture Karagiannis, Georgios Marios; Synolakis, Costas E. (2016); Dynamics of Disasters-Key Concepts, Models, Algorithms, and Insights, 185, 91–112 Disasters are notorious for extending across multiple jurisdictions, both geographical and functional, and the modern disaster response operational environment is fraught with a multitude of agencies with different mandates and objectives. The complexity and unpredictability of interactions between various actors contribute to the “fog” and “friction” of what constitutes a crisis, similar to the fog and friction of war. Therefore, although situational awareness is an absolute necessity in disaster response, it is impossible to achieve without effective coordination and communication. Here, we focus on the common operational picture in disaster response, with a view to bridging the gap between its technological and operational components. We use a typical incident planning outline to highlight how software solutions developed at the disaster preparedness phase can reduce the uncertainty during disaster response and streamline the operational planning process. We identify the capabilities and categories of existing applications, and we correlate the capabilities with the stages of the incident planning process to highlight how software supports disaster response coordination. Finally, we discuss the gaps between existing products and modern operational needs and suggest avenues for further research and product development.
Full-scale regional exercises Klima, David A.; Seiler, Sarah H.; Peterson, Jeff B.; Christmas, Britton; Green, John M.; Fleming, Greg; Thomason, Michael H.; Sing, Ronald F. J (2012) ournal of Trauma and Acute Care Surgery, 73(3), 592–598 BACKGROUND: Man-made (9/11) and natural (Hurricane Katrina) disasters have enlightened the medical community regarding the importance of disaster preparedness. In response to Joint Commission requirements, medical centers should have established protocols in place to respond to such events. We examined a full-scale regional exercise (FSRE) to identify gaps in logistics and operations during a simulated mass casualty incident. METHODS: A multiagency, multijurisdictional, multidisciplinary exercise (FSRE) included 16 area hospitals and one American College of Surgeons-verified Level I trauma center (TC). The scenario simulated a train derailment and chemical spill 20 miles from the TC using 281 moulaged volunteers. Third-party contracted evaluators assessed each hospital in five areas: communications, command structure, decontamination, staffing, and patient tracking. Further analysis examined logistic and operational deficiencies. RESULTS: None of the 16 hospitals were compliant in all five areas. Mean hospital compliance was 1.9 (+/- 0.9 SD) areas. One hospital, unable to participate because of an air conditioner outage, was deemed 0% compliant. The most common deficiency was communications (15 of 16 hospitals [94%]; State Medical Asset Resource Tracking Tool system deficiencies, lack of working knowledge of Voice Interoperability Plan for Emergency Responders radio system) followed by deficient decontamination in 12 (75%). Other deficiencies included inadequate staffing based on predetermined protocols in 10 hospitals (63%), suboptimal command structure in 9 (56%), and patient tracking deficiencies in 5 (31%). An additional 11 operational and 5 logistic failures were identified. The TC showed an appropriate command structure but was deficient in four of five categories, with understaffing and a decontamination leak into the emergency department, which required diversion of 70 patients. CONCLUSION: Communication remains a significant gap in the mass casualty scenario 10 years after 9/11. Our findings demonstrate that tabletop exercises are inadequate to expose operational and logistic gaps in disaster response. FSREs should be routinely performed to adequately prepare for catastrophic events. (J Trauma Acute Care Surg. 2012;73: 592-598. Copyright (C) 2012 by Lippincott Williams & Wilkins)
Information and Expertise Sharing in Inter-Organizational Crisis Management Ley, Benedikt; Ludwig, Thomas; Pipek, Volkmar; Randall, Dave; Reuter, Christian; Wiedenhoefer, Torben (2014) Computer Supported Cooperative Work-The Journal of Collaborative Computing, 23(4-6), 347–387 Emergency or crisis management, as is well-attested, is a complex management problem. A variety of agencies need to collaborate and coordinate in real-time and with an urgency that is not always present in other domains. It follows that accurate information of varying kinds (e.g. geographical and weather conditions; available skills and expertises; state-of-play; current dispositions and deployments) needs to be made available in a timely fashion to the organizations and individuals who need it. By definition, this information will come from a number of sources both within and across organizations. Large-scale events in particular necessitate collaboration with other organizations. Of course, plans and processes exist to deal with such events but the number of dynamically changing factors as well as the high number of heterogeneous organizations and the high degree of interdependency involved make it impossible to plan for all contingencies. A degree of ongoing improvisation, which typically occurs by means of a variety of information and expertise sharing practices, therefore becomes necessary. This, however, faces many challenges, such as different organizational cultures, distinct individual and coordinative work practices and discrete information systems. Our work entails an examination of the practices of information and expertise sharing, and the obstacles to it, in inter-organizational crisis management. We conceive of this as a design case study, such that we examine a problem area and its scope; conduct detailed enquiries into practice in that area, and provide design recommendations for implementation and evaluation. First, we will present the results of an empirical study of collaboration practices between organizations and public authorities with security responsibilities such as the police, fire departments, public administration and electricity network operators, mainly in scenarios of medium to large power outages in Germany. Based on these results, we will describe a concept, which was designed, implemented and evaluated as a system prototype, in two iterations. While the first iteration focuses on situation assessment, the second iteration also includes inter-organizational collaboration functionalities. Based on the findings of our evaluations with practitioners, we will discuss how to support collaboration with a particular focus on information and expertise sharing.
MULTIPLE TYPES OF SENSOR DATA; CHALLENGES AND PERSPECTIVES FOR AN OPERATIONAL PICTURE FOR RESPONSE TO CRISES WITH MASS INVOLVEMENT Rainer, Karin; Silvestru, Diana; Neubauer, Georg; Ruzsanyi, Veronika; Almer, Alexander; Lampoltshammer, Thomas J. (2017); Idimt-2017 – Digitalization in Management, Society and Economy, 46, 111–126 Taking into account the experience of the recent past and anticipating future developments, crises with mass involvement require the availability of holistic data sources. Such data have to be integrated into the crisis management procedures to gain the necessary, full-scale operational pictures for an efficient, timely, and sustainable response by the teams in the field and on strategic levels. Migration movements, but also challenges of planned or un-predicted mass gatherings and their potential escalation have been identified by experts and responsible organizations as scenarios in need for more detailed and stratified data than just quantitative data, counts and flow Multiple Types of Sensor Data; Challenges and Perspectives for an Operational Picture for Response to Crises with Mass Involvement analyses. Learning from past developments and practice examples it becomes clear, that additional, multiple types of sensor data can and should be taken into account and integrated. This is a growing requirement to complement, further diversify and structure the operational picture for the targeted and qualified crisis management delivered by response units and public bodies. In addition to this, the early preparation of further care and support of potential casualties or refuge seeking people can be facilitated by more detailed and enhanced sets of data. Thus, special needs, targeted assistance in emergencies, but also security related issues like the separation of rivaling groups can be facilitated. Due to the inclusion of multiple types of sensors like audio data, chemical sensing, digital meta-data or enhanced pattern detection and processing adding up to commonly used visual sources, the tackling of blind spots and weaknesses in current crisis management can be supported. Besides the inclusion of data and information extracted from multiple sensors, an optimized exchange of targeted information between stakeholders was identified as the second pillar for improving the operational picture.