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Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 2007. Improving Disaster Management: The Role of IT in Mitigation, Preparedness, Response, and Recovery. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/11824.
×

IMPROVING DISASTER MANAGEMENT

THE ROLE OF IT IN MITIGATION, PREPAREDNESS, RESPONSE, AND RECOVERY

Ramesh R. Rao, Jon Eisenberg, and Ted Schmitt, Editors

Committee on Using Information Technology to Enhance Disaster Management

Computer Science and Telecommunications Board

Division on Engineering and Physical Sciences

NATIONAL RESEARCH COUNCIL OF THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES

THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES PRESS

Washington, D.C.
www.nap.edu

Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 2007. Improving Disaster Management: The Role of IT in Mitigation, Preparedness, Response, and Recovery. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/11824.
×

THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES PRESS

500 Fifth Street, N.W. Washington, DC 20001

NOTICE: The project that is the subject of this report was approved by the Governing Board of the National Research Council, whose members are drawn from the councils of the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Engineering, and the Institute of Medicine. The members of the committee responsible for the report were chosen for their special competences and with regard for appropriate balance.

This study was supported by the Battelle Memorial Institute under subcontract number 189936 to a contract between the Federal Emergency Management Agency and the Battelle Memorial Institute. Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the organizations and agencies that provided support for the project.

International Standard Book Number-13: 978-0-309-10396-1

International Standard Book Number-10: 0-309-10396-7

Additional copies of this report are available from the

National Academies Press,

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Copyright 2007 by the National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved.

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Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 2007. Improving Disaster Management: The Role of IT in Mitigation, Preparedness, Response, and Recovery. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/11824.
×

THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES

Advisers to the Nation on Science, Engineering, and Medicine


The National Academy of Sciences is a private, nonprofit, self-perpetuating society of distinguished scholars engaged in scientific and engineering research, dedicated to the furtherance of science and technology and to their use for the general welfare. Upon the authority of the charter granted to it by the Congress in 1863, the Academy has a mandate that requires it to advise the federal government on scientific and technical matters. Dr. Ralph J. Cicerone is president of the National Academy of Sciences.


The National Academy of Engineering was established in 1964, under the charter of the National Academy of Sciences, as a parallel organization of outstanding engineers. It is autonomous in its administration and in the selection of its members, sharing with the National Academy of Sciences the responsibility for advising the federal government. The National Academy of Engineering also sponsors engineering programs aimed at meeting national needs, encourages education and research, and recognizes the superior achievements of engineers. Dr. Wm. A. Wulf is president of the National Academy of Engineering.


The Institute of Medicine was established in 1970 by the National Academy of Sciences to secure the services of eminent members of appropriate professions in the examination of policy matters pertaining to the health of the public. The Institute acts under the responsibility given to the National Academy of Sciences by its congressional charter to be an adviser to the federal government and, upon its own initiative, to identify issues of medical care, research, and education. Dr. Harvey V. Fineberg is president of the Institute of Medicine.


The National Research Council was organized by the National Academy of Sciences in 1916 to associate the broad community of science and technology with the Academy’s purposes of furthering knowledge and advising the federal government. Functioning in accordance with general policies determined by the Academy, the Council has become the principal operating agency of both the National Academy of Sciences and the National Academy of Engineering in providing services to the government, the public, and the scientific and engineering communities. The Council is administered jointly by both Academies and the Institute of Medicine. Dr. Ralph J. Cicerone and Dr. Wm. A. Wulf are chair and vice chair, respectively, of the National Research Council.

www.national-academies.org

Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 2007. Improving Disaster Management: The Role of IT in Mitigation, Preparedness, Response, and Recovery. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/11824.
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Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 2007. Improving Disaster Management: The Role of IT in Mitigation, Preparedness, Response, and Recovery. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/11824.
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COMMITTEE ON USING INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY TO ENHANCE DISASTER MANAGEMENT

RAMESH R. RAO,

University of California, San Diego,

Chair

YIGAL ARENS,

University of Southern California

ART BOTTERELL,

Contra Costa County, California, Office of the Sheriff

TIMOTHY X. BROWN,

University of Colorado, Boulder

JOHN R. HARRALD,

George Washington University

RICHARD HOWARD,

Rutgers University

NANCY JESUALE,

NetCity Engineering, Inc.

DAVID KEHRLEIN,

Environmental Science Research Institute

WILLIAM MAHEU,

San Diego, California, Police Department

ROBIN R. MURPHY,

University of South Florida

ROBERT NECHES,

University of Southern California

MASANOBU SHINOZUKA,

University of California, Irvine

ELLIS STANLEY,

City of Los Angeles

PETER STEENKISTE,

Carnegie Mellon University

GIO WIEDERHOLD,

Stanford University

Staff

JON EISENBERG, Study Director

TED SCHMITT, Program Officer

DAVID PADGHAM, Associate Program Officer

GLORIA WESTBROOK, Senior Program Assistant (through December 2006)

JENNIFER M. BISHOP, Program Associate

Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 2007. Improving Disaster Management: The Role of IT in Mitigation, Preparedness, Response, and Recovery. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/11824.
×

COMPUTER SCIENCE AND TELECOMMUNICATIONS BOARD

JOSEPH F. TRAUB,

Columbia University,

Chair

ERIC BENHAMOU,

Benhamou Global Ventures, LLC

FREDERICK R. CHANG,

University of Texas, Austin

WILLIAM DALLY,

Stanford University

MARK E. DEAN, IBM

Almaden Research Center

DAVID J. DEWITT,

University of Wisconsin, Madison

DEBORAH ESTRIN,

University of California, Los Angeles

JOAN FEIGENBAUM,

Yale University

KEVIN KAHN,

Intel Corporation

JAMES KAJIYA,

Microsoft Corporation

MICHAEL KATZ,

University of California, Berkeley

RANDY H. KATZ,

University of California, Berkeley

SARA KIESLER,

Carnegie Mellon University

TERESA H. MENG,

Stanford University

PRABHAKAR RAGHAVAN,

Yahoo! Research

FRED B. SCHNEIDER,

Cornell University

ALFRED Z. SPECTOR,

Independent Consultant, Pelham, New York

WILLIAM STEAD,

Vanderbilt University

ANDREW J. VITERBI,

Viterbi Group, LLC

PETER WEINBERGER,

Google, Inc.

JEANNETTE M. WING,

Carnegie Mellon University


JON EISENBERG, Director

KRISTEN BATCH, Associate Program Officer

RADHIKA CHARI, Administrative Coordinator

RENEE HAWKINS, Financial Associate

MARGARET MARSH HUYNH, Senior Program Assistant

HERBERT S. LIN, Senior Scientist

LYNETTE I. MILLETT, Senior Program Officer

DAVID PADGHAM, Associate Program Officer

JANICE SABUDA, Senior Program Assistant

TED SCHMITT, Program Officer

BRANDYE WILLIAMS, Program Assistant

JOAN WINSTON, Program Officer


For more information on CSTB, see its Web site at http://www.cstb.org, write to CSTB, National Research Council, 500 Fifth Street, N.W., Washington, DC 20001, call (202) 334-2605, or e-mail at cstb@nas.edu.

Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 2007. Improving Disaster Management: The Role of IT in Mitigation, Preparedness, Response, and Recovery. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/11824.
×

Preface

To improve how information technology is used in disaster management, Section 214 of the E-Government Act of 2002 called on the administrator of the Office of Electronic Government in the Office of Management and Budget, in consultation with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), to “ensure that a study is conducted on using information technology to enhance crisis preparedness, response, and consequence management of natural and manmade disasters” (see Box P.1). In early 2005, in response to a request from FEMA to the National Research Council (NRC), via a contract with Battelle Memorial Institute, the Committee on Using Information Technology to Enhance Disaster Management was established under the auspices of the Computer Science and Telecommunications Board to study these issues. The committee’s first report, Summary of a Workshop on Using Information Technology to Enhance Disaster Management,1 summarized the discussions at a public workshop held on June 22-23, 2005. Representatives of federal, state, and local government agencies; private industry; and the research community participated in the workshop.

Over the next year the committee met four times and made several site visits to gather input from federal agencies; state and local public

1

National Research Council, Summary of a Workshop on Using Information Technology to Enhance Disaster Management, The National Academies Press, Washington, D.C., September 2005.

Page viii Cite
Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 2007. Improving Disaster Management: The Role of IT in Mitigation, Preparedness, Response, and Recovery. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/11824.
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BOX P.1

Section 214 of the E-Government Act of 2002, Public Law 107-347

SEC. 214. ENHANCING CRISIS MANAGEMENT THROUGH ADVANCED INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY

  1. PURPOSE.—The purpose of this section is to improve how information technology is used in coordinating and facilitating information on disaster preparedness, response, and recovery, while ensuring the availability of such information across multiple access channels.

  2. IN GENERAL.—

    1. STUDY ON ENHANCEMENT OF CRISIS RESPONSE.—Not later than 90 days after the date of enactment of this Act, the Administrator, in consultation with the Federal Emergency Management Agency, shall ensure that a study is conducted on using information technology to enhance crisis preparedness, response, and consequence management of natural and manmade disasters.

    2. CONTENTS.—The study under this subsection shall address—

      1. a research and implementation strategy for effective use of information technology in crisis response and consequence management, including the more effective use of technologies, management of information technology research initiatives, and incorporation of research advances into the information and communications systems of—

        1. the Federal Emergency Management Agency; and

        2. other Federal, State, and local agencies responsible for crisis preparedness, response, and consequence management; and

      1. opportunities for research and development on enhanced technologies into areas of potential improvement as determined during the course of the study.

    1. REPORT.—Not later than 2 years after the date on which a contract is entered into under paragraph (1), the Administrator shall submit a report on the study, including findings and recommendations to—

      1. the Committee on Governmental Affairs of the Senate; and

      2. the Committee on Government Reform of the House of Representatives.

    1. INTERAGENCY COOPERATION.—Other Federal departments and agencies with responsibility for disaster relief and emergency assistance shall fully cooperate with the Administrator in carrying out this section.

    2. AUTHORIZATION OF APPROPRIATIONS.—There are authorized to be appropriated for research under this subsection, such sums as are necessary for fiscal year 2003.

  1. PILOT PROJECTS.—Based on the results of the research conducted under subsection (b), the Administrator, in consultation with the Federal Emergency Management Agency, shall initiate pilot projects or report to Congress on other activities that further the goal of maximizing the utility of information technology in disaster management. The Administrator shall cooperate with other relevant agencies, and, if appropriate, State, local, and tribal governments, in initiating such pilot projects.

Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 2007. Improving Disaster Management: The Role of IT in Mitigation, Preparedness, Response, and Recovery. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/11824.
×

safety officials and emergency management practitioners; experts in disaster management; information technology researchers; and hardware and software vendors. In preparing this, its final report, the committee also drew on perspectives and information gleaned from professional conferences, the technical literature, and government reports.

Chapter 1 briefly characterizes disaster management, placing the use of information and communication technology in the broader human and organizational context and providing a framework for considering the range and nature of information and communication needs. Chapter 2 presents the committee’s vision of the potential for information and communication technology to improve disaster management. Chapter 3 focuses on structural, organizational, and other non-technical barriers to the acquisition, adoption, and effective use of IT in disaster management. Chapter 4 provides an initial outline of the elements of a research program aimed at strengthening IT-enabled capabilities for disaster management.

During the development of this report, Hurricane Katrina struck the U.S. Gulf Coast. In the days following the hurricane’s landfall, damage to the communications infrastructure, together with a host of other communications and information concerns, was cited by decision makers and reported on in the press as among the major challenges facing those involved in response and recovery efforts. The tragic events that occurred in Katrina’s wake have, of course, served to underscore the importance of disaster management; they have also highlighted the role of information technology in disaster management, the interplay between technical and organizational considerations, and the contributions that research and development in these areas could make to future disaster management activities. However, although a number of the inputs focused on Katrina, the committee’s charge, its deliberations, and this report encompass disasters in all (natural and human-made) forms and in all phases, from mitigation and preparedness to response and recovery.

Ramesh R. Rao, Chair

Committee on Using Information Technology to Enhance Disaster Management

Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 2007. Improving Disaster Management: The Role of IT in Mitigation, Preparedness, Response, and Recovery. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/11824.
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Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 2007. Improving Disaster Management: The Role of IT in Mitigation, Preparedness, Response, and Recovery. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/11824.
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Acknowledgment of Reviewers

This report has been reviewed in draft form by individuals chosen for their diverse perspectives and technical expertise, in accordance with procedures approved by the National Research Council’s Report Review Committee. The purpose of this independent review is to provide candid and critical comments that will assist the institution in making its published report as sound as possible and to ensure that the report meets institutional standards for objectivity, evidence, and responsiveness to the study charge. The review comments and draft manuscript remain confidential to protect the integrity of the deliberative process. We wish to thank the following individuals for their review of this report:


David Borth, Motorola,

Thomas J. Cowper, New York State Police,

Sharon Dawes, University at Albany, State University of New York,

Otto Doll, State of South Dakota Bureau of Information and Telecommunications,

Mica Endsley, SA Technologies,

Al Flax, Consultant, Potomac, Maryland,

W. Craig Fugate, State of Florida Office of Emergency Management,

Sara Kiesler, Carnegie Mellon University,

Prabhakar Ragahvan, Yahoo!,

Eric Rasmussen, U.S. Navy Medical Corps,

Myra Socher, TriMed, Inc.,

Kathleen Tierney, University of Colorado, Boulder, and

Charles Werner, Charlottesville, Virginia, Fire Department.

Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 2007. Improving Disaster Management: The Role of IT in Mitigation, Preparedness, Response, and Recovery. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/11824.
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Although the reviewers listed above provided many constructive comments and suggestions, they were not asked to endorse the conclusions or recommendations, nor did they see the final draft of the report before its release. The review of this report was overseen by Samuel H. Fuller, Analog Devices, Inc., and Richard N. Wright, National Institute of Standards and Technology (retired). Appointed by the National Research Council, they were responsible for making certain that an independent examination of this report was carried out in accordance with institutional procedures and that all review comments were carefully considered. Responsibility for the final content of this report rests entirely with the authoring committee and the institution.

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Information technology (IT) has the potential to play a critical role in managing natural and human-made disasters. Damage to communications infrastructure, along with other communications problems exacerbated the difficulties in carrying out response and recovery efforts following Hurricane Katrina. To assist government planning in this area, the Congress, in the E-government Act of 2002, directed the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to request the NRC to conduct a study on the application of IT to disaster management. This report characterizes disaster management providing a framework for considering the range and nature of information and communication needs; presents a vision of the potential for IT to improve disaster management; provides an analysis of structural, organizational, and other non-technical barriers to the acquisition, adoption, and effective use of IT in disaster; and offers an outline of a research program aimed at strengthening IT-enabled capabilities for disaster management.

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