Four Technologies of Disaster Management

November 10, 2005 | 0 Comments | 2 Min Read

Judson L Moore

By Judson L Moore Travel addict. Ambitious about making the world a better place. Writing what I learn along the way. Follow me on twitter. Find me on facebook.

Four Technologies of Disaster Management

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When working in a disaster there are many resources and available technologies to help managers coordinate relief efforts.  Some of the key technologies include mapping, aerial photography, information management, and logistics.  The following is a brief review of these four areas and how their proper implication in the disaster management field can make a difference in saving lives.

Knowing the geographic features of the effected area are extremely important.  Having reliable maps is key to planning the distribution of resources and people, as well as determining what obstacles are likely to be in the way of getting to those locations.  There are many different types of maps which can be used to asses the area: topographic maps, geologic maps, hazard maps, demographic maps, and hurricane tracking maps.  It is important to have both access to this reliable information, as well as have a proficient ability to read these maps.

Computers are becoming extremely important in the mapping world.  With the implementation of technologies like GIS and GPS, precision calculations concerning location and elevation can be made.  This is important because it will help disaster managers to determine flood planes, geographic boundaries, and obviously location.  Computers are also starting to take a great roll in calculating at-risk locations in disaster-affected areas.

A similar technology to mapping which is important is the use of aerial photography.  While maps can tell you where the geographic features of a place are as well as the human-made infrastructures, recent aerial photography will reveal what the current, post-disaster, situation is.  This information, when used in conjunction with maps, can be very useful in doing damage assessment, rescue planning, and reconstruction/cleanup.

In all disaster situations there is a huge amount of information being shared and being dumped onto people.  Some of this information is important to the immediate needs of rescue, but lots of it deals with post-disaster relief.  All this incoming information can make difficult situations extremely confusing at a time when confusion already exists in excess.  The growing functionality and portability of computers over the last decade has made managing this information much easier.  Now all information can be routed to an off-site information hub and then routed to the proper people in the field.  This allows for faster transmission of information to the people who need to know it, and for less confusion and clutter of information.  This speed-up is important to conducting all aspects of disaster management, especially in search and rescue efforts.

One final area which is important to technology in the disaster management field is logistics.  Like information management, logistics deals with the management of resources.  A disaster manager must be able to identify the barriers for getting needed supplies into areas and be able to accommodate alternative transportation methods of resources.  Through logistics, disaster managers are able to route the most need resources to the areas most in need of receiving them.

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