Communication and Information Systems Technology for Crisis and Disaster Management

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    Social Networking Sites in the Aftermath of a Crisis - the Enabling Role for Self-organization
    ( 2018-01-03) Fischer, Diana
    During crisis circumstances, people increasingly rely on social networking sites (SNS). SNS offer new ways for people to participate and communicate, including seeking local and timely information and activating their social networks quickly, which in turn supports self-organization during crisis events. However, little is known about the motives that influence people’s different SNS usage behavior for the goal of self-organization and the underlying mechanisms of this behavior. Based on uses and gratifications theory and the literature on crisis communication and crisis informatics, this conceptual paper argues that during crisis circumstances, particular needs influence people’s SNS usage for the goal of self-organization. In addition, the paper investigates the conceptual underpinnings of self-organization via SNS. This paper, therefore, contributes to theory by developing a conceptual model for the analysis of self-organization via SNS during crisis circumstances.
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    Population Behaviors in Crisis Situations - A Study of Behavioral Factors in the PPI Ineos Emergency Response Exercise
    ( 2018-01-03) Arru, Maude ; Negre, Elsa ; Rosenthal-Sabroux, Camille
    Warnings can help to prevent damage and harm if they are issued timely and provide information that helps respondents and population to adequately prepare for the disaster to come. Today, many indicators and sensor systems are designed to produce alert and reduce disaster risks. These systems have proved to be effective but, as all systems including human beings, part of the system remains unpredictable. Each person behaves differently when a problem arises. We study in this paper the reactions of the population of Verdun, in France, during a public safety exercise. This exercise simulated a chemical risk alert, including the population participation. We propose here an analysis of people's reactions during this exercise, based on interviews and surveys, and according to different behavioral factors.
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    Agent-based Analysis of the Spread of Awareness in the Population in the Prodromal Phase of Bushfires
    ( 2018-01-03) Adam, Carole ; Dugdale, Julie
    Efficient communication is essential in disasters in order to coordinate a response and assure effective evacuation. This paper focuses on the case study of the Melbourne bushfires in 2009. We first analysed some interviews of the population to know who the population communicates with (neighbours, family, authorities, etc), and using what channel (radio, phone, internet, etc). We then developed and implemented communicative actions in a Belief-Desire-Intention model of the population's behaviour. Finally, we ran experiments in order to compare the speed at which the population becomes aware of the fires in different scenarios with different types of communication (more or less organised). Our first results show that more organised modes of communication would provide significant benefits in terms of propagation of awareness in the population.
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    The Good, the Bad and the Indispensable - Insights into the Practical Potential of Emergency Response Information Systems and Drones for Firefighters
    ( 2018-01-03) Weidinger, Julian ; Schlauderer, Sebastian ; Overhage, Sven
    The introduction of innovative information technologies is frequently pursued to improve the on-site decision-making and hence the effectiveness of emergency response processes. Yet, the practical potential of innovative firefighter information technologies hardly has been investigated so far. In this paper, we present the results of a study, in which we interviewed 21 members of German fire departments about the potential of emergency response information systems and drones. The results suggest that firefighters find both technologies to deliver potential improvements. They also pointed to several possible drawbacks and critical requirements, however. The results of our study do not only provide a multifaceted overview of the potential benefits and risks that ought to be taken into account when introducing emergency response information systems or drones for firefighters. They also call for a systematic investigation of the practical potential of firefighter information technologies in general.
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    Conceptualizing and Designing a Resilience Information Portal
    ( 2018-01-03) Majchrzak, Tim A. ; Sakurai, Mihoko ; Serrano, Nicolas
    Cities need to cater for the challenges they face. They must endure, respond to, and adapt to short-term shocks and long-term stresses. This ability is now commonly referred to as resilience. Communication and collaboration are vital aspects of a city's effort of becoming (more) resilient. In particular, cities ought to engage their citizens, who ultimately are those that make it resilient - and who benefit from their city's resilience. In this paper we present work from a large-scale research project with a considerably practical focus. We have employed IT artefacts to conceptualize and design what we call a Resilience Information Portal. This portal is meant to be the unifier of communication and collaboration efforts of a city. Our proposal takes into account that the basic technological artefacts already exist and are relatively simple, but that the actual problem is complex and requires the integration of various IT systems.