Knowledgebase

Number of results: 27

E-Handbook on Societal Security Crises and Emergency Response in Europe

Document type: 
SOURCE publication
Publisher / Publication: 
Insitute for European Studies, Vrije Universiteit Brussel for the SOURCE project
Abstract: 

The e-handbook is an innovative educational tool for first responders managing crises in the area of societal security.

It features six multi-media case-studies coming from different parts of Europe, namely: Austria, Sweden, Belgium, and Spain. The case-studies explore and re-construct strategies and actions of first response professionals involved in management of socio-political emergencies and natural disasters. In addition to texts, the interactive content includes educational assignments and video interviews, in which professionals, who took on key roles in the crisis management and emergency response, share their experiences.

Improving the Involvement of Digital Volunteers in Disaster Management

Document type: 
Scientific publication
Authors / Institution: 
Publisher / Publication: 
International Conference on Information Technology in Disaster Risk Reduction ITDRR 2016: Information Technology in Disaster Risk Reduction pp 214-224
Abstract: 

Volunteered geographic information (VGI) has been seen as useful information in times of disasters.

Several authors have shown that VGI is useful for coping with preparedness and response phases of disaster management. However, because it is still a young technology, the use of VGI remains uncertain, due to its lack of strong reliability and validity. It is our assumption that to improve reliability and validity the promotion of citizen engagement (CE) is needed. CE is not new topic, but in the digital humanitarian context, it involves important factors that are not yet considered by disaster managers, such as communication processes, motivation of volunteers, different media for production of information, etc. To fill this gap, we identified a set of preliminary factors which should be considered to promote the involvement of volunteers in disaster management. These factors were derived from critical review of CE literature and from an analysis of lessons learned from an experiment on interaction with citizens carried out in context of the EU-project “DRIVER – Driving Innovation in Crisis Management for European Resilience”.

 

Threat Politics: New Perspectives on Security, Risk and Crisis Management

Document type: 
Book
Authors / Institution: 
Publisher / Publication: 
Routledge
Abstract: 

Aiming to open up a new perspective on the study of threats and risks, this text combines insights from the thematically linked but academically disassociated fields of security studies, risk studi

es and crisis management studies. It provides case studies of key agents, arenas and issues involved in the politics of threats. In addition to the traditional unit of analysis - national governments - this book takes into account non-governmental agents, including public opinion, the media and business.

Identifying First Responders Information Needs: Supporting Search and Rescue Operations for Fire Emergency Response

Document type: 
Scientific publication
Publisher / Publication: 
International Journal of Information Systems for Crisis Response and Management, 8 (1): 25-46
Abstract: 

At the onset of an indoor fire emergency, the availability of the information becomes critical due to the chaotic situation at the emergency site.

Moreover, if information is lacking, not shared, or responders are too overloaded to acknowledge it, lives can be lost and property can be harmed. Therefore, the goal of this paper is to identify information items that are needed for first responders during search and rescue operations. The authors use an educational building fire emergency as a case and show how first responders can be supported by getting access to information that are stored in different information systems. The research methodology used was a combination of literature review, fire drills participation, and semi-structured interviews with first responders from different emergency organizations. The results presented are identified information items and an information model.

Building Resilience Through Effective Disaster Management: An Information Ecology Perspective

Document type: 
Scientific publication
Authors / Institution: 
Publisher / Publication: 
International Journal of Information Systems for Crisis Response and Management, 9 (1): 11-26
Abstract: 

Existing literature argues that taking a holistic approach to disaster management is important for organizations in building resilience.

Theoretical underpinnings to achieve a holistic understanding, however, is lacking. This article applies the notion of an ecosystem as a holistic lens to understand complex disaster management. The paper reports two case studies from Japan and Nepal to illustrate how an ecosystem works during a disaster. The theoretical framework of information ecology is used in analyzing the cases. Based on the findings, the study shows three interconnected mechanisms that can build resilience of an ecosystem in a disaster management context, namely (1) coevolution, (2) collaboration, and (3) embeddedness of local knowledge. The authors argue that coevolution is a key to respond to constantly changing situations during a disaster. To accomplish ecosystem coevolution, creating a collaboration system with governments and local communities and embedding local knowledge into the system are essential. Furthermore, digital tools can play a critical role in the coevolution process.

Social Media and Emergency Services?: Interview Study on Current and Potential Use in 7 European Countries

Document type: 
Scientific publication
Publisher / Publication: 
International Journal of Information Systems for Crisis Response and Management, 7 (2): 36-58
Abstract: 

Social media is much just used for private as well as business purposes, obviously, also during emergencies.

Emergency services are often confronted with the amount of information from social media and might consider using them – or not using them. This article highlights the perception of emergency services on social media during emergencies. Within their European research project EMERGENT, the authors therefore conducted an interview study with emergency service staff (N=11) from seven European countries and eight different cities. Their results highlight the current and potential use of social media, the emergency service's participation in research on social media as well as current challenges, benefits and future plans.

Emergency response in natural disaster management: Allocation and scheduling of rescue units

Document type: 
Scientific publication
Publisher / Publication: 
European Journal of Operational Research, 235 (3): 697-708
Abstract: 

Natural disasters, such as earthquakes, tsunamis and hurricanes, cause tremendous harm each year.

In order to reduce casualties and economic losses during the response phase, rescue units must be allocated and scheduled efficiently. As this problem is one of the key issues in emergency response and has been addressed only rarely in literature, this paper develops a corresponding decision support model that minimizes the sum of completion times of incidents weighted by their severity. The presented problem is a generalization of the parallel-machine scheduling problem with unrelated machines, non-batch sequence-dependent setup times and a weighted sum of completion times – thus, it is NP-hard. Using literature on scheduling and routing, we propose and computationally compare several heuristics, including a Monte Carlo-based heuristic, the joint application of 8 construction heuristics and 5 improvement heuristics, and GRASP metaheuristics. Our results show that problem instances (with up to 40 incidents and 40 rescue units) can be solved in less than a second, with results being at most 10.9% up to 33.9% higher than optimal values. Compared to current best practice solutions, the overall harm can be reduced by up to 81.8%.

Joint Framework on countering hybrid threats - a European Union response - JOIN (2016) 18

Document type: 
Policy document
Publisher / Publication: 
European Commission / European External Action Service (EEAS)
Abstract: 

This Joint Communication aims to facilitate a holistic approach that will enable the EU, in coordination with Member States, to specifically counter threats of a hybrid nature by creating synergies

between all relevant instruments and fostering close cooperation between all relevant actors. The actions build on existing strategies and sectoral policies that contribute to achieving greater security. In particular, the European Agenda on Security, the European Union Global Strategy for foreign and security policy and European Defence Action Plan, the EU Cybersecurity Strategy, the Energy Security Strategy, the European Union Maritime Security Strategy are tools that may also contribute to countering hybrid threats. 

Disaster Resilience: An Integrated Approach

Document type: 
Book
Authors / Institution: 
Publisher / Publication: 
Charles C Thomas, Publisher Ltd.
Abstract: 

Events such as the 2004 Indian Ocean Tsunami, Hurricane Katrina in 2005 and the Japanese earthquakes and tsunamis in 2011 have provided unfortunate reminders of the susceptibility of many communiti

es to devastating losses from natural hazards. These events provided graphic illustrations of how extreme hazard events adversely impact on people, affect communities and disrupt the community and societal mechanisms that serve to organize and sustain community capacities and functions. However, there is much that communities can do to mitigate their risk and manage disaster consequences. The construct that epitomizes how this is done is resilience. The contents of this volume provide valuable insights into how societal resilience can be developed and sustained. This considerably expanded new edition presents major topics of: Coexisting with Natural Hazards; Urban Resilience in Asia; Lifelines and Urban Resilience; Business Continuity in Disaster; Hazard Mitigation in Communities; Hazard Readiness and Resilience; Child Citizenship in Disaster Risk; Old Age and Resilience; Gender and Disaster Resilience; Impact of High Functionality on Resilience; Art and Resilience; Cross-Cultural Perspectives and Coping with Hazards; Religious Practices and Resilience; Living in Harmony with our Environment; Critical Incidence Response; Governance; Heat Wave Resilience; Wildfire Disaster Resilience; and Progress and Challenges to Disaster Risk Reduction and Resilience. This book brings together contributions from international experts in core areas and includes chapters that provide and overarching framework within which the need for interrelationships between levels to be developed is discussed. 

The Communities Advancing Resilience Toolkit (CART): development of a survey instrument to assess community resilience

Document type: 
Scientific publication
Publisher / Publication: 
International Journal of Emergency Mental Health and Human Resilience, 15 (1): 15-29
Abstract: 

While building community resilience to disasters is becoming an important strategy in emergency management, this is a new field of research with few available instruments for assessing community re

silience. This article describes the development of the Communities Advancing Resilience Toolkit (CART) survey instrument. CART is a community intervention designed to enhance community resilience to disasters, in part, by engaging communities in measuring it. The survey instrument, originally based on community capacity and related literature and on key informant input, was refined through a series of four field tests. Community organizations worked with researchers in a participatory action process that provided access to samples and helped to guide the research. Exploratory factor analysis performed after each field test led to the identification of four interrelated constructs (also called domains) which represent the foundation for CART Connection and Caring, Resources, Transformative Potential, and Disaster Management. This model was confirmed using confirmatory factor analysis on two community samples. The CART survey can provide data for organizations and communities interested in assessing a community's resilience to disasters. Baseline data, preferably collected pre disaster can be compared to data collected post disaster and/or post intervention.

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