International Journal of Emergency Management (33 papers in press)
A closer examination of command and control practices by incident commanders during realistic operational exercises in the Netherlands
by Jelle Groenendaal, Ira Helsloot
Abstract: Little scholarly attention has been devoted to understanding command and control practices among incident commanders and the extent to which these practices contribute to response safety and efficiency. This article examines incident command and control practices of 23 battalion chiefs from a Dutch Fire Service during realistic exercises using largely identical scenarios. A helmet-mounted camera in conjunction with field observation was used to gather data. The results show that although incident command and control practices varied in detail, the strategies used were largely the same. No relationship was discovered between incident command and control practices and response safety and efficiency. A reason for the lack of significance of the command and control function was that battalion chiefs relied essentially on information and advice given by crew commanders, which did not provide a basis for insights other than those already present among crew commanders. Implications for practice are provided.
Keywords: Incident command and control; incident commander; battalion chief; fire service; emergemcy; front line; naturalistic decision making.
Pre-positioning facilities for collecting tents from communities for post-earthquake relief
by Jing-Xian Zhou, Zhi-Hua Hu, Xiang Li
Abstract: Pre-positioning facilities for collecting tents distributed in communities is critical to improve the efficacy of tent collection and supply in post-earthquake relief. This paper aims at a pre-positioning problem for facilities that collect the tents in communities by considering various earthquake scenarios. A bi-stage stochastic programming model is formulated for the facility location problem. The model minimises the economic costs and time-related penalty costs. Considering the effects of objective weights and known parameters on the solutions, five experiments were performed and analysed for studying the proposed model. A case illustrates the location problem for the facilities for collecting tents from communities in Pudong New District, Shanghai, China, in the relief of the Yaan earthquake.
Keywords: emergency logistics; location problem; stochastic programming; uncertain scenario; earthquake
Terrorist attacks with explosive weapons: pattern of injuries and health constraints
by Georg Schmidt
Abstract: Terrorist attacks are on the rise and aim to create vast damage and large numbers of injured people. Explosive weapons have become the predominant ordnance for terror-related events, and more countries have to deal with the aftermath of bombing incidents. These attacks can create mass-casualty emergencies and trigger complex pattern of injuries. This article uses appropriate secondary literature to review these patterns of injuries, and discusses the constraints for health systems. It appears that fragments of explosive weapons trigger the highest number of injuries. Subsequently, the predominant injuries can be researched in penetrating traumas and complex bone fractures. Triage can be researched as a key task after terror-related bombings to minimise mortality amongst survivors. A close collaboration of all involved health staff will be required to adapt to bombing events. Additional training for health staff might be needed to adapt to terror bombings, and the civilian health structure might benefit from experienced military medical forces.
Keywords: terrorist attacks, terror-related events, explosive weapons, bombing events, bombing incidents, pattern of injuries, terror-related events, mass casualty emergencies, emergency management, clinical management, emergency triage.
Economic recovery of disaster survivors: a critical analysis
by Mohammed Irshad
Abstract: This paper
Keywords: disaster recovery, economic recovery, Uttarakhand flood, Odisha super cyclone
The role of communication in healthcare systems and community resilience
by Brooke Fisher Liu, Brooke Fowler, Holly Roberts, Elizabeth Petrun Sayers, Michael Egnoto
Abstract: Communication failures often contribute to emergency medicine breakdowns during crises like Ebola, Superstorm Sandy, and 9/11. For example, the misidentification of Ebola in Dallas in 2015 was blamed on ineffective communication between hospital departments and ineffective hospital communication systems. Yet, existing research rarely examines how communication breakdowns can contribute to such failures. This paper provides a systematic research review to introduce emergency medicine providers to research-based best practices in risk and crisis communication. This paper also extends these best practices based on the unique healthcare system context. Understanding these best practices can improve how emergency medicine providers prepare for and respond to crises. In addition, awareness of critical research gaps such as message crafting techniques, family communication, and empowering nurses can inform strategic priorities for mitigating common communication failure points.
Keywords: crisis communication; disaster communication; emergency medicine; health communication; hospitals; risk communication
Managing work-related stress in humanitarian fieldwork: aid workers and resilience resources
by Georg Schmidt
Abstract: This study explores which challenges in humanitarian fieldwork trigger stress and what factors and conditions enable humanitarian aid workers to withstand adversity without developing negative physical or mental health outcome. A qualitative approach was selected to interview aid workers, using an in-depth semi-structured question guide. Selected participants completed at least three missions while employed with an organisation, and the type of fieldwork was restricted to emergency response, complex emergencies and early recovery. Results show that general workload, teamwork and the connection to headquarters are perceived as the biggest challenges. Important resilience resources can be identified in team-members, professional experience and possessing a satisfying life back home. Intercultural understanding was researched as one of the most important personality traits within humanitarian fieldwork. This study suggests better preparation for humanitarian aid workers prior to fieldwork and better education programmes within the field would complement professional experience.
Keywords: resilience resources, stress management, humanitarian field work, humanitarian aid worker, disaster management, stress, fieldwork, teamwork, intercultural understanding, qualitative research
Decomposing issue patterns in crisis communication: the case of the lost airliner
by Boyang Zhang, Marita Vos, Jari Veijalainen
Abstract: This research explores the relation between a crisis and public discussion of related issues. In the context of organisational crisis communication often a single-issue strategy is proposed, which does not fit more complex crises. The assumption is that the lifecycle of a crisis encompasses shorter lifecycles of issues that receive media attention. Decomposing the online crisis debate into a pattern of issues supports understanding of public perceptions, and hence of crisis response and communication. This is investigated through an analysis of Facebook posts concerning the loss of Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 in 2014. The analysis shows that during the life of the crisis a variety of related issues arose that became topics of public debate co-created by various actors. Compassion for victims dominated in the early stages of the crisis, while later on reputation issues took over. The insights help to understand results of social media monitoring during complex company crises.
Keywords: crisis communication; organisational communication; issue arenas; issues management; social media
Seismic risk assessment and design of tourism buildings using probability analysis
by Chung-Hung Tsai
Abstract: The average recurrence interval of major earthquakes is approximately a century. Consequently, the existing data are insufficient for an accurate estimation of average losses. The main objective of this research is to study the disaster-prone characteristics of hotels by using modern concepts of risk management (i.e., loss exceedance probability analysis, seismic hazard analysis, and so on) and then combine the relevant basic research data from domestic and foreign sources to develop a seismic risk assessment and management system suitable for the hospitality industry. The proposed seismic risk management and risk evaluation system will also provide governments, hotel asset owners, insurance companies, and banks in Taiwan that have similar regional characteristics with the necessary seismic risk information to help the tourism industry effectively evaluate and manage the natural disaster risk.
Keywords: seismic risk assessment; catastrophic risk; loss exceedance probability analysis; seismic hazard analysis
Towards a maturity model to assess field hospitals rollout
by Nicolas Daclin, Gilles Dusserre, Laurie Mailhac, Bruno Lhéritier, Jean Blanchard, Alexandra Picard
Abstract: The rollout of a field hospital is a crucial aspect in a crisis context. It has to be performed in a responsive, effective and efficient manner in order to provide its services. In order to improve the rollout, it can be evaluated following a rigorous method in order to know precisely its strengths and weaknesses and how it can be improved to reach defined or reachable and realistic objectives. The work presented here focuses on the means to evaluate the rollout of a field hospital, and presents the first development of a model based on the concept of maturity assessment. This kind of evaluation allows users to know the level of goal achievement with regards to a specific domain. Thus, the purpose is to show the approach and the structure of the maturity model for the assessment of the field hospitals rollout and, in the end, its improvement.
Keywords: field hospitals’ rollout; maturity model; areas of interest; maturity levels; maturity assessment.
The clustering analysis and spatial interpolation of intense rainfall data
by Zhi-Mou Chen, Yi-Lung Yeh, Ting-Chien Chen
Abstract: Rainfall data are one basis for quantifying the scale of a disaster. Therefore, mastering the rainfall data during disaster periods is an important task. Unfortunately, there are two problems involved in the inspection of the past rainfall records. First, rainfall data have been lost owing to unforeseen factors. Second, recently established rainfall stations do not have any past rainfall data. To cope with this problem, this study first collected the hourly rainfall records from past disaster events. Next, a statistic cluster analysis method was adopted to analyse the correlation between the rainfall records in each station. Finally, a spatial interpolation computing method was applied within each cluster to predict reliable rainfall estimates for the areas that lacked past rainfall records. The clustering for the rainfall stations in the plain areas was simpler than the complicated clustering for the mountainous regions. The cluster analysis results showed that selecting the nearby three to four rainfall stations for the spatial interpolation analysis simplified the calculation process. In particular, the result of grouped cluster analysis could enhance the accuracy of the rainfall estimation in the mountainous areas. This study established a reliable rainfall estimation method as a basis for future regional disaster analysis.
Keywords: intense rainfall, cluster analysis, spatial interpolation computing, rainfall estimation.
Design and evaluation of an electronic triage system for prehospital monitoring of patients
by Ida Maria Haugstveit, Aslak Wegner Eide, Anders Erik Liverud, Eivind L. Rake, Steffen H. Dalgard, Jon Vedum, Jan Håvard Skjetne
Abstract: Prehospital emergency triage involves deciding which patients are in the most urgent need of treatment and medical intervention. Current commonly used triage methods do not support simple sharing of patient-related information, making it challenging for emergency personnel to monitor the number, location, and medical status of patients involved in an incident. We present the design and evaluation of an electronic system that facilitates patient tracking and monitoring of vital parameters from the incident scene to place of treatment. The system comprises a patient electronic triage bracelet, which communicates with software applications for patient monitoring. We tested the system in two situations: real-life, daily operations involving real patients over one month and in a one-day, large-scale, mass casualty exercise. Results are presented, along with lessons learned and suggestions for future research.
Keywords: emergency management, prehospital triage, electronic triage, patient monitoring, GPS tracking, common operational picture
A comparison of underground coal mine emergency management in China and Australia
by Jian Xi, David Cliff, Zongzhi Wu
Abstract: This article compares current practices on underground coal mine emergency management in China and Australia. From aspects of prevention, preparedness, response and recovery (PPRR), methods, measures and technology applied in two countries on underground coal mine emergency management are compared. The influences of education, engineering and enforcement (3E) on accident prevention in both countries are analysed. Differences on legislations, emergency plans, organisation, equipment and exercises during emergency preparedness are enumerated as well as the reasons leading to these differences. On the aspect of emergency response, the incident classification, command structure, evacuation and aided rescue are compared. For emergency recovery, differences on incident report rules are emphatically compared. Finally, advantages and challenges of China and Australia on underground coal mine emergency management are concluded. Third party emergency services, TARPs and HPIs are three major advantages from which China could benefit.
Keywords: China; Australia; underground coal mine; mine accidents; accident prevention; emergency preparedness; emergency plans; emergency response; TARPs; HPIs.
Recognising and promoting the unique capacities of the elderly
by Xiaoxin Zhu, Baiqing Sun
Abstract: Disasters tend to hit the poorest and most marginalised demographics the hardest. The elderly are particularly exposed to disaster risk and are likely to suffer from higher rates of mortality, morbidity and economic damage to their livelihoods. However, they are seldom given due consideration in disaster response for their specific needs and are often neglected, particularly compared with children. Using a quantitative methodology, this article aims to evaluate whether age has an impact on the mortality rate, explores the age groups with the greatest vulnerabilities in the 2008 Wenchuan Earthquake, China and the 1995 Kobe Earthquake, Japan. Data of the final death tolls and total population sorted by age in these two earthquakes were collected from the HYOGO Pref-medical Association and the Dujiangyan Bureau of Statistics. One-way ANOVA (multiple comparison analysis) was applied to analyse the data. Results of this study showed that in the 2008 Wenchuan Earthquake in China and the 1995 Kobe earthquake in Japan there is a more significant relationship between the elderly aged over 75 and the mean mortality rate than to children. To achieve greater resilience to disasters requires that older peoples greater vulnerabilities are identified, and their unique abilities are recognised and promoted to enhance disaster risk reduction.
Keywords: emergency management vulnerability; disaster; the elderly; disaster risk reduction.
Managing conflict in the public sector during crises: the impact on crisis management team effectiveness
by Vassileios Tokakis, Panagiotis Polychroniou, George Boustras
Abstract: This study aims to investigate the relationships between emotional intelligence, communication, decision making and conflict management styles in crisis management teams (CMT), giving emphasis on leader-team member interaction during crisis situations. Participants were 177 individuals involved in crisis management teams representing Greek public organisations and government. Data were collected by means of structured questionnaires in a series of personal interviews. Results indicate that team members' ability to make decisions, internal communication and leaders' emotional intelligence are positively associated with cooperation and integration within CMT in the public sector. Implications for management are discussed, including the need for leaders to further develop emotional intelligence competencies, so that team members are motivated to integrate activities and attain common goals, thus increasing CMT effectiveness.
Keywords: conflict management, emotional intelligence, communication, decision making, crisis management team, public sector, crisis.
A multiagent system for transboundary monitoring
by Viacheslav Abrosimov
Abstract: This paper analyses the monitoring problem of emergency situations in neighbouring territories. An emergency situation affects several countries that may have different relations (cooperation, conflict) with each other. We consider conditions when a certain side appears unable to assess the scale of the threat and eliminate it independently. This side requests relief and assistance from another side, with obligatory satisfaction of objective national constraints. The idea is to solve transboundary monitoring problems using international fleets of aircraft with collective behavioural strategies and information exchange. We design a typical behavioural strategy for an aircraft within an international fleet. This strategy takes into account situational uncertainty, the possibility of assistance, and a confidence measure for the information acquired by the sides. The efficiency of the proposed approach is verified by simulation modelling of the transboundary monitoring processes using AnyLogic platform.
Keywords: transboundariness, monitoring, fleets, aircrafts, information, exchange, emergency situation, confidence measure
A review of coverage models applied to emergency location
by Meryam Benabdouallah, Chakib Bojji
Abstract: In the context of healthcare system reforms, the management of pre hospital logistics emergency has been addressed by several researchers around the world. Western countries are embarked on a major restructuring of their healthcare systems. Upgrading hospitals and particularly improving the efficiency of emergency activities are among the priority fields of health strategy in the world. In order to achieve this goal, the management and the modelling of the ambulance fleet, using a set of tools such as simulation and mathematical programming, are the main approaches exploited by researchers to ensure an optimal coverage of a territory. This paper is a review of coverage models applied to the emergency location. It analyses these models classified under three classes. The static class focuses on the earlier models about emergency location coverage. The probabilistic class defines the possibility of ambulance unavailability once needed to achieve an emergency intervention. The dynamic class describes how to reassign dynamically the vehicles and aims to ensure an optimal coverage of a territory. Next, the article sheds new light on several parameters used during simulation of coverage models. Each stage of the review paper is concluded by a comprehensive summary. This paper gives a critical overview of coverage models existing in the literature. Such a paper that combines the classification of existing models, the mathematical programming methods and the simulation parameters, extends the researches of emergency management system.
Keywords: hospital logistics; emergency service; deployment; redeployment; coverage location; ambulance.
Facility location in humanitarian relief: a review
by Ashish Trivedi, Amol Singh
Abstract: Humanitarian logistics and supply chain management have emerged as areas of research interest in the last decade, owing to increased frequency and impact of disasters. Facility location decisions are critical to the success of any humanitarian relief effort and thus have found significant attention from researchers and practitioners. This study aims to present current practices, trends and developments in facility location research. They are then used to identify and recommend areas for future research. A systematic review of existing literature is carried out over a period of eleven years (2005-2015) by classifying it exhaustively on basis of several dimensions such as disaster types, speed of occurrence, methodology adopted, model structure, objective functions, constraints and solution techniques. The literature is also categorised according to year of publication and journals. The paper establishes an agenda for future research in facility location domain of humanitarian logistics using an operational research perspective.
Keywords: facility location, disaster response, humanitarian logistics, optimisation models.
Improved spatial organisation of sensor networks to reduce wildfire impact
by David Budden, Xu Zhong, Mahathir Almashor, Kent Steer
Abstract: Wildfires are particularly dangerous in areas where communities colocate with regions of dense vegetation. Early detection helps minimise response time and community impact, with networks of wireless sensors widely accepted as the best available early warning solution. However, financial constraints often cause sensors to be spatially distributed in a sparse and random (or pseudouniform) manner. This paper presents a new approach to sensor placement by employing maps of wildfire impact. Such maps pinpoint ignition loci that lead to more destructive fires and hence, locations where early identification is essential. We leverage IBM Evacuation Planner (EVA) to generate these maps from a pipeline of simulation components including: fire progression, evacuee behaviour and traffic simulation. Accordingly, these yield insights into potential community impact, and from them, we propose and evaluate two algorithms for sensor placement. The effectiveness of our approach is demonstrated through a case study in Mount Dandenong, Victoria, Australia.
Keywords: simulation; wildfire; sensor placement; community loss.
Multi-objective optimisation model of emergency material allocation in emergency logistics: a view of utility, priority, and economic principles
by Daqiang Chen, Fei Ding, Huang Ying, Danzhi Sun
Abstract: This study presented a multi-objective optimisation model of emergency material allocation with a utilitypriorityeconomy allocation strategy. This strategy is suitable for a multi-depot and multiply affected area emergency logistics system. This proposed allocation strategy comprises three principles, namely, utility, priority, and economy. First, according to the analysis of the three principles, three objectives were set as the total utility of allocated emergency materials, total satisfaction of emergency requirement, and total cost of emergency material allocation. Second, the solution procedure for the proposed multi-objective optimisation model was designed on the basis of goal programming. Third, the model and the solution procedure were evaluated with a simulation case from the Wenchuan earthquake. Results confirm that this model and solution procedure can effectively address emergency material allocation problems with a more reasonable solution.
Keywords: emergency logistics; emergency material allocation; multi-objective optimisation; goal programming.
A literature review of methods for providing enhanced operational oversight of teams in emergency management
by Christopher Bearman, Benjamin Brooks, Christine Owen, Steven Curnin, Sophia Rainbird
Abstract: Teamwork is an important component of effective emergency management. From time to time teamwork will break down in the complex situations involved in managing emergencies. It is important for people who have operational oversight of these teams to be able to detect these breakdowns quickly and effectively. However, there is typically little guidance within many agencies about how best to do this. This paper reviews the literature on team monitoring by observers in emergency management and related domains and identifies four key approaches to monitoring teams by observers: 1) Coordination, Cooperation and Task-Related Communication (3C); 2) Information Flow (IF), 3) Linguistic Analysis (LA) and 4) Team Outputs (TO). These methods provide a number of different options that agencies involved in emergency management can use as the basis for developing enhanced operational oversight of teams.
Keywords: emergency management; teamwork; monitoring; wildfire; response; safety.
Sector prioritisation in Rabat region for emergency management
by Meryam Benabdouallah, Chakib Bojji
Abstract: Setting priorities of sectors in an emergency intervention is an important unit to improve the healthcare management of a city. The goal of this paper is to prioritise sectors in Rabat region of Morocco when two or more emergency calls are received in call centres of hospitals, using the Analytical Hierarchy Process (AHP). This prioritisation is based on social, demographic and proximity criteria that lead to rank the ten sectors of the region. The paper shows that the proposed AHP methodology is consistent and allows a real ranking of Rabat sectors.
Keywords: emergency service; AHP; hospital logistics; prioritisation; sector.
Mapping community diversity and e-participation in emergency management: evidence from WebEOC in the city of San Francisco
by Kyujin Jung
Abstract: While scholars and practitioners in the field of emergency management have investigated the nature of civic engagement, little research has been undertaken on the impact of community diversity on civic participation. Meanwhile, WebEOC, 'Emergency Operation Center in the Internet', is seen as a good tool to increase response capacity of emergency management through citizens participation. By using the WebEOC log history and American Community Survey data in the city of San Francisco, spatial autocorrelation and cluster analysis of the Arc Geographic Information System is used to analyse how community diversity affects civic participation in emergency management. The spatial analysis results show that the high level of e-participation in urban emergency management appears in highly dense block groups, such as central business districts and secondary commercial areas. In terms of the effects of community diversity, the results confirm that community diversity in income, occupancy, and tenure are spatially correlated in the block groups. The findings also provide theoretical insights into the nature of community diversity that accounts for citizens who participate in urban emergency management through social media, particularly providing critical information for mitigating hazards.
Keywords: e-participation; community diversity; emergency management; WebEOC.
Understanding emergency response: lessons learned from the helping literature
by Daphne Whitmer, Madeleine LaGoy, Valerie Sims
Abstract: The purpose of this paper is to demonstrate the need for collaboration between two areas of research: classical psychological helping behaviours and emergency warnings. A large-scale disaster (i.e., the Chicago heatwave) is used throughout the paper as an example in which knowledge of the helping behaviour literature could have assisted emergency responders. The emergency warning literature is reviewed within the context of people heeding the warnings and deciding to share the information with others. Developments in the helping literature are reviewed, along with a final summary of key lessons from this area of experimental research that can help answer questions for future emergency responders. With a better understanding of experimental findings in the area of prosocial behaviours, emergency managers may be better able to assist their communities. Likewise, a greater collaboration between these two fields may lead to more research with the intent of improving emergency response.
Keywords: emergency management; helping; communication; emergency warnings; emergency response; risk perception.
Resilience from the real world towards specific organisational resilience in emergency response organisations
by John Van Trijp, Kees Boersma, Peter Groenewegen
Abstract: In this paper, we present a quick overview of six types of resilience to present a minimalistic sketch of the resilience landscape and show the definitions for resilience originally have a mechanistic point of view (bounce back after disaster has struck), in contrast to the present day approach, in which adaptive learning capabilities embedded in strong network-relationships are of vital importance for resilience. Eventually we focus on organisational resilience for emergency response organisations. Organisational resilience is of great importance to an emergency response organisation to cope adequately with outcomes before or after a crisis emerges. We briefly introduce a quantitative organisational resilience model for Dutch emergency response organisations (Safety Regions). We present studies describing and clarifying the variables and attributes based on this quantitative model, and draw relevant conclusions.
Keywords: organisational resilience; keystone vulnerabilities; situational awareness; adaptive capacity; quality; emergency response organisation; quantitative resilience model; emergency management; emergency response.
The fire station location problem: a literature survey
by Esra Aleisa
Abstract: Urban fire causes significant threat to lives and property. The location of a fire station is critical to reduce response time and eventually increase the possibility of beating dangerous life-threatening flashovers. Fuzzy international standards, population density, traffic conditions, and distance to other existing fire stations and fire resources are some of the criteria considered in the fire station location problem. In this paper, we conduct a thorough literature survey of well-founded research that brings forth methodologies for better locations of fire stations . It compares methodologies that adopt fuzzy multi-objective optimisation, maximal coverage, geographic information systems, Genetic Algorithm, Ant Algorithm, Tabu Search, and Simulated Annealing to solve the complex problem with higher efficiency and in due course to increase the possibility of rescue and survival.
Keywords: fire stations; location; response time.
A reference decision model of first responders' decision-making
by Tony Rosqvist, Denis Havlik, Merik Meriste
Abstract: This paper introduces a generic decision model that connects three basic components in the response decision process: the stochastic information flow consisting of help requests and resource availabilities; situation awareness based on a spatiotemporal risk picture and response decisions allocating resources for response actions. The formalism utilised is the stochastic marked point process. The paper is written to support 'black-box' modelling of situation awareness in virtual training simulation, where a trainee's performance is compared with, e.g., the performance of experienced commanders with respect to key performance indicators (KPIs) obtained from such simulations. The paper also briefly discusses the use of the introduced decision model in developing agent-based models and simulations. It is also noted that the decision model encompasses the recognition-primed decision (RPD) model of naturalistic decision-making.
Keywords: response decision-making; situational risk awareness; common operational picture; emergency simulation; response simulation.
A lesson learned from the ferry Sewol sinking in South Korea in 2014
by Kyoo-Man Ha
Abstract: Owing to the superficial disaster response, so many passengers of the ferry Sewol drowned to death around the Jindo area in South Korea. The aim of this paper was to raise the significance of establishing a national disaster response framework by analysing the actions of the five major stakeholders in the recent tragedy: 1) the national and local governments; 2) the ferry captain and crew; 3) the mass media; 4) the rescuers; 5) the victims and their families. As a key tenet, the author maintains that Korea has to set up an in-depth response framework, just as advanced nations have, so as not to repeat such tragic circumstances should another disaster occur.
Keywords: ferry sinking; disaster management; manmade emergency; governments; disaster response framework.
Information extraction in emergency management missions: an adaptive multi-agent approach
by Ana C. Calderon, Peter Johnson
Abstract: With increasing demands for autonomous agents to work alongside humans in emergency management response (EMR), considerations of translations of human to machine language (and the converse) are timely. We present a prototype where the translation is dealt with by restricting communications to occur through a form of controlled natural language (CNL) (Fuchs and Schwitter, 1995). The prototype is new in that it allows for communications between both physical and virtual autonomous agents, agents are assigned different levels of autonomy, and it includes a level of information hiding that allows for information to be passed to relevant agents, whilst keeping those (humans) involved anonymous. A real-life mission is then used to exemplify how information is retrieved and communicated in the prototype. Finally, some usability experimental results are presented.
Keywords: human and autonomous system interaction; EMR; emergency management response; emergency information system.
Conflict and mental health: the experiences of people living with mental illness and disability amidst ongoing conflict
by Jacquleen Joseph, Asha Banu Soletti, Kautillya Basumatary
Abstract: Low- and middle-income countries (LMIC) house a majority of the displaced exposed to conflicts and the mental health consequences for these communities are well documented. Although there is an increasing recognition for mental health and psychosocial support (MH&PSS) interventions in LMIC, the efficacy of these interventions is often debated. Several approaches have emerged in response to these debates, but have limited influence on practice. Thus, several key issues such as the neglect of people with mental illness (PWMI) continue to persist. The paper revisits the approach to MH&PSS in LMIC by drawing from the lived experiences of PWMI living amidst ongoing conflict in Assam. The paper highlights the gaps in the current understanding that informs programming, and the need to reconsider the traumatic stress-based approaches to MH&PSS that do not address the mental health needs of large population groups and the most vulnerable like PWMI.
Keywords: disaster; ongoing conflict; mental health; psychosocial interventions.
A mathematical approach to model humanitarian aid distribution in disaster area
by Takoua Mastouri, Monia Rekik, Mustapha Nour El Fath
Abstract: This paper deals with the response phase of humanitarian relief. We model the first operations of distribution of humanitarian aid in a disaster area that correspond to a rich vehicle routing problem (VRP) where we aim at minimising maximum delivery time. Regarding the model attributes' complexity, we develop a column generation approach to solve the optimisation model. This approach relies on a specific pricing problem that generates routes with negative reduced costs to add to the master problem. These routes define the sequence of demand points to visit and the quantities to be carried to each one.
Keywords: humanitarian aid distribution; column generation; humanitarian logistics; vehicle routing problem; VRP; split delivery.
'Struck' in the midst of action: incident commanders from Denmark handling everyday emergencies
by Mikkel Boehm
Abstract: This paper investigates micro-sociological events which affect the construction and negotiation of sense in the handling of emergency situations. Through participatory observation and action-cameras attached to fire brigade incident commanders, critical events are identified and condensed. The effects of these critical events upon the incident commanders are analysed in dialogical sessions. The dialogical sessions reveal vulnerability when critical events affect them cognitively, but especially when affected emotionally and physically. Acknowledging and understanding the effect of these striking moments is the baseline from which incident commanders and researchers can gain insight into the realities of practice. This paper argues that in order to gain insight into the actual practice conducted in the midst of everyday action we need to shift our view of incident commanders from privileged sense-makers to privileged sense-facilitators.
Keywords: incident command; struck; emotions; everyday-perspective; sense-making; action-camera; learning; decision-making; practice-learning; fire-brigade; vulnerability.
Strengthening community emergency preparedness and response in threats and epidemics disasters prevention and management in Saudi Arabia
by Ernest Tambo, Ahmed Mohamed Fouad, Emad I.M. Khater
Abstract: Background: Increasing natural and man-made threats to communities and disaster vulnerabilities have been linked to globalisation, increasing urbanisation and climate changes. This review paper analyses the changing trend and pattern in natural and man-made evolving emergencies threats and disasters vulnerability, towards robust and effective emergency community-based preparedness, emergency response policy and programs in Saudi Arabia. Method: A systematic review was performed to assess community emergency readiness in man-made or natural threats and epidemics disasters in the Kingdom. Findings: Our results showed that man-made disasters were the most reported cause of fatality with over 3979 deaths from 1975 to April, 2016. Substantially, Saudi Arabia government commitment and investment efforts have been devoted to ensure adequate emergency management. However, the level of community emergency preparedness culture for all types of risk assessment and management still requires urgent attention in the context of emerging global health threats and epidemics. This paper provides a set of lessons learnt that are useful to foster and scale-up further policy-makers and emergency planners proactive emergency preparedness capacity, and communities resilience initiatives. Leveraging on aggregate annual Hajj and Umrah pilgrimage or mass gathering lessons learnt, global emergency response experiences and best practices are assets in scaling-up proactive and practical community/public and regional emergency security resilience. Conclusion: Strengthening evidence-based comprehensive sustained Saudi innovative community-based emergency partnerships, community surveillance and preparedness, resilient measures and best practices against threats and disasters is advocated.
Keywords: emergency; community; preparedness; resilience; mitigation; threats; epidemics; Saudi Arabia.
Special Issue on: TIEMS Jeddah Conference 2015 International Emergency Management and Disaster Response
King Abdulaziz University Hospital management of flood disaster
by Hassan Simbawa
Abstract: KAUH has remarkably uplifted its crisis management plan of action after the floods that hit Jeddah 2009. Several changes were brought about to the entire system, some of which were the activation of disaster plans and the incident command system. KAUH accommodated the numerous drowned victims brought about by the civil defence. Although the mechanical room in the basement was affected, functions of the critical care units were maintained. Although recovery took about two weeks, stable patients were discharged. The forecast has been included in university's mitigation plan, while the mechanical room's protection was strengthened and the renovation process included building of flood preventive structures. The second flood, which hit Jeddah in 2011, did not affect the university including the hospital. KAUH became a shelter for staff and victims. In addition to the disaster plan being revised and updated, the maintenance and renovation processes are still continuing.
Keywords: hospital flood disaster management; flood mitigation; Saudi Arabia.