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Improving Disaster Management: The Role of IT in Mitigation, Preparedness, Response, and Recovery
cipients, and tracking transactions. Web-based tools can enable faster and more secure claims processing.
Risk management tools with uncertainty modeling. Advanced modeling that incorporates experience with risk assessment, including cost-benefit metrics, of societal-scale systems before, during, and after disasters could improve mitigation and preparedness investment decisions.
Resilient materials and structures and deployable infrastructure betteradapted for the built environment. Building construction has been modified and existing buildings retrofitted with technology improvements for better earthquake survivability. Similar advances are possible to improve the resilience of communications infrastructure; better meet communications needs inside buildings or other enclosed spaces, including damaged structures; and provide advanced sensing and instrumentation of structures. Advances have implications for preparedness, response, and recovery. Hardened repeaters in buildings, low-frequency radios, and “bread crumb” repeaters deployed by first responders as they advance through a structure are some of the possibilities.
Replicated and secure medical databases. Patient records should be remotely available to authorized personnel. Patients can be tracked and medical records can automatically follow them within improvised medical facilities using RFID or other related technologies. Such capabilities raise obvious privacy issues, including whether and how to relax privacy constraints in a disaster situation.
Person tracking and reporting. Networking technology can allow family members a better means of connecting with one another—for example, by enabling standardized finder databases or database schema for collecting and disseminating people’s whereabouts.