Disaster is an unfavorable or grievous occasion, or grave disaster, or only an event that causes extraordinary death toll, damage or harm and loss of property. Disaster is a sudden hardship or disaster or ruinous happening that causes far reaching pulverization and trouble. Further, calamity is characterized as an emergency circumstance causing boundless harm which far surpasses our capacity to recuperate. The term disaster originates from French word “Desastre” which is consisted of two words ‘des’ meaning bad and ‘aster’ meaning star. Thus the term refers to ‘Bad or Evil star’. Data and Communication Technologies (ICTs) can be utilized to support disaster risk management (DRM) during emergency and in the time of planning and reconstruction. This can play a catalytic role in disaster risk management. Those roles are:
i. To Link scientists, disaster mitigation officials, and the public.
ii. To check approaching hazards, alert authorities, warn the people most likely to be affected, assess damage, collect information, supplies and other resources, coordinate resource and relief activities, account for missing people.
iii. To educate the public about disaster preparedness, motivate public, political and institutional responses
Traditional disaster management model, as shown in following figure is the four phase model: mitigation, preparedness, response and recovery.
Although it is at the phases of response and recovery that disaster-related issues receive the most attention, mitigation and preparedness are being recognized as key phases that will save lives and contribute to sustainable social and economic development. Recent studies have demonstrated that each dollar put resources into calamity readiness spares lives, as well as spare between US$ 4 and US$ 7 in philanthropic alleviation and remaking costs after a debacle happens (UNESCAP, 2008). Response are the activities followed by a disaster. These activities are designed to provide emergency assistance for victims (e.g. Search and rescue emergency shelter, medical care, mass feeding, etc).
Most updated and common information and communication technologies (ICTs) used in disaster risk management are given here-
Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) in Disaster risk management (Response)
Technology Benefits Mode of use
Television Benefit for all Video and live massage to all
Radio Benefit for all Voice massage for all
Satellite Radio Reachable everywhere Usable for specific point
Amateur Radio Rural and remote communities For remote area
Cell Broadcast Targeted to geographic regions sends messages on a one-to-many basis
Transcivers Point to Point contact Person to person
Fixed Telephone Quick massage transfer Fixed User
Mobile phone Direct and person to person phone. Voice call or SMS within network.
SMS Quick massage to group for quick response Through mobile phone
Internet/Email Interactive massage to multiple sources. Through broadband or wi-fi.
Loud Speakers Possible all time with power Only possible in local situation
Sirens Unspecified massage all times For rural people. Possible at night.
Emergency bell Local administration Community people
ultra-high-frequency radio work over relatively long distances generally work on a line-of-sight principal, but can be bounced against the ionosphere for longer distance communication
Satellite Mobile most convenient and rapidly deployable means of telephony and Internet access Maintained by satellite communication system.
Social media Emergent channel of communication Social networks, such as Twitter and Facebook.
Using Mapping and remote sensing system
Remote sensing refers to the way toward recording data from sensors mounted either on satellites or flying machines. Earth perception satellites, for instance, can be utilized to see a similar region over extensive stretches of time and consequently make it conceivable to screen ecological change, human effect and regular procedures. This information is likewise utilized by national meteorological agencies, which are regularly in charge of starting alerts concerning climate related disasters (storms, surges, and tornado). In many nations, these organizations additionally depend vigorously on ground-based systems of radars.
GIS and Remote Sensing
Geographic information technology tools like Geographic Information Systems (GIS) and Remote sensing (RS) support all aspects of disaster management. GIS and RS are fundamental as successful readiness, correspondence and preparing for disaster management. GIS can give one of the essential parts for Computer supported dispatch (CAD) framework. Emergency response based at settled areas can be chosen and directed for emergency response. The specific GIS applications in the field of Risk assessment are:
– Hazard Mapping; Threat Maps; Disaster Management; Records Management
Nevertheless satellites have a few confinements in their application for response activities. The most clear is that various satellites can’t see through mists. Numerous huge scale disasters, for example, cyclones and floods are generally associated with periods of heavy cloud cover, and as a result the ability to image the ground is greatly restricted.
Crisis mapping tools
In recent years, there has been an emergence of volunteer-organized, online networks that provide mapping and data collection services to aid in disaster response efforts. The International Network of Crisis Mappers (http://crisismappers.net) is one such community of volunteers. The volunteers, who have varying levels of training and experience, collect and analyse data using a variety of freely-available tools. This information is then relayed to responders on the ground in the disaster-affected area. Ushahidi (http://www.ushahidi.com/) is an example of one tool used by crisis mapping networks.
Web mapping systems
In the past, GIS systems, such as ArcGIS, have been expensive to implement and have required highly specialized skills. However, in recent years an array of new “web mapping” tools have come on the market, notably Google Maps (http://maps.google.com), Bing Maps (http://bing.com/maps), and Open Street Map (http://www.openstreetmap.org). These tools support many of the capabilities of the older generation of GIS systems, but provide a less complex interface that is more easily embeddable in other web-based tools. For example DEWETRA, which is a system designed and operated by the Italian government for flood and wild-fire forecasting.
Drone-based aerial imaging
During disaster situations where highly localized, inexpensive aerial photography with a quick turnaround time would be advantageous, disaster management offices may consider the use of unmanned aircraft, or drones, as a means of information collection.
Using Terrestrial wireless network services
Broadband Internet and Cellular mobile, are useful when they are connected to local and global backbone networks, mostly through terrestrial infrastructure, such as optical fibre. In many emergency situations, this infrastructure has either been destroyed by the disaster or has not been available. To address emergency situations in high risk areas, it is therefore important for wireless networks to have reliable backup and rapid deployment capacities that are not dependent on terrestrial fixed infrastructure, such as ground- or satellite-based wireless transmission.
Fig: Terrestrial wireless network
In the time of disaster the general people get perplex and amid flare-up of any catastrophe like violent wind, surge or quake or some other regular disasters the readiness and reaction are critical response are very important part of mitigation management. Thus the use of Information Technology plays a very important role in case of disaster or emergency management.
Barrett, E.C., Beaumont, M.J. and Herschy, R.W. (1990). “Satellite Remote Sensing for Operational Hydrology: Present Needs and Future Opportunities.” Remote Sensing Review, 4(2), 351-466.
Drabek, T.E. (2005). “Theories relevant to emergency management versus a theory of emergency management”. Journal of Emergency Management, 3(4), 49-4.
Kader, P. (2015). “Complexity in Disaster Management in the Pacific Island Nations, Recommendations for Multi?hazard Risk Reduction with Common ICT Platform”. Doc, WDMC?6/Doc.