Technology In Emergency Management Term Paper

Technology in Emergency Management Following the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, emergency managers across the country have been forced to reexamine their emergency response protocols and incorporate the latest technologies in an effort to help mitigate the effects of future disasters and emergencies. This paper provides a review of the relevant peer-reviewed and scholarly literature to determine how technology has shaped the way emergency managers mitigate disasters, including a discussion concerning the technology that was used as well as the different organizations that are responsible for emergency and disaster preparation. Finally, a summary of the research and important findings are provided in the conclusion.

Review and Discussion

How Technology Has Shaped the Way Emergency Managers Mitigate Disasters

The frequency of manmade disasters, natural disasters, and complex disasters is increasing, and the incidence of their occurrence rate is also increasing (Lu & Xi, 2007). In recent years, a number of computer- and Internet-based technologies have emerged to help emergency managers mitigate disasters (Fincher, 2004), with geographical information systems representing some of the more promising applications that can be used to support the decision-making processes during emergency risk management (Lu & Xi, 2007). Emergency managers are also using computerized simulation models to better comprehend human...


Supporting these innovations are numerous general and specific technologies which are discussed further below.
Types of Technology Used

As noted above, emergency managers are using existing technologies as well as an emerging array of technologies that are more specifically tuned to their needs. For example, Fincher (2004) reports that, "Today, there is a plethora of technologies available to help emergency managers respond to crisis situations" (p. 31). Among the existing technologies that have proven efficacy for mitigating disasters and emergencies is emergency telephone notification. According to Fincher, "When implemented correctly, emergency telephone notification uses the best communications, mapping, database management, and Internet technologies available to provide a tool that operates like 911 in reverse" (p. 31).

The emergency telephone notification system provides emergency managers with the ability to specify an area that is expected to be affected by a disaster or emergency, record situation-specific messages in response, and transmit these messages to all citizens with telephones living in the affected area, all in a matter of minutes (Fincher, 2004). This technology is considered especially valuable because…

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