Operationalizing mobile applications for humanitarian assistance/disaster relief missions
Summerville, Carlton B.
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When a natural disaster, such as an earthquake, has occurred, the critical information communications technology (ICT) infrastructure is often completely destroyed or damaged to a point of ineffectiveness. For first responders, such as the military, government relief agencies, and non-governmental organizations, quick and reliable communication tools are essential for carrying out their missions. As technology continues to evolve, more tools are becoming available to first responders in humanitarian assistance and disaster relief (HA/DR) missions. These tools are improving relief strategies in many ways by providing real-time or near real-time situation updates and data essential to the mission. There are mobile applications under development and commercially available are aimed at improving the ability of HA/DR responders to make assessments. This research assesses the implementation of applications used on mobile devices while enhancing the ICT of the disaster area for first responders during HA/DR missions. This includes a setup of a hastily formed network in order to establish a wide area network to provide a network for the applications to work. The use of such applications can drastically improve information sharing, interoperability, command and control, and coordination among responders between all agencies involved.
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