Data Fusion Aiding Tool (DAFAT) Design for Emergency Command and Control Using Lean Principles

Data Fusion Aiding Tool (DAFAT) Design for Emergency Command and Control Using Lean Principles

Obafemi Balogun (Livingstone College, USA) and Edem G. Tetteh (Potomac State College of West Virginia University, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-7320-5.ch008


Disaster events, such as September 11, 2001, Hurricane Katrina, and the Southeast Asian Tsunami, have taught America and the world the importance of preparing for emergency response to a disaster that may arise from natural disasters or man-made disasters. Decisions regarding emergency response often rely on incomplete information and imprecise data, whereas responsive measures to disasters must be efficient in time and effective in accuracy to minimize possible loss of lives and properties. The domain of emergency response requires the interaction and collaboration of multiple stakeholders with different standard operating procedures. Excluding lean principles in the design of the emergency management information system can be as devastating as the disaster itself. This chapter analyzes the impacts of lean principles in the understanding of command and control, its nature, and the characteristics of an emergency domain, providing better insight into the problems associated with information processing during emergency response planning.
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Sample Emergency Scenarios

Hurricane Katrina

Hurricane Katrina, a category 4 hurricane, surged the gulf state region on August 29, 2005. Thousands of people lost their lives and many properties were destroyed. According to Jefford (2005), over 90,000 square miles of the gulf coast area were declared as disaster areas; New Orleans, one of the cities affected, had 80% of its area covered by floods, which resulted from the broken levees. According to the congressional testimony of Security Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security Michael Chertoff,, Hurricane Katrina caused about 1.5 million people to evacuate the gulf coast area, destroyed about 250,000 homes, resulted in 1200 lives lost and caused an estimate of 600,000 people to require shelter (Chertoff, 2005). More notably, Hurricane Katrina posed many problems for the C2 decision makers, including:

  • Lack of accurate, timely and reliable information about the condition of the incident;

  • Lack of coordination between levels of government;

  • Destruction of the communication infrastructure;

  • Inadequate logistics planning;

  • Overwhelming demand for local and state resources; and

  • Lack of robust and flexible C2.

Hurricane Katrina was massive, and its effects were beyond the planning and resource capabilities of the local, state, and federal governments.

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