Common Information Space as Enabler for Collaboration in Disaster Management

of all actors involved in and management is an imperative pre-requirement for minimizing damage and losses in case of incidents. In order to enhance the opportunities of improved information exchange between involved stakeholders the “Common Information Space (CIS)” has been designed and developed (within the EU funded FP7 project EPISECC, to enable seamless information exchange between different practitioners involved in European crisis and management. The concept of the CIS ensures that the organizations participating in the information processes can continue to use their proprietary IT solutions applied for . Unobstructed information exchange between IT solutions of different origin can be realized by developing an adaptor to the CIS only once. Such an approach reduces complexity in a considerable way. For instance, in case of 5 interacting organizations the CIS concept requests to develop 5 adaptors instead of 20 interfaces in case of interfacing each of the 5 tools on a bilateral way. In addition, with the EPISECC CIS, it is possible to semantically annotate exchanged messages as well as to set up subgroups of participating organizations in order to manage different types of incidents in parallel. This ensures that messages are only shared between the organizations involved in the management of a specific event.

Supported Use Cases

Data/information flow between local emergency management (LEMA) authority and infrastructure providers

Beyond information from responders, LEMA needs data from external sources as well, e.g. meteorological, hydrographic or seismic data and forecasts, status of critical infrastructure, traffic data. Such external information is available in various formats on different channels and can be linked to the EPISECC CIS by specific adaptors. Continuity of critical infrastructure is crucial for successful management. Including critical infrastructure providers in a specific information channel and alerting chain helps optimizing the maintenance of critical infrastructure.

Related CM functions

Information interoperability stakeholders

Data/information flow between responders and the local emergency management authority (LEMA)

Since LEMA is dependent on data/information that is received from responding organisations (their specific situational awareness) the establishment of information in the CIS of great importance.

LEMA is the entity in need/in charge of the (common operating picture (COP). LEMA is responsible for taking the overall tactical decisions for the disaster relief operations. In short, these decisions comprise WHO has to perform WHAT activities WHERE and WHEN (eventually together with WHOM). Such decisions together with accompanying information are usually communicated during briefings of the LEMA with all responding organisations. Covering this in the CIS information elements and mechanisms is a great contribution to the efficiency and the quality of a collaborative mission execution.

Related CM functions

Information interoperability

Data/information flow from responders to responders

A standardised information exchange between responders is currently neither state of play nor established frequently. Nevertheless, a systematic exchange of data/information regarding the General situation in the affected area and the Threats and Damages is a great value for every responding .

Related CM functions

Challenge of sharing commonly understandable information
System integration via Common Information Space (CIS)
CIS - general architecture
CIS - adaptor cocept
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