Disasters & Emergency Response Research

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We live in an era of profound risk and uncertainty, with climate change, healthcare challenges, pervasive technology, infrastructure vulnerabilities, and cybersecurity all creating new and enhanced threats at local, regional and national levels. We are researching highly creative ways that data from unconventional sources and low cost technologies can be used together to help emergency personnel, disaster economists and citizens better understand, prepare for, mitigate and respond to this new landscape. We are re-imagining situational awareness, emergency protocols and resource planning in a world awash with data and technology. We are doing this this through strong partnerships at the local, regional and national level with city government, fire, police and EMS departments and data providers.

Through a $1.4m grant from the Economic Development Agency (EDA) and in collaboration with the Center for Complex Networks and Systems Research and the Indiana Business Research Center at IU, we are researching how economic and other datasets can be brought together to identify regional and local factors that determine economic and disaster resilience and the most efficient use of interventions in communities to improve outcomes. You can read the news article on this grant.

We have also partnered with the City of Bloomington in a nationally recognized collaboration to explore innovative ways that data science, situational awareness and communications tools can be used to help realize a data-driven fire and emergency response capability. You can read a news article about this here.

David teaches an undergraduate/graduate class in this area called Informatics in Disasters and Emergency Response. He is also active in Social Media in Emergency Response and Digital Volunteerism communities, and was part of early experiments in virtual operations support (see for example this CNN article).