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Asimakopoulou, E, Anumba, C J and Bouchlaghem, N M (2004) Emergency response management: a review of current approaches. In: Khosrowshahi, F (Ed.), Proceedings 20th Annual ARCOM Conference, 1-3 September 2004, Edinburgh, UK. Association of Researchers in Construction Management, Vol. 2, 1187–96.

  • Type: Conference Proceedings
  • Keywords: earthquakes; emergency response; disaster management
  • ISBN/ISSN: 0 9534161 9 4
  • URL: http://www.arcom.ac.uk/-docs/proceedings/ar2004-1187-1196_Asimakopoulou_Anumba_and_Bouchlaghem.pdf
  • Abstract:
    As is commonly known, there is a tight and complex relationship between infrastructure and lifelines. In this respect, civil engineers try to improve construction methods, materials and other aspects directly related to the strength and durability of buildings. Although individual structures may be designed to cope with unexpected events, such as earthquakes of a certain magnitude, there are instances where seismic activity can exceed the specifications and cause catastrophic results. As there is no method to foresee earthquakes, there will always be a concern to prove the structures' adequacy. When failures occur, there is the need for effective processes for emergency response - as part of the disaster management process - to control and manage available resources to save lives, property and the environment. Local authorities, rescue teams and civil engineers are called to work together to collect, analyse and assess relevant data via collaborative environments in order for an accurate picture to be pieced together. This paper reviews current approaches to emergency response management in earthquake situations and explores the extent of ICT usage. The pros and cons of existing processes are analysed and the opportunities for improvement identified. This paper concludes by presenting the problems caused by the incompatibility of data across distributed environments, the high stress of participants, the lack of common terminology between them, the breakdown of communication and information technologies, and finally the need for simultaneous interactions of decision makers for managing emergencies.