Disaster Management: Critical Applications for Emergency Response

Planning the emergency response for disasters has many facets and moving parts for all first responders as well as local, state, and federal supporting agencies.  Cities and counties activate Emergency Operation Centers (EOC) with local police, sheriff, fire, rescue, and recovery teams while state authorities stand up an Office of Emergency Services (OES) composed of a variety of dedicated state services including the State Police, Highway Patrol, National Guard, and Naval Militia,  For large scale disasters, the federal government contributes a national response of agencies and departments that include the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), United States Coast Guard (USCG), United States Marshals Service (USMS), and other active duty military assets.

Civilian agencies like the Red Cross, shelter/relocation management, Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA), and lending institutions add extra value and expertise to dealing with the disaster. Additionally, many universities have researchers and Homeland Security programs that activate Visualization Laboratories and Simulation Tables to monitor the action of the disaster (flood, earthquake, oil spill, etc.), predict likely upcoming scenarios, and provide early warning/actionable intelligence to the responders and the public about the threats.

Mobile solutions are critical during these types of events. The ability to query and view data on a tablet or handheld device is critical when coordinating across various types of agencies with different response focuses. Tools like LexisNexis Accurint for Law Enforcement Plus (ALE+) identifies relatives, associates, and neighbors in affected areas for rescue and notification purposes.It also provides first responders with addresses to look for affected persons.

When securing a location affected by an emergency event (whether a man-made event or natural disaster), it is critical that first responders have access to an identity vertification solution. This ensures that the right people have access to the scene. LexisNexis Knowledge Based Authentication (KBA) can help authorities authenticate individual persons who have no identification left but are seeking access to homes, businesses, and shelters. It also provides identification information to authenticate individuals who are asking to access a crime scene or location off limits to the public.  This type of data is critical to not only keeping the scene secure, but to also allow victims access when they no longer have documents to vertify identity.

During an emergency response, it is also critical for first responders to have access to social media data generated in the area surrounding the event.This data is critical to not only gather evidence, but to listen to conversations about the event. Gathering evidence using a system that is compliant with federal guidelines is also critical for future prosecution. LexisNexis Social Media Monitoring (SMM) reports on social network communications of persons who are potentially trapped, unaccounted for, and missing from the disaster area. Creating a geofence around an area hit by a tornado or hurricane will help responders see any tweets or posts for help from potential victims who may be unable to communicate any other way. The posted photographs and narratives are also invaluable in reconstructing the chronology of events.

Public safety is often faced with looting and increased crime after disasters. The LexisNexis/BAIR Analytics tools can predict crime patterns of looters across multiple jurisdictions to aid in response. Since resources are often spread thin, it is important for law enforcement to use systems like ATACRAIDS to see hotspots for activity and deploy resources there at the proper times. The regional component of ATACRAIDS also makes mutual aid during these event easier to coordinate since responders can see calls for service and crime hotspots across jurisdictional boundaries.

Criminals that escaped or were released (Hurricane Katrina is a perfect example) eventually need to be located and re-incarcerated. LexisNexis Batch capabilities allow for hundreds of individuals, associates, and relatives to be located by address, vehicles, businesses, and phone number. Batch allows the data to be run quickly so that each name is not queried individually, saving first responders time when trying to locate dangerous indivuals.

The value of LexisNexis solutions to disaster response is exceptional. Lives and property can be saved, persons located, safety warnings predicted and pushed to the public, and reliable notifications made to families, friends, neighbors, and both government and private agencies.

 

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