Information for disaster management: back to basics
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To be prepared to manage a disaster implies to a great extent the availability of the necessary information. The managing of information and information technology is an important component of a disaster management plan. Information management therefore entails the creation of an information infrastructure with the data and information required for dealing with various phases of different kinds of disasters successfully. The growth in online information, and the ease with which everyone can add information to the WWW. creates the false idea that information will always be available and easily accessible. The correct information will, however, only be available if a disaster is anticipated, and the information that may be needed is collected and processed beforehand, so that it is available at the time it may be needed. The focus of this article is to discuss the creation and maintenance of a database with basic information for disaster management in the context of the various types of disasters that could occur in southern Africa; and also to explain the processes of · collation, processing and distribution of disaster information. The specific types of information that should be available in different disaster situations, and for different areas, will also be explained.
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