Three essays on emergency response information systems
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Emergency incidents (e.g., earthquake, hurricane, and flood) have greatly threatened the normalcy of the social and economic systems. Emergencies are typically characterized by high uncertainty; sudden and unexpectedness in terms of the incident location, magnitude, and scenario; great risk and possible loss of life and property due to the event and the slow response; severe resource shortages; and technology disablement in the devastated area, etc. Further, emergency may involve the response efforts from various functional teams and from multiple jurisdictions. Information Systems (IS) can aid in the management of emergency incidents by facilitating the information flow, supporting the decision making, and enabling coordination and collaboration. Despite of the growing interest in this area, IS research that helps with the information system design, implementation, and management is scanty. My dissertation attempts to address issues in emergency response information system design. Through three essays, this dissertation examines the broad areas in emergency response system design and further delves into some of the core issues that require immediate research efforts and improvement. Among the three essays, essay 1 theorizes the existing literature in emergency management and information systems to propose the fundamental design principles of emergency response information systems. On the basis of essay 1, essay 2 provides detailed accounts on the communication aspects in emergency response information system design and consequently develops data standards that strengthen communication capabilities in incident response. Essay 3 continues the success of essay 2 to create refined research methodology for data model development that ultimately results in further improvement in emergency communication support.