iQRP (the iSchool Qualitative Research Project) on Disaster Response Information Management has published its first report on the March 22, 2014 Oso/SR530 landslide response (Informational Challenges in Early Disaster Response: The Massive Oso/SR530 Landslide 2014 as Case in Point by Hans J Scholl, Stephanie Ballard, Sarah Carnes, Andy Herman, and Neal Parker). The manuscript passed a rigorous peer review and was accepted for presentation at the prestigious Hawaii International Conference on System Sciences. It focuses on the challenges responders had to master when establishing “situational awareness” and a “common operating picture,” which guided the response efforts. The manuscript discusses, how the management of information during a disaster response can be improved. The research group currently also investigates the specific “managerial challenges” responders faced during the incident response. The results of this sub-project are expected to be published later in 2017.
Concurrently, the group empirically investigates the same challenges responders faced during the Cascadia Rising Exercise of June 2016 (CR16). This simulation of a catastrophic incident (a magnitude 9.0+ earthquake and a subsequent tsunami) in the Pacific Northwest involved about 20,000 professional responders as participants, which makes it one of the largest exercises of its kind ever. Many of the CR16 participants were also involved in the Oso/SR530 incident response.
The iQRP team will compare the results of the two studies in order to derive important insights about how the internal and external information management in disaster response can be improved. We will update on the progress of the project and the various iQRP sub-projects here.