5 Tips For Harnessing Data For Better Disaster Response

When a disaster strikes, emergency response is essential.
The history of Canada’s natural disasters have highlighted the importance of having a good, up-to-date and accurate database to support emergency operations. 

Each year, seismologists detect more than 4000 earthquakes in Canada and  in the surrounding regions. Canada has already suffered massive earthquakes, recording tremors of up to 8.1 in magnitude, according to the Natural Resources Service of Canada.

People can find themselves without electricity, without housing, without food, without water and without other necessities.

The ability to gather and assess large amounts of data during a crisis is one of the best ways to really help, whether the disaster is a hurricane or an earthquake.

Here are some suggestions to help emergency management agencies and other disaster response organizations prepare for the 2021-2022 disaster season…

1. Digitize Your Forms

The biggest benefit of digitizing your forms is how much time it saves you in an emergency.

The most common way to digitize a form is by using an online service. There are many services available, but the best ones will allow you to turn your paper forms into digital forms that can be filled out anywhere – even in offline environments.

Coral Collect can help you digitize your forms so that you can quickly communicate with team members and other agencies who can view and act on your data remotely.

2. Develop A List Of Local Hospitals, Shelters And Pantries

If you are planning to evacuate your home or business during an emergency situation, it is important that you have the necessary supplies on hand. You should also know where these resources can be found in case they become needed.

This will help ensure that you do not run out of food, water, medicine or other necessities when disaster strikes.

It may take some time for you to gather this information but once you start gathering it, you’ll find yourself with more options than ever before!

Scan this list into digital form so that everyone on your team can update and edit information. This way, if a hospital is closed, damaged or full, this information should reach your recovery teams immediately.

3. Coordinate With Other Agencies

Create a strategy that allows coordination with other response teams.

This may include:

●  Coordinating with the local police department to ensure they are aware of and prepared for any potential hazards or threats, such as an active shooter situation;

●  Coordination with fire departments in case there is a need to evacuate people from buildings;

●  Coordination with hospitals if there is a need to transport patients out of harm’s way;

●  Coordination with utility companies to shut off service where needed;

●  Coordinate with public works officials to determine whether roads will be closed during emergencies

A response app can notify other teams when supplies arrive, hospitals are closed, or shelters have opened.

4. Map Your Progress

Mapping your disaster response progress is important because it allows your team to review the map to see their progress on the scale of the disaster and to make changes as needed.

You can map your team’s recovery efforts and coordinate with other teams to ensure all activities and supply deliveries are location-bound and accessible. 

5. Publish Your Impact

After disaster recovery, it is important to share your impact and progress with the public, especially government agencies and other organizations. This data will inform them about how resources were allocated and what was needed to fully recover from the disaster.

Organization, coordination, and accurate and accessible data save emergency management agencies and other disaster response organizations time and lives.

The following are some examples of ways you can publish your impact:

●  Create a website or blog that provides information on your organization’s activities during an event and after its aftermath. 

●  Use social media to communicate directly with people who have been affected by disasters in their communities.

●  Publish reports detailing the results of your work. These may include:

○  A summary report describing the scope of damage caused by the storm/flooding;

○  An analysis of the causes of flooding;

○  The number of homes damaged by floodwaters;

○  How many residents evacuated due to flooding;

○  What actions were taken to mitigate future damages;

○  Recommendations for improving preparedness efforts.

How To Get Started

One of the biggest challenges facing emergency management agencies is collecting and analyzing data so that they can respond with the appropriate resources in a timely manner.

Every natural disaster is different; there is no way to predict what will happen or what the needs of those affected will be. But with mobile technology, rescue teams can be better prepared and organized to respond to these events.

Operating a mobile data collection platform such as Coral Collect allows these agencies to report damage, repairs and use of supplies in real or near-real time to their respective agencies.

Coral Collect is a solution that allows collecting, saving, and sharing data in the field in a collaborative way. This solution enables all levels of the organization to be involved in managing field data.

●  Technicians can collect data

●  Analysts can control operation monitoring, planning, and project management

●  Managers can execute performance analytics, user management, and create PDF reports

Click here to watch a video for an overview of how Coral Collect can help with emergency disasters responses!

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