Information Management During Disasters
Good information management is key to the success of any large scale operation. Throughout the operation, decisions are being made constantly by all responders. Decisions that need specific information, need to be taken by specific people or are implemented by others than the decision makers need to be specially managed. Those involved in information management can be divided into three groups
A definite decision making process has to go into effect in times of disaster. How you make the right decisions efficiently is an important issue.
Information tools vary tremendously. In same cases responders have access to sophisticated equipment with computerized decision making software and data storage capability. Others simply have to use pen, paper and their memory. Regardless of the tools, a system needs to be in place to manage the information effectively.
Information management changes as the operation unfolds. The critical decisions change, some of which will be addressed to different people. Therefore the information and advice regarding the decisions also change. However, it is wise to resist changes within the group that manage the information. A well trained, experienced group that knows the information management system within the response system is like your vehicle on a mission – it may not be the main consideration of the mission, but if it breaks down you are not going anywhere and neither is the information.