Think about it: In addition to the physical supplies needed by individuals responding to disasters, what digital supplies could be valuable in their response efforts?
In this section, we will consider the use of a digital go bag for disaster preparedness and response.
People who may respond to disasters have "go bags"—bags packed and ready to go—to grab quickly if they are deployed. A go bag might contain items like:
Think about it: This is not a complete list of items in a disaster response go bag, but it gives a sense of what might be included. What else is critical in disasters but is not included in the list above?
Items found in a typical disaster go bag
Information is consistently listed as an area that needs improvement in disaster response. People make decisions throughout the disaster cycle—preparedness, response, and recovery—based on the information they have.
Think about it: How is information used during an emergency? More specifically, how is information used in:
Types of information that might be needed in a disaster include:
We have established the importance of information in disaster planning, response, and recovery. We have listed some types of information that are needed. Responders need this information in a portable format that they can access easily on demand, especially as Wi-Fi and cellular service can be unreliable in emergencies. Any information that can be downloaded ahead of time is especially valuable. Information on a mobile device (smartphone or tablet) is a space-saver because those devices have large storage capacities relative to their small size. Mobile applications (apps) literally provide access to the information you need at your fingertips, right when you need it.
“In the wake of Hurricane Sandy, a large number of people extensively downloaded and accessed emergency preparedness smartphone apps. The use of these apps helped responders and survivors access critical disaster-related information despite widespread power outages throughout the disaster areas.”
Source: Hurricane Sandy: Smartphone Applications Provide Critical Information to Sandy Responders and Survivors; with permission from LLIS.gov
This course primarily focuses on:
We strongly recommend that you practice using the apps presented in this course during the disaster preparation phase. Then, when a disaster occurs, you will already be familiar with them and know how to use them.
In this section, we covered the following main points: