Workshop Summary: WP2 status meeting in Bari
On 15th of October 2014 a workshop has been organized for future users of the C2-SENSE system in order to discuss the most critical issues encountered during the emergency management that can be addressed by the C2-SENSE project.
In the previous months a questionnaire was sent to all Organizations operating in emergency management, in order to focus on critical issues. A brief description of what IT tools usually are used during an emergency management situation was also requested. The results of the questionnaires were presented by InnovaPuglia during the workshop.
The workshop, organized by InnovaPuglia and Regione Puglia, was held in Italy at the headquarter of InnovaPuglia. The participants were:
Project C2SENSE Partners
Prefecture of Foggia
Prefecture of Bari
Province of Bari
The topics discussed can be summarized as follows:
1) New types of interoperable sensors
The C2-SENSE system to be developed should ensure the possibility of adding, also in successive stages, new types of interoperable sensors, in order to be an open and flexible system in the future evolution and expansion.
2) XML Alert Messages over e.g. Web Services
The system must be able to manage XML messages through the use of web services. In fact, any information that is exchanged between two actors in the system must be interpreted by computer, and must be stored and processed by the system in order to be easily used in decision-making and analysis to be applied in the process of prevention, emergency management, and when the emergency is over.
The systems currently in use do not structure the data in this way.
3) Social media connection
The simplicity and immediacy, concerning the use of computer systems, are two essential characteristics especially in the handling of emergencies. This was repeatedly underlined by the end users present at the workshop. For this reason, currently one of the most used tools to communicate and share information such as images or textual content is the social network. The system to be implemented must therefore maintain this connection to the world of social media, or integrate this functionality, adding new ones if deemed appropriate. This clearly raises the issue of data privacy.
4) Communication through SMS
One of the most frequent problems during the emergency management concerns the difficulty of communication between the different actors involved in the decision-making process and rescue personnel present on the site of the disaster. For this reason it is vital to maintain active and working more communication channels. The system must therefore integrate and provide the ability to communicate also through SMS, which currently represents one of the most used tools in these cases.
5) EDXL enabling
To ensure interoperability and exchange of data, the system for emergency management shall be in accordance with the standard EDXL. The Emergency Data Exchange Language (EDXL) is a suite of XML-based messaging standards that facilitate emergency information sharing between government entities and the full range of emergency-related organizations. EDXL standardizes messaging formats for communication between these parties.
6) Resilience and consistency of the communication channel
A physical layer and data-link are important to ensure the resilience of the consistency of the communication channel in order to ensure physical interoperability.
7) DSS (Decision Support System) support
Although the system should not replace the human operator, especially in more important and more critical decision-making processes, it can and should be helpful to consider the enormous amount of data and the complexity of emergency scenarios. Then the system of emergency management should suggest the best solution in reference to a specific situation and lead the human operator to the correct decision.
The participants pointed also out that the actual communications systems are not able to support software interoperability and that it is necessary to know the emergency management procedures implemented in other countries as well. End users suggest that it is better to divide the problem of sharing information:
A central system where all data are collected
The use of radio network instead of cellular network because the radio network gives the possibility of utilize the concept of role based access control and also an independence from a shared media
Also the use of the radio gives the possibility to know if the information was transmitted (acknowledgement of information).
After the workshop there was a tour of the operations room of the Civil Protection of Regione Puglia.
Thanks to the representatives of the organizations for the participation in the workshop and for the filling of the questionnaires.