005Managing multi-agency communication and response i...

Blue sky Policy Alert 005

FP7 themes health agro ict nano energy environment transport ssh space security
ERA goals mobility infrastucture rtd institutions knowledge sharing  joint programming  cooperation 
Author(s)Joe Ravetz, Rafael Popper, Rob Ashworth, Thordis Sveinsdottir
Contributor(s)David Alexander, Joe Ballantyne, Alastair Brown, Steve Connor, Tony Diggle, Pierre Rossel, Anna Sacio
ManifestationSudden development
Potential impacts in Europe
people's lives
legislation & regulation
economy & business
defence & security
government & politics
environment & ecosystems
science & technology
Importance for EUCritical
Strategic attentionby 2030 Moderate  by 2050 Major
Type of impactVery negative
Inspired byBrainstorming session and group discussions in the iKNOW Workshop in Manchester (February 2010)
Related to
Keywords, , ,

Managing multi-agency communication and response in case of disasters.

Research topic

Climate change and changes in weather patterns have brought on increase in flooding across Europe. Increase in frequency of flooding as well as flooding in unprecedented locations has proved to be a great challenge for the organisation of response. Uninterrupted and clear communication between early warning systems and response bodies has proved to be an obstacle to successful management of preparatory methods and the aftermath of severe flooding.



The research could focus on communication technology with the aim of improving multiagency communication during instances of flooding by using new developments in ICT. Research should focus on how best to improve early warning systems and their communication with regulatory and response institutions (e.g. government, rescue, police, fire services and ambulance teams) as well as the general public. Research could also focus on ways of managing the aftermath of severe flooding and take into account organisational confusion, controlling of civil unrest and mass migration to higher lying areas.


Expected impact

The research should lead to a) design of a communication that is capable to handle multiagency communication; b) utilise new IC technologies to ensure uninterrupted communication c) assist in development of a flooding response system; d) pilot bottom-up approaches (i.e. exploring possible ways of engaging civil society) in disaster management.


Importance for Europe

Flooding is fast becoming one of the grand environmental challenges in Europe. Fast response and uninterrupted communication between early warning systems and response bodies is vital so that loss of human life and damages to infrastructures can be minimized. It is important that EU forms a coherent disaster response that could guide member states in forming their practices. It is important that research underpins innovation and the development of new communication technologies so that it may be designed to the highest standard.


Disclaimer: The wild card presented in this brief may not happen at all or in the near future. iKNOW is a new EU funded research project aimed to explore surprising events (wild cards) and emerging issues (weak signals) potentially shaping or shaking the future of Europe and the world.
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