A general system architecture and design for the coordination of volunteers for agile disaster response
In the recent decade the evolvement and widespread success of new technologies in particular in the field of computing power, network bandwidth, mobile networks and wearable devices have prepared the foundation for completely new approaches in crisis management. Currently, we are at the edge that such new technologies for crisis management are becoming a real and practically applicable option, e.g. in the field of alerting, crowdsourcing, and crowdtasking. In parallel, we witness in the recent years that citizens are more and more willing to help during crisis and disasters, thus providing a large - yet unused - potential for agile support in disaster preparation and response. In many disaster situations the emergency personnel reach the limits of their capabilities. In particular during the isolation phase the support of such volunteers can be a valuable benefit for disaster response. With the help of new technologies crisis management can provide current on-site information via mobile devices in real time as well as organize and coordinate the activities of the volunteers at specific locations. In this paper we present the results of the research project ENSURE: a general architecture and a system design for the coordination of spontaneous volunteers for agile disaster response. With the expected broader implementation of such systems in disaster management in the future it is inevitable to elaborate such common technological foundations for practical mass applications.