Disaster informatics

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Disaster Informatics or crisis informatics is the study of the use of information and technology in the preparation, mitigation, response and recovery phases of disasters and other emergencies. It began to emerge as a field after the successful use of a variety of technologies in disasters including the Asian tsunami, September 11th and Hurricane Katrina.

Disaster informatics may involve incorporating social media content generated by people in disaster zones into humanitarian response plans based on satellite imagery and official emergency services procedures. Disaster informatics may involve crowdsourcing, participatory mapping or citizen science, with members of the public as 'everyday analysts'.[1]


The term was first used in a request for proposal response by D. E. Yarrington after the WTC communications problems were revealed. Subsequently, in 2002, a grant proposal was submitted to the National Institutes of Health/National Library of Medicine to begin the formal study of disaster informatics as it related to public health. This initiative emerged from her library and information science work at Jackson State University.

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  1. ^ Palen, Leysia; et al. (2010). "A vision for technology-mediated support for public participation & assistance in mass emergencies & disasters" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 24 December 2013. Retrieved 19 August 2014. {{cite journal}}: Cite journal requires |journal= (help)

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