For a successful emergency management (EM) it is crucial that all stakeholders use the same taxonomy. The team from the University of Vienna, UNIVIE (Rauner, Niessner, Sasse, Tomic) developed the S-HELP UNIVIE wiki which is a collaborative platform that provides main glossary terms, definitions, and standards for strategic disaster management related to the S-HELP project which will develop a Decision Support (DS) toolset for EM.

The taxonomy and main glossary terms for emergency management are based on international standard terms, scientific literature, and practice (World Health Organization, WHO; Centres for Disease Control and Prevention, CDC). For certain areas, glossary terms are provided if needed. The UNIVIE taxonomy currently consists of 29 figures and 806 glossary terms. The entire taxonomy contains 136 references to the literature.

Main stakeholder groups are identified including their common grounds. Terms for end user requirements and general terms for three disaster policy scenarios (chemical; infectious disease; flooding) are included and the required severity level is incorporated on a general level. Standards for interoperability are defined based on International Organization for Standardization (ISO) norms and EU guidelines in EM.

S-HELP wiki

The S-HELP wiki was developed using the wiki platform provided by University of Vienna, Austria and can be accessed via https://wiki.univie.ac.at/display/SHELP/. For EM decision makers who use the S-HELP DS tool, it is essential to understand the external emergency management environment influence on policy making. EM decision makers need to know what can happen and how disasters can be defined. Disasters also impact the emergency management environment. This knowledge is important for the development of the features of the S-HELP DS tool, the training of healthcare responders (stakeholders), and the development of disaster scenarios (disaster definition).

The illustration below shows the main entrance window of the UNIVIE S-HELP wiki. It displays the components of our taxonomy for the strategic context of disaster management which also serves as the main map for the UNIVIE S-HELP wiki. On the left-hand side of our UNIVIE S-HELP wiki, EM policy makers (end users) can:

  1. search for specific glossary terms,
  2. look-up figures and glossary terms related to certain chapters of the taxonomy for strategic context of disaster management,
  3. select definitions which are glossary terms that are listed in alphabetical order, and
  4. display the literature of the UNIVIE S-HELP wiki.


S-HELP Wiki main entrance window (developed by UNIVIE)

Furthermore, stakeholders can enter or select a glossary term from a list of 806 definitions shown at the left hand side of the UNIVIE S-HELP wiki screen which is displayed in Figure 2. For each glossary term, a title, description, and references to the literature (i.e., source, primary source) is provided. In the description field, several terms are highlighted which are hyperlinks to other glossary terms in our UNIVIE S-HELP wiki. For example the term  “Disaster” is illustrated below:


S-HELP Wiki glossary term "Disaster" (developed by UNIVIE)

Thursday, April 16, 2015