ABSTRACT

Efficient situation awareness and advice can be a boon to victims of emergencies. If decision makers are better aware of the situation they are in and similar situations that experts have handled in the past, and they are provided with advice, they will be in a better position to make prompt and meaningful decisions. Unconventional emergencies like earthquakes and terrorism are large-scale, sudden-onset, and repeating in nature, and thus create massive pressure on authorities and government agencies. The impact of such a calamity is global and transcends beyond social, economic, political, or geographic borders. A paradigm shift is required, with a holistic approach encompassing all facets of disaster management. The challenge is to strive toward preparedness backed by the coordination of all stakeholders. Efficient situation awareness is hampered by the temporal and spatial locality of human communications. Semantics-based decision support suggests utilizing semantic technologies during unconventional emergencies to spread situation awareness and provide advisory support.