This paper aims to develop a web-based emergency management system for the government of Lazarus Island. In particular, this system will be used at the response stage of disaster management, and its key purposes will be to help coordinate the relief efforts of various governmental and non-governmental organizations. The first part of this paper will include an interview with the home office minister who will share his thought on the needs of various stakeholders like NGO workers, government administrators, and so forth.
Question: What kind of disaster management system (DMS) do you use at the moment?
Reason: This question aims to identify the drawbacks of the current DMS. The interviewee can point out those areas that require improvement.
Answer: Our current disaster management system is often criticized for its inability to fully involve NGOs. These organizations have to undergo a very time-consuming registration process; they need to provide the names, addresses, and insurance numbers of their workers. So, we often spend too much time on bureaucratic details. Besides, when these NGOs require resources, they also pass through a longsome verification process as we need to ensure that these people are really NGO workers, not some imposters.
There is also a problem with the way we report disasters, as we accept only our own people, our own police, and emergency people and as a result many people, who might be cut off essentials, are missed. What we need is to provide more opportunities for NGOs. Overall, our DMS is based on telephone and fax, rather than information technologies, and it is slightly archaic.
Question: Is the commanding control center located on the island or off the island?
Reason: we have asked this question to learn whether the government control center can control and monitor the activities of the emergency services. Furthermore, we needed to find out whether NGOs can easily contact the commanding control center.
Answer: It is actually located in the capital and there was one instance when we lost the CNC center but we also have a backup center located in the north of the island, which is less weather-beaten.
Question 3: What kind of equipment and resources do you have?
Reason: The new system will include a list of resources and equipment available to the government and NGOs. So, we need to know how to structure this list.
Answer: we have seventeen hospitals, located over the island, and we have two helicopters, one Hercules plane, ten fire stations and military personnel, comprising two thousand people. We have a lot of resources, brought in by donations from other governments.
Question: How do you keep updated on resources?
Reason: this question is crucial for our understanding of how the government keeps track of the available resources and how often this database is updated.
Answer: We do have an annual audit of supplies. For example, hospitals conduct annual audits of medical supplies and report the results to the government.
Question: How long does it take for resources to be moved where they are needed?
Reason: we need to understand whether the emergency management system can speed up the process of delivering resources to the population.
Answer: It depends upon where the disaster takes place and where the resources lend. Generally, it is a drive from one side of the island to the other like from the north to the south. It takes about a day and a half and that’s mostly because of the terrain conditions as it is not actually very flat.
Question: Where do the NGOs that help you come from?
Reason: This question is relevant as we need to know what languages the users speak, and how the language interface should look like.
Answer: The NGOs that help us are generally based in Canada and the United States.
Question: Is there data that needs to be migrated from the old system to the new one.
Reason: The answer to this question can help us to organize the database.
Answer. We need to transfer the profiles of NGO workers and the information about all our resources.
Question: What information does the system needs to provide to the people, who use it?
Reason: the question is crucial for the development of the user interface.
Answer: basically, it has to provide information about the resources available to us and their location. Besides, it has to give information about the employees, working NGOs.
Question: Who is going to have access to the system?
Reason: The answer to this question is important for determining non-functional requirements.
Answer: This system will be accessible to government administrators and NGO coordinators.
High-level functional Requirements
The high-level functional requirements for this system can be presented in table format:
|Primary Actor||Goal||Secondary Actor|
|Government Agency Administrator||
|Inquire about the losses, sustained by people to determine the amount of compensation||Insurance Companies|
|Obtain information about the current needs of the population such as food, housing, etc||Charity organizations|
|Evaluate the health care needs of the victims.||Medical organizations|
|Report an emergency||Local residents|
This emergency management system has to operate with such browsers as Mozilla Firefox (Versions: 2.0, 3.0, 3.5. 3.6), Opera (Versions: 4, 7, 8, 8.5,) Internet Explorer (Versions: 4-9), Google Chrome. These are the most popular web-browsers used by people nowadays and it is vital to make sure that this website will be compatible with them (Parsons & Oja, 365).
This system should be accessible via PC, laptop or various handheld devices, particularly smartphones. The key issue is that many people will not be able to access computers, especially when they are on a rescue mission. Therefore, it is vital that they are able to use this system with a help of a mobile phone.
User Interface requirements
In theory, this system must have at least two user interfaces: 1) the first one that provides information about the resources and personnel has to be designed for governmental administrators; 2) the second user interface has to meet the needs of NGO administrators and workers.
This website will be accessible to government agency administrators, NGO administrators and NGO workers. To some degree, it will remind an intranet system that is accessible to a limited group of users. Some users, especially NGO workers will be given part-time passwords, whereas governmental administrators will receive constant access to the system. In order to enter this site, a user will have to type its address, in other words, one would not be able to access it by using a search engine like Google or Yahoo as it decreases the security of the system (Janczewski, 15).
This website has to accommodate at least five hundred users at the same time with an estimated session of 24 hours.
The response time for the queries must not exceed 7 seconds. This is a minimal requirement for such systems.
This emergency management system will consist of four elements:
mapping and geo-location system;
resource management system;
organization management system, and
situation management system.
In this section, we will present a use case diagram of this website.
Government Administrator Insurance Companies
Liban Abokar. Use Case Story: the delivery of emergency services
At 8 a.m. John Smith, a local resident of Lazarus Island finds that there is a group of people, stuck in the house that is soon going to collapse due to the natural disaster. He immediately contacts a government coordinator and tells him that an emergency team is urgently required. In his turn, the coordinator runs through the database of NGO workers that is unoccupied at the moment and finds a team of the Red Cross including health care workers, safety officers, and fire suppression personnel.
He selects this team because they are in proximity to the accident site. He contacts this team by phone, and tells them that their assistance is needed in a certain location. They confirm the request of the coordinator. Finally, the coordinator updates their location status. This use case story illustrates the interactions between primary and secondary actors. Furthermore it shows how a web-based emergency management system can help the participants.
Sarfaraz Ahmed. Use Case Story: the request for resources
A team of NGO workers, under the command of Charles Carlin attempts to rescue a group of people who had been cut off from food and medical suppliers for about 24 hours. One of the victims requires urgent hospitalization. Charles Carlin telephones the government administrator and requests him to send a helicopter to the emergency site. In his turn, the government administrator verifies the identity of the NGO team by using a profile database and afterward checks the availability of helicopters through the resource management system. He finds an unoccupied helicopter that is stationed in the closest vicinity to the emergency site.
He tells the crew to fly to the emergency site as quickly as possible. Finally, the government administrator tells the NGO team that the helicopter is underway. This use case story exemplifies how various elements of the emergency management system are going to be used. In this scenario, we can speak about two components: the resource management system, organization management system and geo-location system.
Use Case Description
|Use Case||The Delivery of emergency services|
|Goal in context||To provide emergency services on time|
|Scope and Level||Situation management system and mapping system|
|Success end condition||Service, delivered on time|
|Failed End Condition||Delay or even failure to help the victims|
|Primary, Secondary Actors||Local Residents, government administrators, NGO workers|
|Trigger||Need for help|
|Channels to actors||By phone and online|
Janczewski. L. Internet and intranet security management: risks and solutions. Idea Group Inc. 2000. Print.
Parsons J. & Oja D. New Perspectives on Computer Concepts 11 Edition. NY Cengage Learning. 2008. Print.