The third meeting of the online international community studying information systems for crisis response and management, better known as ISCRAM to members, will be held May 14-17, 2006, at New Jersey Institute of Technology (NJIT).
“We are excited about this upcoming event,” said Murray Turoff, PhD, distinguished professor in the department of information systems at NJIT. Turoff is a founding member of the 900-member group as well as conference chair. “Our theme is the integration of phases of the emergency management and preparedness lifecycle,” he added. Topics will include planning, training, mitigation, detection, alerts, response, recovery, and assessment. Keynote speakers from industry and government will highlight each morning session.
New York City Chief Information Officer Gino P. Menchini opens the meeting May 15, 2006. Menchini will focus on both the accomplishments and challenges of NYC’s information technology preparedness for critical events. Of special interest will be his description of the creation and growth of NYC’s new 311 Citizen Service Center. Menchini will also describe the new citywide broadband wireless network for public safety. When completed, the network will provide a wireless backbone for applications running on both mobile and fixed devices.
Paul Currion, lead consultant for Humanitarian.info, will compare emergency responses to the devastating tsunami in the Indian Ocean and Hurricane Katrina during his May 16, 2006 keynote address. Currion’s talk will focus on how two cities, Banda Aceh and New Orleans, respectively handled humanitarian operations. Turoff noted that while domestic emergency management practice rely on one set of assumptions, humanitarian workers proceed on opposite premises. As a result there are differences in the design and implementation of information systems for relief and peace operations, compared with the requirements of emergency management. Comparing the responses to these two disasters, Currion will describe many of these differences.
Peter R. Wood, the emergency management planner for New Zealand’s Ministry of Civil Defense and Emergency Management, will speak May 17, 2006. Wood will discuss how his nation resolved civil defence emergency management risks and information management. “New Zealand is of great interest to emergency planners because of the nation’s location on the boundary of two tectonic plates,” said Turoff. “The plates make this nation more vulnerable to natural disasters such as earthquake, volcano, and tsunami. Worrisome, too, are the risks facing New Zealand that face any developed nation. Among them, the possible failure of energy, telecommunication, water and transportation systems, the presence of hazardous materials, biosecurity threats and/or commercial failures. Wood will detail risk assessment, mitigation and monitoring.
Today more than 900 members from 80 countries are registered in ISCRAM. More than 90 paper submissions for this third international conference were submitted. “We expect the quality of the accepted papers and sessions to be high,” said Turoff. “Half the papers submitted were from outside the US. Participants will also be able to take part in special panels about Hurricane Katrina and the auditor’s role in emergency management.”
For more information about attending the conference and hotel information, see http://ISCRAM.org or http://iscram06.njit.edu for details and online registration. More information about meeting arrangements, hotels and registration can be found at 800-624-9850. Email Turoff (firstname.lastname@example.org) for details about sponsorship and meeting content.