As the US begins to recover from the aftermath of Hurricane Isaac, I am reminded of how knowledge management (KM) can be used to respond to disasters such as these.
The lack of response, or the inadequate nature of the response, has led to a need to increase the effectiveness and efficiencies of first responders.
Due to the nature of their work Disaster Response Teams (DRT), are usually first to arrive in a crisis situation. KM applied to DRTs – in particular, first responders – will enable the DRTs to arrive at the scene in a more timely manner, be equipped with the right knowledge of the situation, and have the right tools and technology to execute their job, putting them in a position to save lives.
When a disaster occurs, first responders often do not arrive in a timely manner, are not fully aware of the situation and are not fully equipped to handle the situation.
Applying KM to DRT first responders will not only save the lives of the people in the community, but in many cases the response teams themselves. When fully knowledgeable of the situation they are responding to, the team will increase the confidence of the community by delivering a faster, more efficient response, assuring the community that they will receive the help they need. Applying KM must begin with a comprehensive KM strategy that promotes a proactive stance and preparation before disaster strikes!
Knowledge management is not a “silver bullet”, however I believe it will make a difference.
As always I’m interested in receiving and responding to all comments on this post… be safe!