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Categorizing and Indexing Community-Based Resources. Douglas Troy, Miami University Resource Data Center. Emphasis on the local community.

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Categorizing and indexing community based resources

Categorizing and Indexing Community-Based Resources

Douglas Troy, Miami University Resource Data Center

Emphasis on the local community

Governments alone cannot achieve significant, sustainable risk reduction: Greater emphasis must be placed on local approaches (Turoff et al., 2003; Benson et al., 2001).


disaster preparedness (CBDP)

CBDP = Local capacity building that leverages knowledge and capabilities of local community resources:

  • Basic needs: Food, clothing, shelter

  • Health care and equipment

  • Transportation

  • Equipment: generators, lighting

  • Heavy equipment and operators

  • Animal care

  • more

Community resources:

Used by NGOs and gov’t agencies

  • Successful implementation of CBDP requires understanding of the local communities (Allen, 2006).

  • Community-based disaster responders including Red Cross and Salvation Army are well equipped to implement CBDP. These workers assess the needs of disaster clients and connect them with needed assistance.

  • EMAs also need community resources.

Mobilizing community resources can be difficult
Mobilizing community resources can be difficult

Many emergency response organizations use printed resource directories of community resources:

  • Out of date when printed.

  • Cannot be updated in real-time.

  • Cannot be shared easily with neighboring communities and regional or national emergency workers.

Information technology is underutilized

  • Researchers expect an increasingly important role for IT in information sharing in disaster preparedness and response (Arnold et al, 2004).

  • Recent study found 42% of local community web sites have no disaster-related content and 2005 hurricane disasters had little effect on municipal website content (Basolo et al., 2006).

Critical component: Local resource database

A database of community resources is a critical component for CBDP (Turoff et al., 2003):

  • Documents physical, informational and human resources.

  • Indexed for easy searching.

  • Readily available, Internet or off-line.

Community disaster information system cdis
Community DisasterInformation System (CDIS)

Miami University and American Red Cross study of a database to support CBDP:

  • 3 year study funded by NIH/NLM.

  • 7 Red Cross chapters and an emergency management agency.

  • Central database, Internet portal, and applications for mobile laptops and PDAs.

Project timeline
Project timeline

Prototype funded by Microsoft and Miami, supported by Cincy and Dayton Red Cross

Greater Cincinnati/ Hamilton EMA

May ‘06



Development and testing funded by NIH/NLM, supported by Red Cross national

Focus for session resource categorization and indexing
Focus for session: resource categorization and indexing

  • A comprehensive categorization of resource types is required for database indexing and searching.

  • NERIN project produced in a taxonomy of disaster services (

  • NERIN taxonomy is insufficient to support CBDP.

Airs 211 taxonomy used as foundation http www 211taxonomy org
AIRS 211 taxonomy used as foundation(

(Licensed from AIRS/211 LA County)

  • Basic Needs

  • Consumer Services

  • Criminal Justice

  • Education

  • Environmental Quality

  • Health Care

  • Income Support and Employment

  • Individual and Family Life

  • Mental Health Care and Counseling

  • Organizational/Community Services

  • Target Populations

Taxonomy hierarchy example http www 211taxonomy org
Taxonomy hierarchy example(

  • B Basic Needs

    • BD Food

      • BD-150 Community Wide Food Storage Facility

      • BD-180 Emergency Food

        • BD-180.820

          • BD-180.820-18 Drinking Water

          • BD-180.820-33 Ice

    • BH Housing/Shelter

    • BM Material Goods

    • BR Temporary Financial Assistance

    • BT Transportation

Categories of resources for disaster preparedness
Categories of resources for disaster preparedness

Our study identified approximately 800 resource categories (including 700 bottom-level categories) to support community-based disaster preparedness and response.

Our pilot database has approximately 6,000 records with 11,000 indices.

The following is a high-level overview of the categories identified.

Basic needs
Basic Needs

  • Food (pantries, water, baby, ethnic)

  • Shelter/Housing (crisis shelters, supportive housing, building materials, utility connection/repair)

  • Material goods (generators, household goods, personal goods, financial assistance)

  • Transportation (auto rental, bus service, ferry service, disability and medical transport)

Criminal justice legal
Criminal justice / legal

  • Correctional facilities (county, state, federal)

  • Law enforcement agencies (state, municipal, sheriff)

  • Legal services (towed vehicles, immigration)

Environmental quality
Environmental quality

  • Communicable disease control

  • Domestic animal services (animal shelters, veterinary services)

  • Environmental protection (hazardous materials control)

  • Municipal services (building codes, port facilities, sanitation, street lighting, emergency street clearance, traffic control, utility line location, waterworks)

  • Public health (disease control, hazards cleanup, pollution testing, pest control)

  • Public safety (emergency rescue, fire services, safety advisories, safety equipment)

Health care
Health care

  • Emergency medical care (medical transport, emergency care, intensive care, screening, supportive services, mercy flights, pharmacies, vaccine depots)

  • Mother/infant care

  • Inpatient facilities (hospitals, nursing facilities)

  • Medical labs

  • Outpatient facilities (clinics)

  • Specialized treatment (burns, dialysis, immunizations)

  • Specialized (dental, obstetrics)

  • Substance abuse

Income support and employment
Income support and employment

  • Job finding assistance

  • Volunteer programs

  • Public assistance (general relief)

  • Medical public assistance

  • Nutrition related public assistance (food stamps, WIC)

Individual and family life
Individual and family life

  • Death certification / burial arrangements

  • Day care (adult, child)

  • Interpretation/translation

  • Mutual support groups

  • Protective services

  • Hotels/motels

  • Volunteer opportunities (equipment operators, disaster services)

Mental health care and counseling
Mental health care and counseling

  • Mental health facilities (inpatient, outpatient)

  • Outpatient mental health care (crisis intervention, counseling)

  • Psychiatric/mental health services

Organizational community services con t
Organizational/community services (con’t)

  • Community groups (mental health associations)

  • Facilities/community centers (civic centers, drop in centers

  • Travelers assistance

  • Disaster services (government agencies and offices)

  • Disaster preparedness (equipment and supplies, kits, information, partnerships, planning and response)

Organizational community services con t1
Organizational/community services (con’t)

  • Disaster mitigation (relocation, protective measures, insurance)

  • Disaster warnings (weather, terrorism, fire, road closures, curfew, etc)

  • Disaster response services (emergency communications, evacuation centers, emergency medical care, mortality management, search dogs, USaR)

Organizational community services con t2
Organizational/community services (con’t)

  • Disaster relief services (critical service information, post disaster food, clothing, shelter, child care, animal services, …)

  • Disaster recovery services (donation coordination, loans, service centers, housing assistance, …)

  • Donor services (food, building materials, office equipment, tools…)

  • Information services

  • Occupational/professional associations

Target populations indexing resources by group or condition
Target populations: indexing resources by group or condition

  • Active military

  • Adults


  • Animal/Pet issues

  • Bioterrorism issues

  • Burns

  • Children

  • Disaster/Emergency

  • Hurrican victims

  • Terrorism issues

  • more

Related concepts cross referenced related categories
Related concepts: Cross-referenced related categories

  • Animals

  • Blindness/Visual impairments

  • Children and youth

  • Community care facilities/Arrangements

  • Death and dying

  • Disabilities

  • Disaster services

  • Emergency services

  • Older adults

  • Transportation

Cdis information
CDIS information

CDIS home page:

For more information:

[email protected]


Allen, K. M. (2006) Community-based disaster preparedness and climate adaptation: local capacity building in the Philippines: Disasters 30(1): 81-101.

Arnold, J. L., B. N. Levin, R. Manmatha, F. Lee, P. Shenoy, M. C. Tsai, T. K. Ibrahim, D. J. O’Brien, D. A. Walsh (2004) Information-Sharing in Out-Of-Hospital Disaster Response: The Future Role of Information Technology, Prehospital and Disaster Medicine 19(3): 201-207.

Basolo, V., L. Steinberg, S. Gant (2006) E-Government and the Preparation of Citizens for Disasters, Proceedings of the 2006 National Conference on Digital Government Research, San Diego, CA: 255-256.

Benson, C., J. Twigg, M. Myers (2001) NGO Initiatives in Risk Reduction: An Overview, Disasters 25(3): 199-215.

Turoff, M., M. Chumer, B. Van del Walle, X. Yao (2003) The Design of a Dynamic Emergency Response Management Information System (DERMIS). Journal of Information Technology Theory and Application 5(4): 1-36.