categorizing and indexing community based resources
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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  • Out of date when printed.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.