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Can mobile phone data improve emergency response to natural disasters?

Record type: Article

Disaster management requires accurate information and must link data collection and analysis to an immediate decision-making process. Existing approaches to assessing population movements in the immediate aftermath of disasters, such as transport surveys and manual registration of individuals at emergency-relief hubs, are often inadequate: while important for record-keeping purposes, both are slow and may exclude those groups who are unreachable and most vulnerable. Proxy analysis via aerial or even satellite reconnaissance has a potentially useful role, but can provide only a coarse geographical picture of moving populations. In practice, the most readily available sources of information are from eye-witness or media reports. Although timely, such reports are not accumulated systematically and can constitute a biased representation of events.

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Citation

Gething, P.W. and Tatem, A.J. (2011) Can mobile phone data improve emergency response to natural disasters? PLoS Medicine, 8, (8), e1001085-[2pp]. (doi:10.1371/journal.pmed.1001085). (PMID:21918644).

More information

Published date: 30 August 2011
Keywords: cellular phone utilization, demography, disasters, earthquakes, emergency medical service communication systems, haiti, humans
Organisations: Geography & Environment, PHEW – S (Spatial analysis and modelling), Population, Health & Wellbeing (PHeW)

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 344415
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/344415
ISSN: 1549-1277
PURE UUID: 85953388-dbd4-41b1-bf35-72cf22d768ab
ORCID for A.J. Tatem: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0002-7270-941X

Catalogue record

Date deposited: 25 Oct 2012 09:12
Last modified: 18 Jul 2017 05:16

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