Emergency and disaster management has become a widely researched area in the last decade. The use of Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) has been highly advocated for addressing the obstacles and improving decision-making in the event of a disaster. A number of ICT support systems and frameworks, both conceptual and application-based, have evolved over time to support the highly time and collaboration intensive task of emergency and disaster management. The use of ICTs like GIS has helped the relief worker to a great extent. This paper is based on a survey of the existing systems, ongoing research projects, supporting systems and concepts. These systems have been classified based on their use in the four stages of Comprehensive Emergency Management (CEM) as categorised by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). Further, the systems are broadly divided into monitoring, live and simulation systems. It is clear that each stage of the CEM, along with the purpose of the corresponding software system, will have specific quality attributes to effectively address the requirement. Based on the study of these diverse systems and concepts, we highlight certain vital qualitative concerns for emergency and disaster management software systems. We look at these concerns from a software architectural perspective and suggest some ways to address and incorporate them into future endeavors of research and deployment in this area.
(*Moumita Mukherjee Shukla is the other author of this article.)