Emergency management controllers throughout the developed world use various information technologies to help them manage emergencies. These emergencies can evolve rapidly, meaning that efficient information management is needed to minimize a range of uncertainties. Interviews with 12 emergency operation center controllers, from diverse areas of New Zealand, were analyzed using a grounded theory approach. Results of this analysis suggested that each center uses one or more software options to manage response-related information, such as: hazard assessments, task and event logs, and intelligence received in a range of formats. Their use of different software and non-electronic options appears to vary according to the experience of each emergency management controller. The current research has highlighted a range of considerations that need to be considered when developing information technologies for emergency management. As a whole, the current paper provides a rare and tangible look at how information technology is being used by important decision makers facing hard-to-predict emergency conditions in a developed country context.
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