There has been a global trend over the last decade for increase in the frequency and impact of natural and man-made disasters (Guha-Sapir et al. 2011). Statistical data indicates that in 2010 there were 385 natural disasters worldwide, killing more than 297,000 people, affecting over 217 million people and causing about 124 billion US dollars in economic losses. Countries, states, international organisations and civil society are often called upon to intervene collectively in the resolution of civil crises using a process usually referred to as emergency management.
Emergency management is a complex decision-making process with the objective of creating a framework within which communities reduce vulnerability to hazards, and organise themselves to respond to disasters and recover from them. It is a relatively new discipline which has a high degree of uncertainty. The timeliness of response in times of crisis impacts collaboration options, highlighting the importance of a systems approach.
The interdisciplinary science of human factors and ergonomics, being concerned with people and their successful interaction with all forms of technology, must be applied in every phase and action of the emergency management cycle.
Emergency management would profit from the benefits of the application of a human-centred philosophy to the design and operation of its vast activities and technical systems. Human factors and ergonomics should be used in order to ameliorate and prevent death and injury from similar events in the future.
This special issue is intended to publish and disseminate the newest state-of-the-art in the area of human factors and ergonomics in emergency management. Authors are encouraged to submit technical papers that employ both quantitative and qualitative research methodologies, case studies, and papers presenting new methodologies and procedures.
Guha-Sapir, D., Vos, F., Below, R., Ponserre, S. (2011) Annual Disaster Statistical Review 2010: The numbers and trends. Centre for Research on the Epidemiology of Disasters. Université Catholique de Louvain.
Suitable topics include but are not limited to:
- HFE issues of collaboration and information sharing in emergency management
- Biomechanics issues in emergency response activities
- Design and development of products for emergency response and management
- Macro-ergonomic aspects of emergency management
- Risk and rewards related to HFE in emergency management systems
- HFE in the development of emergency management systems
- Ergonomic intervention in emergency management
- Ergonomic intelligent training systems in emergency management
- Participatory ergonomics in emergency management
- Stress in emergency management
- Cost justification of ergonomic improvements in emergency management systems
- Usability and human-centred design in emergency management systems
- Improving interaction maturity in distributed emergency management
- HFE aspects of agile organisations for emergency management
- Cognitive issues in emergency management tasks
- Other topics related with the theme of the special issue
Submission deadline: 1 March, 2013 (extended)
Acceptance notification: 15 April, 2013
Final paper due: 15 July, 2013