Improving Disaster Management
The Role of IT in Mitigation, Preparedness, Response, and Recovery

Ramesh R. Rao, Ph.D.
Art Botterell

John R. (Jack) Harrald, Ph.D.

Committee on Using Information Technology to Enhance Disaster Management
Computer Science and Telecommunications Board (CSTB)
National Research Council, National Academy of Sciences

April 25, 2007

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Related Websites:
CSTB Report Page
CSTB Project Page
National Academies Press Page

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Since 1984, Dr. Rao has been on the faculty of the department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at the University of California, San Diego, where he is currently Professor and Director of the San Diego Division of the California Institute of Telecommunications and Information Technology. In April 2004, he was named Qualcomm Endowed Chair in Telecommunications and Information Technology.

His research activities have been sponsored by the National Science Foundation, the Office of Naval Research, the Army Research Office, the Ballistic Missile Defense Organization, the TRW Corporation, the Astroterra Corporation, the Industrial Affiliates of the Center for Wireless Communications, and Calit2. He has also consulted extensively for Government agencies and industry. He has served on a US Government panel to review the current status of research, development, and applications in wireless communications in the United States, Japan, and Western Europe with a view towards evaluating the competitive status of U.S. efforts. He also served as Chair of the CSTB's Committee on Using Information Technology to Enhance Disaster Management.

Since 1984, Professor Rao has authored over 100 technical papers, contributed two book chapters, conducted a number of short courses and delivered invited talks and plenary lectures. He is currently supervising eight doctoral students.

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Art Botterell is the Community Warning System Manager, Contra Costa County California Office of the Sheriff. He is an internationally-recognized expert in emergency communications who has served on the front lines of some of the biggest national disasters in recent U.S. history. Former FEMA Director, James Lee Witt, hailed him as a "national asset." He has served as a consultant to the Department of Homeland Security and a number of other state, federal and international organizations. He led the development of the Common Alerting Protocol (CAP) -- the first international standard format for all-hazard public warning across multiple media. An experienced analyst, broadcast and multimedia producer, writer and manager, Mr. Botterell studies the ways communities use information technology to manage the effects of sudden change. He also served as a member of the CSTB's Committee on Using Information Technology to Enhance Disaster Management.

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John R. (Jack) Harrald is the director of the George Washington University (GWU) Institute for Crisis, Disaster, and Risk Management and a professor of engineering management in the GWU School of Engineering and Applied Science. He is a founding member, director, and immediate past president of the International Emergency Management Society.

Dr. Harrald has been actively engaged in the fields of emergency, consequence, and crisis management and maritime safety and port security. He was the former director of the Disaster Recovery Institute (DRI) and served as the associate director of the National Ports and Waterways Institute for 10 years. Dr. Harrald was the principal investigator for maritime risk and crisis management studies in Prince William Sound, Alaska, the Port of New Orleans, and Washington state, and for earthquake vulnerability studies funded by the National Science Foundation and the American Red Cross.

He has also written and published in the fields of crisis management, emergency management, management science, risk and vulnerability analysis, and maritime safety. He was a reviewer for the committee that produced Information Technology, Research,
Innovation, and E-Government. He served as a member of the CSTB's Committee on Using Information Technology to Enhance Disaster Management.

Dr. Harrald received his B.S. in engineering from the U.S. Coast Guard Academy, an M.A.L.S. from Wesleyan University, an M.S. from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology where he was an Alfred P. Sloan Fellow, and an M.B.A. and a Ph.D. from
Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.