For all the talk about about how we need better information delivered in better ways, I am struck by how easily people lose sight of why it is needed in the first place. After all, information that you don't need is really not helpful and can cause big problems. You can experience information overload, be distracted from your goals or tasks, or be unduly influenced by extraneous information.
Whether you are looking for information before, during or after disasters, there are three reasons why good information is important:
1) Situation Awareness - Information helps responders understand the situation
Information helps us identify operational gaps and enables us to effectively coordinate resources. Knowing the gaps along with what is going on and who is doing what is the heart of situational awareness. Without good awareness, though, it can feel like you are making a decision in a vacuum or hedging your bets on risky decisions more than you would like.Read More