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An assessment of the opportunities to improve strategic decision-making in emergency and disaster management
journal contributionposted on 2018-03-09, 00:00 authored by B Brooks, S Curnin, Christopher BearmanChristopher Bearman, C Owen, Sophia RainbirdSophia Rainbird
The management of major emergencies is strongly in uenced by the decisions made during the event. Decisions guide the distribution and subsequent deployment of assets, the removal of people from harm’s way, how objectives are established and a myriad of other actions. Decision-making is therefore an important skill for emergency managers that permeates every emergency event and every level of disaster management. The vast majority of decisions made during an incident are effective enough in both process and outcome, but the drive for continual improvement and the need to manage more extreme events requires decision-making to become sophisticated and to achieve even higher levels of reliability. So how well are emergency management organisations integrating acknowledged developments in the understanding of decision- making? Where are the opportunities for continual improvement? What are some of the challenges that the expert decision-maker is required to balance across an event? This paper examines key concepts that have progressed the understanding of decision-making. A review of preliminary interactions with end-users of the Bush re and Natural Hazards CRC (CRC) research project ‘Practical decision tools for improved decision-making in complex situations’ considers how Australian and New Zealand are using this knowledge to make decisions. Opportunities for improvement and the approaches being taken to evaluate cognitive decision tools for end-users are identified.