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Presidential Initiatives

Disaster Management

Program Manager(s)

Sarah Hyder

Managing Partner

Department of Homeland Security (DHS)


To help citizens and members of the emergency management community at the local, tribal, state, and Federal levels by improving public safety response through more effective and efficient interoperable data communications and to serve as a unified point of access to disaster preparedness, mitigation, response and recovery information.

Progress to Date

  • Developed a formal relationship with the Emergency Interoperability Consortium (EIC) to drive the development of interoperability standards for disaster information exchange
  • , the Federal portal for access to information and services relating to disasters, has 71,443 registered users as of March 2007
  • Released upgraded Disaster Management Interoperability Services (DMIS) Web Services Version 2.2 to current user groups. This will enable users to create and send alerts in the Common Alert Protocol (CAP) format in addition to enhancing other features in the toolset
  • Provided websites for current and prospective DMIS users to download new release and gain access to the open application program interface (API) at
  • DMIS used in 94 actual emergencies and 530 disaster preparedness exercises with 1,415 DMIS user groups in all 50 states as of 08/04/05
  • Exchanged 1,400 Common Alert Protocol (CAP) Messages through the DMIS interoperability backbone
  • Demonstrated Emergency Data Exchange Language (EDXL)“Message Distribution Element” standard and submitted to Organization for the Advancement of Structured Information Standards (OASIS) for approval
  • Working with the SAFECOM initiative to conduct state and local outreach.

Next Steps

  • Continue to develop and receive input from partner agencies to provide improved content and use of
  • Assist agencies in deploying the DMIS toolset and in implementing the capability to send and receive alert messages using the CAP standard
  • Continue to support and process requests for state and local deployment of DMIS
  • Complete development of the DMIS distributed server solution architecture
  • Submit practitioner driven “Resource Management” and “HAVE Beds” EDXL standard to OASIS via EIC after practitioner review
  • Complete and manage a stakeholder governance structure
  • Assist the National Weather Service with its implementation of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) All Hazards Emergency Message Collection System (HAZCollect), an automated, secure, and authenticated means to post hazard information on the all-hazards network

Web Site


Disaster Management Metrics

Exhibit 300

Managing Partner Agency Exhibit 300


Recent events have highlighted the difficulties government agencies and private-sector organizations face in providing coordinated, comprehensive, timely, and effective disaster assistance information and relief to the public. Citizens, businesses, and governments alike spend significant amounts of time collecting appropriate disaster management information.

The Disaster Management initiative uses cutting-edge information technology to improve the delivery of disaster assistance information and services by creating a single Internet-based portal to serve the public’s requirement for assistance, and the government’s requirement to provide disaster information and services. The public side of the portal is a single location where the public and private businesses can easily access disaster information and services provided by government agencies and non-governmental organizations.

The government side of the portal is a layered, secure environment that provides access to disaster information made available from government and non-governmental organizations, and the means to securely exchange sensitive information relating to disaster preparedness, response, mitigation and recovery. Government emergency managers are able to use the portal to monitor major disaster and national security events, coordinate state, federal, and private organization responses, and collaborate on damage assessments and summaries.

The Disaster Management initiative makes disaster assistance information easier to find, cuts the “red tape” for citizens to apply for disaster assistance and eliminates redundant agency processes. Disaster services providers save considerable resources and, potentially, lives. The accelerated provision of information and services to disaster victims expedites recovery, reduces government spending, speeds rebuilding and restores public confidence.

The Disaster Management initiative also provides a free incident management toolset called Disaster Management Interoperability Services or DMIS. DMIS is made up of two components. One is the basic incident management toolset that allows registered emergency management user groups to manage incidents by creating a common situational awareness and then securely sharing that information across the nation's emergency management community as appropriate. The second component is an interoperability backbone of software and hardware that allows disparate third party incident management software applications and devices to share information through a secured, open architecture platform. Emergency responders and incident managers can learn more about DMIS and its components at:

A third component of the Disaster Management initiative is its standards development effort. Disaster Management is facilitating the development of practitioner-driven standards for exchanging data messages within the emergency response community, providing the ability to seamlessly and securely share data across disparate information systems. By taking requirements for data exchange directly from the emergency responders, the initiative is able to provide standards which will directly improve incident response at the local, tribal, state and Federal levels. The implementation of these standards into incident management software and systems will enable responders to more quickly respond to disasters and share information that will minimize the loss of life and property.