What are the benefits of emergency and incident management specifications?
One of the most challenging aspects of emergency and incident management today has been the lack of consistent technical interoperability and standards. Historically, the result has been siloed systems that are incapable of communicating with each other, or of disseminating a single message in the forms (EAS, broadcast, Internet, cellular). The use of data standards in emergencies increases the speed and accuracy of warnings, reduces the cost and complexity of systems, and allows seamless communication between sensors and alerting technologies, emergency management organizations, and the general public.
What has the OASIS Emergency Management TC accomplished to date?
The Common Alerting Protocol (CAP) v1.1 was approved as an OASIS Standard in October 2005. This represents the highest level of ratification. CAP v1.0 was approved as an OASIS Standard in April 2004.
Who should be involved in the OASIS Emergency Management TC?
As a collection of private companies, vendors, public agencies, contractors, and a mixture of other interested individuals and parties, the OASIS Emergency Management TC represents a diverse collection of people that touch the worlds of emergency management, Incident Process Management (IPM), Business Continuity (BC), and risk management. If you are involved with or offer products and/or services for any of these areas, then you should participate in this work. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org for details on joining.
Who will benefit from this work and how?
The ultimately beneficiaries of the OASIS Emergency Management TC work are the end users, the people responsible for managing, responding to, and mitigating various types of events and risks. This benefit, however, materializes and is fully realized through the various solutions and services provided by vendors, agencies, organizations, and individuals.
There appears to be several groups within the OASIS Emergency Management TC. What are they, and what is their focus?
The OASIS Emergency Management TC currently has, but is not limited to, three subcommittees (SC). While a more comprehensive description of the SCs can be found in their respective charters, the following provides a brief description:
Notification Methods and Messaging: Focused on the exchange of alerts, notifications, and incident related messages, which not only include various types of informational broadcast, but also electronic ICS (Incident Command System) form representation.
Geospatial Information Systems: Focused on ensuring each TC-related specification has the proper geospatial capabilities to allow a GIS to leverage our formats. Additionally, the group is responsible for providing guidance for filling GIS-related gaps within the existing emergency and incident standards.
Infrastructure Framework: Focused on identifying, researching, and providing guidance on various standards, both developed in and external to the TC, as related to emergency and incident management with the purpose of ensuring elemental compatibility with current and future systems and communication mediums.
How does the OASIS Emergency Management TC work compare with related efforts and other standards organizations?
Those familiar with the public sector side of emergency and incident management are especially aware of other standardization efforts related to this space, and the private sector certainly has related work as well. During the process of forming the OASIS Emergency Management TC, members took the time to research many of these efforts, not only to be aware of their existence, but to also ensure the TC's work complimented these efforts with little or no overlap. The result of these studies can be found peppered within the list archives, as well as summarized in the published Requirements Document.
How is the Emergency Interoperability Consortium (EIC) related to the OASIS Emergency Management TC?
While OASIS and the EIC (formally known as the EM-XML Consortium) have no official relationship, the EIC publicly endorses the mission and work of the OASIS Emergency Management TC, and many key organizations, agencies, and companies participate in both groups. There is a historic connection, as the charter for the OASIS Emergency Management TC was proposed by members of the EIC who identified the need to create XML standards for the emergency management market within a recognized international standards body. On an ongoing basis, the EIC works with U.S. Department of Homeland Security and emergency practioners to develop requirements for new standards. Following review and input from the EIC membership, the requirements are referred to the OASIS Emergency Management TC. Provided they meet the TC's charter, the OASIS Emergency Management TC accepts the requirements and uses them to develop proposed standards. (For more information, see http://www.eic.org/standards.htm.)
What is next for the OASIS Emergency Management TC?
The TC is currently focused on development of the Emergency Data Exchange Language (EDXL), an integrated framework for emergency management. The first two components-the Distribution Element and the Format for Resource Messaging-are currently going through the Committee process. The OASIS Emergency Management TC continues to solicit input from the emergency management community on current standards, and actively participates in demonstrations and lobbying efforts on behalf of emergency standards.