Inderscience Publishers

Designing a group support system to review and practice emergency plans in virtual teams

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In the 21st century, rapid changes in our society necessitate continuous review and practice of emergency plans. Traditional Face-to-Face (FtF) interactions in making emergency plans and training responders seem insufficient. The Virtual Team (VT), a new team form allowing a dynamic recruitment of experts from a global extent and a conduction of teamwork whenever it is needed, provides a more agile solution. This paper introduces a Group Support System (GSS) called Collaborative Scenario (Collario), aiming to facilitate effective collaboration in creating and discussing scenarios in VTs and to utilise scenarios as a vehicle in reviewing and practising emergency plans on a continuous basis. This research is still in progress. Three professionals have been involved in system demonstrations and interviews. Although it is still too early to make any conclusions, it is encouraging to know that all the three experts think that Collario is easy to use and might be useful for various Emergency Preparedness purposes.

Keywords: emergency preparedness, group support systems, GSS, collaborative scenarios, emergency management, emergency planning, virtual teams

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