The social and economic life of rural communities continually
is jeopardized by emergency situations caused both by natural events and human
activities. Advances in information technology are making it possible for rural
emergencymanagement teams to prepare effectively for and respond to disasters.
In Minnesota, microcomputers have been used to aid rural communities in managing
and deploying emergency resources. Several states have implemented 2-way cable
television links to local emergency services, such as fire stations, police
stations, and emergency medical services. Arizona has developed an emergency
satellite communications system to coordinate state and county emergency operations.
These applications have been based on commercially adaptable technologies. However,
widespread use of information technology will require the development of specific
emergency management applications.
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