This SOAR focuses on technologies and methods relevant to disaster response. The concept and practice of disaster response aligns with at least five of HDIAC’s focus areas: Critical Infrastructure Protection, CBRN Defense, Cultural Studies, Homeland Defense and Security, and Medical. Because disaster response is a broad and diverse field, this report addresses six areas in which scientific and technical (S&T) research and development (R&D) are most likely to intersect with improving disaster response practices relevant to DoD and defending the homeland. These areas are communications management, data management, responder protection, search and rescue (SAR) technologies, supply chain management, and radiation emergencies.
This report also highlights six areas of technology likely to have an outsized effect on the current state and future practice of disaster response. These are blockchain technology and software, autonomous systems or drones, networked devices known as the Internet of Things (IoT), artificial intelligence (AI) (sometimes known as or associated with machine learning), robotics, and the use of social media in response activities. Use of these technologies has already contributed to the safety of first responders and enhanced situational awareness in response situations.