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A framework for rapid impact assessment woth special reference to wildfires
Jansen van Vuuren, Isak D.
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Geographical Information Systems (GIS) technology is a powerful tool that can support decision-making in all the facets of disaster risk management. Being at the centre of all disaster risk management functions, GIS activities such as data acquisition, processing, analysis and visualisation should be seamless from planning to prediction, preparation, response and recovery. A case study of devastating wildfires that destroyed thousands of hectares of agricultural land during August 2011 in the North-West province, South Africa, identifies the lack of a comprehensive framework within which information-based disaster impact assessments are undertaken and which is integrated with the larger context of disaster risk management. Problems relating to the availability, quality and integration of data are typical of the ad hoc approach to the implementation of information technologies, indicating the need for an integrated and coordinated approach. The aim of this paper is to establish a framework for rapid impact assessment, with specific reference to geospatial data management. The framework is put into the theoretical context of disaster risk management and information management, with data acquisition and processing functions being anchored in the principles of information systems theory.