Impact of ICT Tools on Disaster Logistics Issues A Case Study of the Great East Japan Earthquake and Tsunami of 2011

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Yuya Shibuya


Because information and communication technology (ICT), especially Web 2.0 interactivity and ubiquitous connectivity, enhances citizen coproduction, ICT tool deployment in disaster relief has a great potential for improving disaster logistics by, for example, promoting awareness of real-time needs in affected areas and ensuring visibility among actors. This paper describes how ICT tools, especially Web 2.0, can influence the effectiveness and efficiency of disaster logistics. The paper provides a conceptual framework of issues around disaster logistics based on a literature review. It then examines the case of the Great East Japan Earthquake and Tsunami of 2011 to address how ICT tools can support disaster logistics operations. The findings suggest that, although implementation of Web 2.0 was still in its infancy at the time of the earthquake and tsunami, it helped to address some issues of disaster logistics, such as assessing community needs and storing, transporting, and distributing supplies. In addition, this paper argues that combining the use of various ICT tools would be effective for a community to manage disaster logistics because each ICT tool has each value. In addition, because ICT tools widen the range of actors involved in disaster logistics operations, effective coordination between these grassroots agile web-connected activities and traditional hierarchical logistics operations is important.

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