The paper proposes a methodology for the creation of a taxonomy for improving information exchange and common understanding during the disaster response phase. The research presented in the paper is being carried out in the EU FP7 project EPISECC (Establish Pan-European Information Space to Enhance seCurity of Citizens). Even though several dictionaries, definitions, thesaurus, and standards exist in the area of emergency and disaster management, the project's approach specifically targets an enhanced semantics of communication between first responders in complex situations like cross-border disasters. The EPISECC taxonomy is designed and will be implemented to support the creation of a Common Information Space, where emergency managers and first responders are empowered to describe concepts (such as needs, events, assets…) and be well understood by all teams during the response phase. To achieve that, the methodology relies on a close collaboration with first responders and applies a combination of hierarchical and faceted structures, so that it can be better adapted to the users’ needs. The major contribution from first responders comes from EPISECC Inventory of past disasters, which contains information gathered by interviewing multiple stakeholders working on tactical and strategic level in emergency and disaster management. The paper describes the procedure for extracting information from the Inventory, as well as the procedure for recognition of taxonomy’s main concepts and facets, along with the scenario episodes (i.e. real situations) which will serve for the validation of the taxonomy. The results of the development of the taxonomy will be presented to standardisation organisations for the definition of a future standard and included in the demonstration of the complete EPISECC final solution.

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Snjezana Knezic
Martina Baucic
Toni Kekez
Uberto Delprato
Giovanni Tusa
Alexander Preinerstorfer
Gerald Lichtenegger
TIEMS 2015