Disaster Management Solution, Part 2: User scenarios

This article, the second in a series, describes the user scenarios related to the solution proposed in my previous article, “Disaster Management Solution, Part 1: Cloud, IoT, Blockchain.” There is a need for an integrated platform that connects residents, service providers (such as telecom, food, transport, and medical), and the government to deal with natural disasters more effectively. As covered in my previous article, the stakeholders, or participants, in the blockchain network are as follows:

Network participants

Government

  • Offers Disaster Management mobile application as a service to the citizens managed by the disaster management department in the government.
  • Creates the consortium.
  • Oversees the transactions related to the services provided and received on the network.
  • Analyzes the data shared on this network to compute the funds to be released.
  • Gets a geographic view of all the registered users on a map showing the number of people commuting and communicating from danger zones.
  • Gets a view of the demand and supply of food, medical, and transportation services.

Auditor

  • Audits the distribution and utilization of funds.

Telecom company

  • Verifies identity of a user who is providing a service and also one who is using the service.
  • Provides mobile wallet for users.
  • Provides credits during the crisis by adding money to the wallets.
  • Supports funding organizations (like government) which are part of the network to add credit to the residents’ mobile wallets as needed.
  • Tracks movement of their subscribers.
  • Provides satellite phones to their subscribers prior to the crisis.

Shelter

  • Offers accommodation service to people by registering as a shelter provider in the application.
  • Updates the application on the vacancy status in the shelter.
  • Updates the application when there is shortage of food and medical supplies.
  • Requests for transportation services to move people to other shelters.
  • Updates the application when a resident checks into or out of the shelter.
  • Locates missing persons using the application.

Medical service provider

  • Publishes the locations/areas supported.
  • Publishes the type of medical service that is available.
  • Sends medical practitioners to the appropriate locations based on the requests posted by shelters and residents.
  • Requests transportation services on the network in case of a shortage of their own transportation vehicles.

Medical supplier

  • Publishes the locations/areas supported.
  • Publishes the list of medicine that is available.
  • Supplies medicine to shelters and residents who have placed a request via the application.
  • Requests transportation services on the network in case of shortage of their own delivery vehicles.

Transporter

  • Publishes the locations/areas supported.
  • Publishes the type of transportation supported (people, animals, food, medical, etc.).
  • Delivers food and medical supplies based on the requests placed by food and medical suppliers.
  • Moves people to safer locations based on the requests posted by shelters and residents.
  • Publishes tracking information on the movement of supplies and people using IoT.
  • Types of transporters:
    • Goods supply
    • Transport people

Food supplier

  • Publishes the type of food that is available (baby food, animal food, sugar-free, raw food, meals, etc.).
  • Delivers food to shelters and residents based on requests placed via the application.
  • Requests transportation services on the network in case of a shortage of their own delivery vehicles.
  • Publishes the amount of ration in stock.
  • Types of food suppliers:
    • Raw material provider (bread, vegetables, fruits, nuts, etc.)
    • Cooked food provider

Residents

  • Subscribe to the Disaster Management service.
  • Enter all the necessary details about themselves and their family members. They also save their key documents like identity, banking, and medical history records.
  • Offer services to other residents. For example, if you are a qualified medical practitioner, you can offer your service to residents near you or in the same shelter.
  • Buy transportation service to move to a shelter by paying via the mobile wallet.
  • Buy food and medical supplies by paying via the mobile wallet.
  • View the updated information of their profile when checking into a shelter entered by the shelter owner.

User Scenario 1: Resident registers via mobile application

Residents download the Disaster Management application provided by the Government, and register themselves with their mobile number. Each member of a family registers separately with their mobile number and then updates their family contacts on the application to link to each other. Friends and acquaintances can also be linked, which can help in locating missing people. Their telecom provider verifies their identity and provides a new mobile wallet. Users can add sufficient amounts of money to the wallet to be used during the crisis. They can also add money to the wallets of family members.

A satellite phone can be purchased from the telecom provider as a backup device in case of loss of internet connectivity in the mobile phone. Using the satellite phones, users’ locations can be tracked. The users can login to the application by using social media identity (Google, Facebook) or using One Time Password via SMS. They can add more information to their profile like food allergies, baby food requirements, or pet food. Documents like medical reports can be uploaded to the application to be used when the resident has a medical emergency.

Resident registers via mobile app

User Scenario 2: Registered users offer their services for a price or for free

During a crisis, many residents may volunteer to supply food and may primarily use social media to publicize their service. However, these residents or service providers may not be verified. This application allows them to offer their services as a verified user to all registered users.

Registered users offer their services

User Scenario 3: Service provider joins the blockchain network

Commercial service providers can join the Blockchain consortium and provide their services by updating their existing system to invoke smart contracts.

Service provider joins the blockchain network

User Scenario 4: Resident reaches the nearest shelter

Multiple factors are considered while searching for the right shelter, including specific medical services for the aged and children, space for pets, and specific food type (to avoid allergic reaction). Once the request is placed, the application will automatically accept the request based on availability and the requirements being met.

Resident reaches the nearest shelter

User Scenario 5: Resident or shelter requests food and medical supplies

Many residents decide to stay in their homes during the crisis. In such cases, if the electrical supply is disrupted, then cooking food can become a challenge especially if only electric stoves are used. The residents can request cooked food using the application. The same is true for medical supplies. Shelters can refill the food supply as and when the existing ration is consumed.

Resident or shelter requests food and medical supplies

User Scenario 6: Resident or shelter requests medical service

In case of a medical emergency that requires assistance from a medical professional, users can request specific service through the application.

Resident or shelter requests medical service

User Scenario 7: Resident reports and locates a missing person

Residents can invoke an action to locate a missing person. Searching for loved ones and confirming safety of family and friends is the most common activity during a crisis. The application is equipped to search for a person and share the results. It can also engage with authorities like shelter owners to find specific people.

Resident reports and locates a missing person

User Scenario 8: Government invokes rescue operations

Integration of this application with weather data and the existing Emergency Management system can provide the necessary information for effective rescue operations.

Government invokes rescue operations

User Scenario 9: Residents in the same area are connected through chat room

During the crisis, chat rooms are created so residents living in the same area can share information with each other. Also, new chat rooms can be created for people stuck for long periods of time in heavy traffic heading out of the affected areas. Even government officials can join the chat rooms to share specific information with the groups.

Residents in the same area are connected through chat room

User Scenario 10: Resident requests for funds

During the crisis, if a resident runs out of money to pay for a service, they can request that a certain amount of money be added to their mobile wallet. Fund providers like the government process the request and transfer the money accordingly. If the request is for a higher amount for a medical emergency, then the government reviews the details provided by the medical service provider in that request and then, if appropriate, approves the amount.

Resident requests for funds

Next steps: The next article in this series provides a reference architecture for this solution.

Author: Preethi C. Mohan
Contributors/reviewers: Timothy Paydos, John Cohn, Siddharth Purohit, Amarjeet Mundi, Ramesh Srinivasan.

Photo credits: Shelter, transportation truck, bus icons are from Icograms, available under the Creative Commons license (Attribution 3.0 Unported). Telecom tower icon is from First Styles, available under the Creative Commons license (Attribution 3.0 Unported). Medical supply vehicle icon is from Dave Gandy, available under the SIL Open Font License. Food icon is from Simran Singh, available under the license terms of Free for commercial use. Government building icon is from Maxim Basinski, available under the license terms of Free for commercial use. Residents icon is from Everaldo Coelho, available under LGPL. Doctor icon is from Creative Agency Bresign, available under the license terms of Free for commercial use. Auditor icon is from Aha-Soft, available under the license terms of Free for commercial use.