Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS

Identifying disaster victims

Researchers have used web technologies to create an international system for quickly identifying the victims of disasters.
Identifying disaster victims
People from all around the world are susceptible to large disasters such as earthquakes or terrorist attacks – wherever they strike. The aftermath of such terrible events can be extremely complex to deal with.

The EU-funded research project 'Fast and efficient international disaster victim identification' (FASTID) developed an international database for missing persons and unidentified bodies. It set out to streamline efforts to identify victims during such events, as well as helping with other day-to-day policy tasks.

The team created a standardised system to identify disaster victims. This involves an information management and decision support system that uses rich Internet application software to automatically match missing persons and those discovered injured or dead at disaster sites.

A key part of FASTID was to promote greater cooperation between different national authorities. It involved experts from around the world to develop the system, accounting for different national and cultural considerations in its specifications. Another important element was developing training to use the system.

By optimising efficiency, the recently completed three-year project will help ensure emergency relief efforts can focus on minimising the worst consequences of dire situations and improve security for everyone.

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