While geographic information systems (GIS) can provide information on the static locations of critical infrastructure and evacuation routes, they do not provide the dynamically changing locations of things and people on the move. In contrast, radio frequency identification (RFID) wireless network technology can automatically identify and track the movement of assets (i.e., fire engines, ambulances, and rescue workers) and vulnerable citizens on the move (i.e., the elderly and the disabled), and hence providing local governments and communities with real-time information and enhanced decision-making capabilities, during chaotic disaster response operations (i.e., evacuation). Although the potential high impact and strategic value of integrating RFID into e-government development and government’s comprehensive natural disaster management policy for improved preparedness, response, recovery, and mitigation, very little has been written in the e-government literature regarding the adoption, use, and impact of RFID in building safe and secure local communities for citizens and businesses. This position paper, which is based on a review of the literature and a field case study, intends to contribute to the definition of the e-government research priorities needed to build regional disaster preparedness, as an integral part of e-government development policy.
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