There is a huge need for access to information in the areas of disaster relief disaster medicine, and humanitarian assistance. The extraordinarily rapid increase in the literature in these subject areas attests to this need. However, use of the printed word has substantial limitations that are even more profound in the developing world.
Currently, the information available tends to be fragmented and sequestered by the specific interests of the organizations and governments involved. The evolving electronic methods for the storage, organization, and retrieval of information makes coordination between organizations concerned with disasters within our grasp.
This paper discusses the Center of Excellence in Disaster Management and Humanitarian Assistance and describes the World Wide Web and the implications it has in disaster management and medicine. It describes methods for obtaining user input to the techniques used for the development of the world wide web for the areas of disaster management and disaster medicine. The implementation of an on-line Internet reference desk that will provide: 1) a list of “experts;” 2) a searchable disaster database; and 3) on-line simulation courses and training exercises also is discussed.