UTILISING VIRTUAL AND AUGMENTED REALITY
FOR TRAINING EXERCISES AND FIELD-BASED EMERGENCY OPERATIONS
Responding to a disaster during the emergency situation is not a simple process. It requires multi-level coordination, multidisciplinary experts, and an array of other resources. Therefore, well-trained human resources for disaster management and emergency response are imperative. Virtual and Augmented Reality holds significant potential to be utilised as a platform for training disaster management actors, particularly in this current pandemic situation. Not only this, but such technology shows significant potential for utilisation in certain aspects of field-based emergency response as well.
According to Kumaran, et al. (2007), in the article Augmented Reality Applications in Disaster Management, for post-disaster relief activities to return to normal, we require multidisplinary experts, stakeholders, and layers of coordination for preparing rescue and recovery plans. This process sometimes takes time, and can cause conditions to become worse. Thus, well-planned actions are key to rescue affected people, and also to reduce the number of casualties.
In order to address the issue of complexity in coordination process, it is suggested that Virtual and Augment Reality technology applications be utilised for training in disaster management as well as in the field during emergency response.
For training, Virtual and Augmented Reality is an effective way to make learning process easier and more efficient. In an emergency response, Virtual and Augmented Reality can help visualise the effects of calamities, by providing increased time to experts for making alternative plans. The technology also helps disaster management actors and stakeholders better plan actions during an emergency situation. By having well-planned structure and actions, the relief work can take place immediately after disaster strikes.
However, there are challenges in developing and implementing Virtual and Augmented Reality in disaster management and emergency response. The main challenge is the cost of the technology, and also limitations for implementing on a wider scale. Those challenges aside, some experts believe that Virtual and Augmented Reality in disaster management – especially in the training process for disaster management actors – can still have advantages.
THE ADVANTAGES OF VIRTUAL AND AUGMENTED REALITY
IN DISASTER MANAGEMENT TRAINING PROCESS
First, this technology is safer for training as it reduces interactions and dangers faced in the field.
Second, it provides more comprehensive experiences for participants, and provides more realistic disaster scenarios.
Third, although the technology itself is costly, training using Virtual and Augmented Reality is cost effective, as participants and trainers are not required to physically visit certain locations.
Finally, the technology also makes the learning process more visual, and can provide an almost-real experience.
Written by : Moch Syifa