Disasters on Federal State Borders: Who is Doing What?
In federal nations, such as Germany, it is an issue if, in case of a natural disaster like
flooding, snow blizzards etc., the local, regional and governmental authorities
have to work together to solve the situation fast. In the past, there were
several instances in Germany where this situation led to almost a stall of all
activities, because roles, responsibilities and dedicated emergency plans did
not work out.
About 4 years ago Germany faced a heavy winter, during which the salt to keep the
streets snow-free ran out in some states. Other states were not so heavily hit
by the snow storm and still had their stocks filled with salt and granulate.
Due to political reasons and sovereignty of each state, county or even city, it
was not possible to send salt and granulate from one state to another in time
to help the states with the biggest snow disaster. The same happened two years
ago, when Germany faced the biggest flooding in the newer history in Saxony and
lower Saxony along the river Elbe. The helpers at the scene ran out of sand
bags to protect residential areas located near the river.
The lack of visibility into the inventories of the local and regional authorities and a
corrupted supply chain prevented an effective disaster response.
If we cannot fix this situation, what will happen if we need medicine during an
epidemic, chemical experts to handle a chemical disaster in another state or heavy
machinery and food assistance after a gas explosion or power outage and food needs
to be issued to citizens after these instances?
To be able to respond to emergency situations and help authorities solve such disastrous
situations on the border of federal states fast, it is vital to collect,
evaluate, and share data fast to the stakeholders in these operational
theatres. Every participating organization in these operations needs the same
set of data at any time to be able to respond to ever-changing requirements in
We have the technology, but it is not as easy as it may seem. Organizations like fire,
rescue, and police need to coordinate efforts to share their data and react to
changes in the operation. A centralized emergency operation center should
collect, analyze, and share data across all stakeholders.
In countries like Australia, India, and Sri Lanka the governmental authorities have well
developed strategies and processes defined to prevent such situations from
happening. We have to be fair, Germany also has very well defined and organized processes and
structures for disaster management and emergency and rescue operations; however,
there needs to be a shared political will to provide the best possible disaster
The clear definition of e.g. which Police department is taking over the lead role in an
emergency case located at the border between Saxony and Lower Saxony, is
critical to the success of emergency operations and therefore saves people’s
lives. SAP has sponsored Smart City Expo World Congress in
Barcelona to highlight
modern disaster management and solutions where Big Data requirements can solve
the above described issues and make life safer for citizens anywhere, any
Please see here the details of our presentation.