UAE gathers data for emergencies

A wide-ranging database will map the country's health and residential facilities as part of an overarching plan to respond to national emergencies.

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ABU DHABI // The National Crisis and Emergency Management Authority (NCEMA) is in the process of developing a wide-ranging database that maps the country's health and residential facilities and population centres as part of an overarching plan to respond to national emergencies. "We are in the process of creating a database of important information that we can use to plan jointly with other agencies to face any emergencies or crises that might affect the country," said Mohammed Khalfan al Rumaithi, NCEMA's general manager. The initial plan for the database will map the locations of residential areas and hospitals in the UAE to determine possible entry and exit points as well as population statistics like the distribution of Emirati and expatriate populations, said Mr al Rumaithi. "In order to plan a proper response we have to have comprehensive information about the place, every small and major detail," he said. "It's a huge programme that we hope to complete within a few years, so we can have operations centres for the agency around the country," he said, adding that it would allow NCEMA to "move resources and information to the different authorities so they can be prepared for anything they face". NCEMA is also fast-tracking the development of its comprehensive national plan for dealing with natural and man-made emergencies in the UAE, which Mr al Rumaithi said would be ready in 2010. The announcement was made at the signing of a memorandum of understanding between NCEMA and the General Information Authority (GIA), the government's chief provider of information technology services and research.