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Domain Standards

Emergency Management Disaster Standards


Person Finder Interchange Format (PFIF)

PFIF is designed for the exchange of information about missing and found persons among web-based registries set up for a particular disaster. The information is provided by the general public, and is publically searchable. [PFIF] PFIF was created by Ka-Ping Yee in 2006, in response to the impact of hurricane Katrina along the US Gulf Coast, and the resulting proliferation of pop-up, incompatible web sites for missing-person reports. Through version 1.1, its repository was hosted by Salesforce, Inc. Version 1.2 addressed the Haitian earthquake of January, 2010, by including improvements to make the format more international. This was done in association with Google, which became the main data aggregator with its “Google Person Finder” (PF) repository. This version was also deployed during the Chile and Christchurch, New Zealand earthquakes. Version 1.3 was defined in early 2011, and deployed towards the end of reporting about the earthquake and tsunami that devastated the Tohoku region of Japan. Traditionally considered a de facto standard, PFIF (now up to version 1.4) has been incorporated as a component of the new “Tracking Emergency Clients” specification, now under formal standardization consideration by OASIS.

[PFIF] Specifications (pre-TEC) for version 1.1 - 1.4 are at .

Sahana's Krakatoa incorporated early PFIF code, with the first production fetch from Google PF during the Haiti earthquake. Krakatoa's successor, Vesuvius, and its US National Library of Medicine “People Locator” (PL) instance, continue to incorporate PFIF as it evolves, and participate in active exchange (e.g., during the Japanese tsunami). Currently, interchange of data between PL and PF supports PFIF 1.4 in both directions, but some elements of the Vesuvius user interface need to evolve during 2013 to reflect changes between PFIF 1.3 and 1.4.


Disaster Victim Identification (DVI)


Emergency Data Exchange Language (EDXL) is an OASIS advocated and managed collection of data standards

Sahana modules that are EDXL compliant

Hospital Availability Exchange

Common Alerting Protocol

Tracking of Emergency Clients

  • For PFIF (part of proposed EDXL TEC standard): Vesuvius PFIF module, as well as UI mapping, admin tools, & Google Person Finder sychronization deamon.


An Incident Command System (ICS) is an organizational structure and vocabulary for event management and response that can be applied across jurisdictional boundaries.

For More


The UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs has been supporting the definition of “Common Operational Data Sets” (e.g., in the Pacific and Asia). The effectiveness of this ambitious effort is as yet unclear.



standards/domain/start.1362588360.txt.gz · Last modified: 2013/03/07 10:46 (external edit)
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