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Subject: About cap:event_cat

Friends -

Having wrestled with this item for some time in conversation with a 
number of folks, I've been unable to locate a comprehensive and 
universal categorization of alert-worthy events.  Maybe the best we 
can hope for is one that's conventional.  Here are four options:

OPTION I - Adopt the scheme developed for the Disaster Help Portal:

- biological: an intentional or accidental disaster event caused by a 
biological agent such as anthrax.
- chemical (Used For: poison, pollution, toxic, hazmat, 
contamination): an intentional or accidental disaster event caused by 
a chemical agent such as a poisonous gas.
- civil (Used For: refugee, riot, war)
- disease (Used For: epidemic, pandemic)
- drought (Used For: climate, water)
- earthquake
- electric utility  (Used For: power outage, blackout)
- explosion (Used For: bomb)
- fire (Used For: wildfire, forest fire, urban wild-land interface)
- flood
- food (Used For: famine)
- gas utility
- hurricane (Used For: tropical cyclone, typhoon)
- internet (Used For: cyber crime, cyber attack, cyberspace)
- landslide (Used For: avalanche, mudslide)
- nuclear
- ocean or coastal (Used For: iceberg, tsunami, coastal hazard, algal bloom)
- oil spill
- radiological (Used For: nuclear reactor, dirty bomb)
- severe weather (Used For: blizzard, dust storm, hail storm, heat 
wave, lightning, storm, snow storm, wind)
- space (Used For: asteroid, geomagnetism, magnetic storm, space weather)
- terrorism
- tornado
- transportation (Used For: airplane, highway, ship, train, aircraft)
- volcano

(A long list, a bit of a mixed bag of causes and effects, but at 
least it stands on an honorable precedent.)

OPTION II - Use the twelve Emergency Support Functions (ESFs) as 
defined in the Federal Response Plan:

1 - Transportation
2 - Communications
3 - Public Works and Engineering
4 - Firefighting
5 - Information and Planning
6 - Mass Care
7 - Resources
8 - Health and Medical
9 - Search and Rescue (yes, I'm cheating a bit here, since ESF-9 is 
actually "Urban Search and Rescue" but that strikes me as possibly a 
bit too restrictive for our purpose.)
10 - Hazardous materials
11 - Food
12 - Energy

(This would shift the focus from the nature of the event to the 
response systems which might be engaged.  It's relatively compact.)

OPTION III - Stick with (or fine-tune) the existing list from 
previous CAP drafts:

"Geo" - Geophysical (inc. landslide)
"Met" - Meteorological (inc. flood)
"Safety" - General emergency and public safety
"Security" - Law enforcement, military, homeland and local/private security
"Rescue" - Rescue and recovery
"Fire" - Fire suppression and rescue
"Health" - Medical and public health
"Env" - Pollution and other environmental
"Transport" - Public and private transportation
"Infra" - Utility, telecommunication, other non-transport infrastructure
"Other" - Other events

OPTION IV - Dispense with this item altogether.  That would leave 
automatic filters with the geographic targeting and the 
Urgency/Severity/Certainty cube, but it would make it harder to 
implement specialized alerting functions.  (Then again, are 
specialized alerting functions a solution or a problem?)

Your thoughts?

- Art

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