Abstract: The use of High Performance Computing (HPC) to compliment urgent decision making in the event of disasters is an important future potential use of supercomputers. However, the usage modes involved are rather different from how HPC has been used traditionally. As such, there are many obstacles that need to be overcome, not least the unbounded wait times in the batch system queues, to make the use of HPC in disaster response practical. In this paper, we present how the VESTEC project plans to overcome these issues and develop a working prototype of an urgent computing control system. We describe the requirements for such a system and analyse the different technologies available that can be leveraged to successfully build such a system. We finally explore the design of the VESTEC system and discuss ongoing challenges that need to be addressed to realise a production level system.