Emergency Response Intelligence Capability: Improving Situational Awareness in the Aust Govt Dept of Human Services

The Australian & New Zealand Disaster and Emergency Management Conference would like to thank Mr John Dickinson, Director Emergency Management, Australian Government Department of Human Services who presented on the Emergency Response Intelligence Capability (ERIC) project at our recent event 28-30 May in Brisbane.

The ERIC tool was reported on earlier in the week by itNEWS but conference delegates at the conference earlier in the year were able to find out all about the project and see a demonstration of ERIC thanks to Mr Dickinson who presented on the collaboration between the CSIRO and the Australian Government Department of Human Services Emergency Management team.

This project is part of the Human Services Delivery Research Alliance which is into its fourth year of a five-year partnership between the Department and the CSIRO. Through the Alliance, the department uses the scientific research capability of the CSIRO to help identify ways to improve service delivery. The ERIC project supports the work practices of the Department’s Emergency Management team which is responsible for intelligence gathering and situation reporting during emergency events. This is achieved by a web based productivity tool that automatically gathers data from a range of sources, presents the data in a map based web site and supports a user to generate situation reports customized for different types of emergency events at specific locations.

The ERIC tool integrates information from numerous sources: statistical regions from the Australian Bureau of Statistics; context data including demographics and details of the natural and built environment; Departmental regional profile data; ‘live’ data feeds describing the emergency event as it progresses; the historical record of previous ‘live’ data feeds; social media; and an archive of previous Situation Reports. This information can be focused for a specific region under investigation and collated semi-automatically to generate Situation Reports. They include information synthesised from available datasets and augmented by user provided content.