Disaster data made easy

Written By miftah nugraha on Sabtu, 27 Juli 2013 | 19.55

KNOWN as "ERIC", a new computer tool that will help authorities react better to emergencies was officially launched yesterday.

Developed by the CSIRO, the Emergency Response Intelligence Capability collects data and displays it on a map-based interface and helps generate reports showing who might need help and where.

ERIC pulls together data from the Bureau of Statistics, departmental regional profile data and live and historic data feeds to generate situation reports to help the Department of Human Services Emergency Management team respond faster and more efficiently as emergencies unfold.

Federal Human Services Minister Jan McLucas, who launched the tool, said an early prototype was tested last summer and will be fully operational for the coming summer disaster season.

"ERIC provides staff with information on current emergency warnings combined with the demographic information of a particular community," Senator McLucas said.

"This allows the department to quickly pull together relevant information to make informed service-delivery decisions."

The CSIRO's Mike Kearney said: "One of the aims of this project is to use innovative technologies and practices to provide a more efficient and effective national service delivery system."

Senator McLucas also used the visit to thank Department of Human Services staff in Sorell for their work to help bushfire-affected communities.

"Staff were already on the ground when the Australian Government Disaster Recovery Payment was activated on January 6, providing support to those affected and a human face to Australian Government assistance," she said.

"They worked tirelessly including across weekends in service, recovery and evacuation centres and from the department's Mobile Service Centre at Sorell, Dunalley, Murdunna, Bicheno, Taranna and Ellendale, helping residents get back on their feet."

More than 7000 claims for the Australian Government Disaster Recovery Payment have been granted since the payment was activated, worth more than $7.9 million.

Claims closed for this payment on July 8 in the Glamorgan-Spring Bay, Tasman and Sorell local government areas and will close in the Central Highlands on September 9.


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