Critical Event Management

As a part of the activities to celebrate the 75th Traditional Day of the Vietnamese Meteorological and Hydrological Sector, a workshop was held on hydro-meteorological monitoring technology for the forecasting and warning of natural disasters.

The event happened on 2 October and also discussed information consultation on meteorology and hydrology for disaster risk disclosure. Speaking at the workshop, Prof. Dr. Tran Hong Thai, Director General of the Vietnam Meteorological and Hydrological Administration said that since its establishment, the Vietnam Meteorological and Hydrological Sector has made significant contributions to socio-economic development, defence, and security, and especially disaster prevention and control.

The modernisation of hydrometeorology monitoring, broadcasting, and forecasting is the top priority of the meteorological and hydrological sector, especially the application of Industry 4.0 technologies in the general activities of the sector. Properly assessing natural disaster risks will contribute to reducing damage.

The workshop also aimed to create a forum for scientists from research institutes, universities, enterprises, and units under the Vietnam Meteorological and Hydrological Administration to exchange and share scientific and technological information. Also, to enable participants to propose research directions and possible applications of modern technologies in hydrometeorology monitoring, transmission, forecasting, and warning.

As OpenGov Asia reported in September, the pandemic has been the top priority for almost every nation across the globe, and while dealing with the pandemic, many governments have also had to tackle national natural disasters and severe weather incidents. In the first half of 2020, Asia experienced earthquakes, floods, landslides, volcanoes, typhoons, and bushfires, all while dealing with the pandemic.

As one of 42 countries around the world that can produce vaccines, Vietnam is speeding up its vaccine research to soon finalise a “made in Vietnam” COVID-19 vaccine for the country. The acting Health Minister, Nguyen Thanh Long, made the statement while delivering a speech at a workshop on the introduction of a vaccine against COVID-19 in Vietnam.

Domestic and international experts at the event discussed preparations for the use of COVID-19 vaccines in the world and Vietnam, aimed at assisting the country in implementing a national strategic plan as soon as the COVID-19 vaccine becomes available.

Manufacturers, research institutions, and countries are making it their top priority to develop a possible vaccine against COVID-19 that can be supplied to the market as soon as possible to help control the epidemic and bring back a normal life.

According to the World Health Organisation, as of 24 September, 187 COVID-19 candidate vaccines are undergoing research worldwide, of which 38 are undergoing clinical trials, while 149 others are in pre-clinical research.

Critical event management has come to the fore with the pandemic. Forecasting, planning and management of critical events help organisations and authorities prevent disruption of life and damage to property.

Governments rely on several, specific systems for critical event management. Such programmes are essential to national well-being especially with the increase in natural disasters. But, more often than not, they operate in isolation of each other. According to world experts in Critical Event Management – Everbridge, this siloed approach can create duplication in information and processes, data contradictions and, when unchecked, could lead to loss of life and damages.

Everbridge’s Coronavirus Preparedness and solutions can make a significant difference in mitigating harm caused by the pandemic. They provide richer intelligence and correlating threats with locations of assets and people ensuring more rapid and comprehensive incident assessment and remediation.

With the pandemic forecast to be around for some time, planning responses to adverse events must continue alongside COVID-19 management. In light of this, it is expedient for governments to re-look at their systems, tools, processes and platforms they have in place to manage critical events.

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The AquaWatch Australia mission, being developed by CSIRO and the research consortium under a leading local supplier of fully automatic satellite systems, is one of several large research initiatives aimed at solving Australia’s greatest challenges. They are focused on outcomes that lead to positive impact, new jobs and economic growth, in this case ensuring the country can maintain and manage water quality.

Natural events such as toxic algal blooms, the contamination of drinking water, and excess runoff from irrigation all present a significant influence on the health of our inland and coastal waters. Having real-time data about these events and Australia’s waterways supports water managers in monitoring and managing water quality.

While data gathered from space provides critical insights into water quality, currently available Earth observation satellites only provide 60-70 per cent coverage for major Australian water bodies. Moreover, while the quality of some inland waterways is monitored directly by testing, this data isn’t routinely combined with satellite data.

To fill this gap, AquaWatch aims to complement existing systems and build a comprehensive national monitoring system using an extensive network of ground-based sensors placed throughout Australia’s rivers and waterways.

The CEO of the local supplier stated that the AquaWatch scoping phase will include assessing the current range of water quality monitoring programs across Australia and identifying opportunities to drive efficiencies, advancements and adoption of new space technology to safeguard our water resources.

These sensors would work together with purpose-designed Earth observation satellites to deliver real-time updates, predictive analytics and forecast warnings to water managers.

In addition to monitoring the health of inland rivers, dams and waterways, the project aims to grow the industry and create new job opportunities across the environmental data services sector, primary industry and agriculture and support drought resilience efforts.

During the initial scoping phase, CSIRO and the satellite company are collaborating with partners from the research sector, government agencies and industry including the University of Queensland, UNSW Canberra, Curtin University, Frontier SI, Water Research Australia and SatDek. Partnerships with international partners will also be explored.

The project has great potential to deliver two-fold benefits of improving water quality management as well as creating new skills and job opportunities in Australia across a range of industries.

The Director of CSIRO’s Centre for Earth Observation stated that this early phase consultation will engage with collaborators from across the industry, research and government. The aim is to work directly with water agencies, community leaders and industry to better understand the challenges faced in water health monitoring.

The government is now working with project partners to analyse the core elements required to establish an integrated space infrastructure network and create the domestic technical capability to build it.

AquaWatch also has the potential to monitor coastal wetlands, aquaculture farms, riparian vegetation and terrestrial biodiversity, mine sites, mangroves and coral reef environments.

It was noted that the outcomes could lead to a step-change in Australia’s national water quality information delivery, supporting decision-makers in water agencies, local communities, water utilities and commercial water users to provide safe drinking water and manage this precious natural resource.

After the initial AquaWatch scoping phase, CSIRO and SmartSat expect to have a framework for the future development of the mission. This will help inform the development of future local advanced manufacturing opportunities, water modelling and Earth observation data analysis and applications.

Critical event management has come to the fore with the pandemic. Forecasting, planning and management of critical events help organisations and authorities prevent disruption of life and damage to property.

Governments rely on several, specific systems for critical event management. Such programmes are essential to national well-being especially with the increase in natural disasters. But, more often than not, they operate in isolation of each other. According to world experts in Critical Event Management – Everbridge, this siloed approach can create duplication in information and processes, data contradictions and, when unchecked, could lead to loss of life and damages.

Everbridge’s Coronavirus Preparedness can make a significant difference in mitigating harm caused by the pandemic. They provide richer intelligence and correlating threats with locations of assets and people ensuring more rapid and comprehensive incident assessment and remediation.

With the pandemic forecast to be around for some time, planning responses to adverse events must continue alongside COVID-19 management. In light of this, it is expedient for governments to re-look at their systems, tools, processes and platforms they have in place to manage critical events.

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October 28, 2020 | 10:30AM IST | 1:00PM SG/HKT | 4:00PM AEST
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Australia is currently developing its first cubesat, a type of miniaturized satellite for space research that is made up of multiples of 10 cm × 10 cm × 10 cm cubic units, designed to predict where bushfires are likely to start and those that will be difficult to contain.

The development will take place at The Australian National University’s (ANU) Mt Stromlo campus, led by remote-sensing expert Dr Marta Yebra and instrument scientist Dr Rob Sharp.

For this project, the ANU Institute for Space (InSpace) has awarded AU$1 million (approximately US$665k) to the team to build an optical system that can detect changes on the ground through infrared detectors on-board the satellite. The ANU team will partner with other researchers and the private sector to complete the project and launch the new satellite into low-Earth orbit.

The new satellite will accurately measure forest fuel load and vegetation moisture levels across Australia. The technology will be specifically tuned to detect changes in Australian plants and trees such as eucalyptus, which are highly flammable.

With this mission the team will receive high-resolution infrared images and data of fuel conditions that will help firefighters on the ground, said Dr Yebra, an InSpace Mission Specialist from the Fenner School of Environment and Society and the Research School of Aerospace, Mechanical and Environmental Engineering at ANU.

This infrared technology and data, which is not currently available, will help to target controlled-burns that can reduce the frequency and severity of bushfires, as well as their long-term impacts on Australia’s people, economy, and environment, she added.

This satellite will be the first in a constellation of remote sensing satellites that will monitor Australia’s environment. The constellation will be designed to have a positive impact on Australia’s property management, insurance, geological, agriculture and defence industries.

The team will gradually build up the capacity to monitor these bushfire risks in Australia. At first, they are focusing on long-term monitoring. Within the next five years, they plan to be able to monitor changes to the landscape and environment in real-time.

Pushing forward critical event management tech

The new solution is an excellent example of CEM technology. As regions and countries across the world battle wildfires and other natural calamities, Everbridge’s public warning solutions have been developed to significantly aid the mitigation of harm caused by such critical events.

Australia also recently deployed another CEM solution. OpenGov Asia reported that the operator of the suburban passenger rail network serving the city of Sydney in New South Wales launched a safety, security and emergency management platform called CriticalArc’s SafeZone. The system will help mitigate risks to staff and customers and strengthen its capacity to respond to incidents and emergencies.

SafeZone will put up to 2,500 front-line staff at more than 175 stations directly in touch with security control room teams, letting them summon immediate assistance at the touch of a button and receive an optimised response via their assigned smartphone.

This will also provide the operator with real-time situational awareness and a more complete picture of critical events, supporting security management functions, such as sending targeted alerts to specific individuals and groups and enabling control room operators to pinpoint the location of individuals needing help.

The Chief Executive Officer and Chairman of Everbridge stated noted that the company’s proprietary Public Warning solution enables government organizations and public safety agencies to immediately connect with every person in an affected area during a critical event regardless of nationality, residency or mobile telephone handset type.

He also noted that Australia is a model example for population-wide alerting and emergency preparedness over the past decade, and the firm was honoured to support them on the evolution of their national system.

Critical event management has come to the fore with the pandemic. Forecasting, planning and management of critical events help organisations and authorities prevent disruption of life and damage to property.

Governments rely on several, specific systems for critical event management. Such programmes are essential to national well-being especially with the increase in natural disasters. But, more often than not, they operate in isolation of each other. According to world experts in Critical Event Management – Everbridge, this siloed approach can create duplication in information and processes, data contradictions and, when unchecked, could lead to loss of life and damages.

Everbridge’s Coronavirus Preparedness can make a significant difference in mitigating harm caused by the pandemic. They provide richer intelligence and correlating threats with locations of assets and people ensuring more rapid and comprehensive incident assessment and remediation.

With the pandemic forecast to be around for some time, planning responses to adverse events must continue alongside COVID-19 management. In light of this, it is expedient for governments to re-look at their systems, tools, processes and platforms they have in place to manage critical events.

APAC CEM WEBINAR: MANAGING MULTIPLE THREATS WITH AN INTEGRATED CEM PLATFORM
October 28, 2020 | 10:30AM IST | 1:00PM SG/HKT | 4:00PM AEST
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Malaysia is pushing towards a few key deliverables, among which is the establishment of the APEC COVID-19 LIVE, a digital information-sharing platform among the 21-member economies, the Senior Officer Meeting (SOM) Chair said.

The APEC COVID-19 LIVE platform aims to capture the policy interventions, measures, programmes, and initiatives adopted by APEC Economies to address the health crisis. It aims to expedite economic rebound by developing a coordinated approach to collecting and sharing information on policies and measures, including stimulus packages for the immediate responses to the economic crisis and long-term recovery packages.

In addition to the COVID-19 LIVE, other key deliverables and outcome documents have been included in the agenda, including the establishment of the Sub-fund for APEC Cooperation on Combating COVID-19 and Economic Recovery, he said.

The call to prioritise work on this front for Senior Officials have been instructed by Ministers’ Responsible for Trade (MRT), he said in his opening remark at the Second Virtual SOM meeting. The Chair stated that it was of utmost importance for the group to collectively come to an agreement on this proposal and ensure that the digital platform is materialised before the APEC Economic Leaders Meeting (AELM).

The other agendas are the APEC Internet and Digital Economy Roadmap (AIDER) Work Programme, final assessment on Bogor Goals, APEC Connectivity Blueprint Mid-term Review, and final assessment of APEC Strategy for Strengthening Quality Growth.

The group must work swiftly to complete the pending tasks associated with these documents to enable them to reflect the relevant key achievements in the Leaders’ Declaration. With little time left before the AELM, the Senior Official of respective member economies were called upon to embrace the spirit of cooperation and collaboration in concretising the deliverables.

According to another report, the Second Virtual Senior Officials’ Meeting (VSOM2) chaired by the Deputy Secretary-General under the Ministry of International Trade and Industry was held on 29 September 2020. The virtual meeting is a sign of Malaysia’s commitment as the host of APEC 2020. The deliverables that are crucial for Apec 2020 were the main focus, with only 53 more days to the APEC Economic Leaders’ Meeting (AELM). Discussions were centred around the Apec programme’s workflow to ensure that deadlines were met.

The 2017 APEC Internet and Digital Economy Roadmap, the APEC Leaders formally recognized the role of the Internet Economy in promoting innovative development and increasing economic participation in 2014.

They endorsed the APEC Initiative of Cooperation to Promote Internet Economy and instructed Ministers and officials to discuss the Internet Economy further, promote member economies’ cooperation on developing the Internet Economy, and facilitate technological and policy exchanges to bridge the digital divide.

The APEC Roadmap on Internet and Digital Economy builds on previous initiatives and is a framework that provides guidance on key areas and actions to facilitate technological and policy exchanges among member economies and to promote innovative, inclusive and sustainable growth, as well as to bridge the digital divide in the APEC region.

Given the evolving nature of the Internet and Digital Economy, these areas should not be seen as capturing the full nature of the Internet and Digital Economy. This Roadmap is a living document that will advise APEC working groups on potential areas of cooperation and an important contribution to further promote the development and growth of the Internet and Digital Economy in APEC. Acknowledging the variety of economic and social circumstances across APEC economies while recognizing the cross-cutting nature of the Internet and Digital Economy, APEC Economies will concentrate, but not limit, their work on the following key focus areas.

  1. Development of digital infrastructure
  2. Promotion of Interoperability
  3. Achievement of universal broadband access
  4. Development of holistic government policy frameworks for the Internet and Digital Economy
  5. Promoting coherence and cooperation of regulatory approaches affecting the Internet and Digital Economy
  6. Promoting innovation and adoption of enabling technologies and services
  7. Enhancing trust and security in the use of ICTs
  8. Facilitating the free flow of information and data for the development of the Internet and Digital Economy, while respecting applicable domestic laws and regulations
  9. Improvement of baseline Internet and Digital Economy measurements
  10. Enhancing the inclusiveness of Internet and Digital Economy
  11. Facilitation of E-commerce and Advancing Cooperation on Digital Trade

With regards to implementation, Senior Officials will have overall responsibility for monitoring and evaluating progress under the APEC Internet and Digital Economy Roadmap including implementation of the above Key Focus Areas by the relevant fora and sub-fora. Senior Officials will report periodically to Ministers on progress and seek further guidance given the evolving nature of the Internet and Digital Economy.

Critical event management has come to the fore with the pandemic. Forecasting, planning and management of critical events help organisations and authorities prevent disruption of life and damage to property.

Governments rely on several, specific systems for critical event management. Such programmes are essential to national well-being especially with the increase in natural disasters. But, more often than not, they operate in isolation of each other. According to world experts in Critical Event Management – Everbridge, this siloed approach can create duplication in information and processes, data contradictions and, when unchecked, could lead to loss of life and damages.

Everbridge’s Coronavirus Preparedness can make a significant difference in mitigating harm caused by the pandemic. They provide richer intelligence and correlating threats with locations of assets and people ensuring more rapid and comprehensive incident assessment and remediation.

With the pandemic forecast to be around for some time, planning responses to adverse events must continue alongside COVID-19 management. In light of this, it is expedient for governments to re-look at their systems, tools, processes and platforms they have in place to manage critical events.

APAC CEM WEBINAR: MANAGING MULTIPLE THREATS WITH AN INTEGRATED CEM PLATFORM
October 28, 2020 | 10:30AM IST | 1:00PM SG/HKT | 4:00PM AEST
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The new Common Alerting Protocol (CAP)  feed allows Emergency Mobile Alert (EMA) messages to be distributed by other systems connected to the internet. This will allow EMA life safety messages to get to people who are out of network coverage.

Emergency Mobile Alerts are currently only received by mobile devices that are connected to the cellular network. The new CAP feed allows messages to be distributed by systems that just need to be connected to the internet.

The National Emergency Management Agency is very keen for developers to enhance the reach of EMA by using this feed. Warning messages can be formatted in Common Alerting Protocol (CAP), an XML-based open, non-proprietary digital message format for exchanging all-hazard emergency alerts. The CAP feed can present a list of warning messages in either of the common feed formats, RSS and Atom.

Whenever an Emergency Mobile Alert is issued, the same information is now made publicly available in two places: the RSS feed and the Atom feed. These URLs make the messages available to other systems to be re-used. This could be by smartphone apps, websites or other alerting hubs that use CAP as a basis

Any agency can integrate the information into its website or apps. A test feed is available and NEMA can work with the agency to synchronise the development path with their with test message feed.

In other information, the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment’s (MBIE) Building System Performance team and the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) will help communities across New Zealand address a crucial issue – how do people living in low-lying, coastal areas evacuate in time from an impending tsunami?

To address this issue, MBIE has worked together with NEMA to produce a document which provides technical information on how to design tsunami vertical evacuation structures that can be used as a last-resort refuge for people in the event of a tsunami.

Tsunami vertical evacuation structures provide a last resort option for life safety that Civil Defence Emergency Management Groups may wish to consider. Their use is most appropriate during local source tsunami events when available evacuation time can be minutes.

“They may be a good option for low-lying, coastal areas of New Zealand, where it may not possible for all those at risk to evacuate inland, to higher elevations, or out of tsunami evacuation zones before tsunami waves arrive,” says Jenni Tipler, Manager of Engineering at MBIE.

MBIE had been hearing from several communities that this was an area of real concern for them, so they worked together with NEMA to help develop information to address this risk. The information describes in detail the design elements of an effective structure.

Some communities already have buildings available that can be identified as appropriate evacuation places, while other communities can use the information when building new structures in their area. The new technical information follows the release of the Assessment and Planning for Tsunami Vertical Evacuation Guideline for Civil Defence Emergency Management Groups in 2018.

As New Zealand matures in its approach to tsunami risk management, they continue to address some of the more difficult challenges they face in managing tsunami risk. The two-phase information produced by the National Emergency Management Agency and the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment will help Civil Defence Emergency Management Groups ensure they are implementing the most appropriate and practical tsunami risk management measures when considering tsunami vertical evacuation in their areas.

The new Tsunami loads and effects on vertical evacuation structures information are available on the Building Performance website. The 2018 Assessment and Planning Guidelines for Tsunami Vertical Evacuation document is available on the NEMA website.

Earlier in July, the New Zealand Lifelines Council released the 2020 Edition of the New Zealand Critical Lifelines Infrastructure National Vulnerability Assessment. The report is available now on the Lifelines reports and resources page.

The assessment aims to provide government, industry and communities with a better understanding of 1) What is nationally significant infrastructure; and 2) Infrastructure vulnerability and its resilience to hazards.

Critical event management has come to the fore with the pandemic. Forecasting, planning and management of critical events help organisations and authorities prevent disruption of life and damage to property.

Governments rely on several, specific systems for critical event management. Such programmes are essential to national well-being especially with the increase in natural disasters. But, more often than not, they operate in isolation of each other.

According to world experts in Critical Event Management – Everbridge – this segregated perspective runs the risk of duplication of information and processes, data contradictions and, unmanaged, has the potential to lead to loss of life and property.

With the pandemic forecast to be around for some time, planning responses to adverse events must continue alongside COVID-19 management. In light of this, it is expedient for governments to re-look at their systems, tools, processes and platforms they have in place to manage critical events.

Everbridge’s Coronavirus Preparedness can make a significant difference in mitigating harm caused by the pandemic. They provide richer intelligence and correlating threats with locations of assets and people ensuring more rapid and comprehensive incident assessment and remediation.

APAC CEM WEBINAR: MANAGING MULTIPLE THREATS WITH AN INTEGRATED CEM PLATFORM
October 28, 2020 | 10:30AM IST | 1:00PM SG/HKT | 4:00PM AEST
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Download Everbridge’s Whitepaper: MANAGING SEVERE WEATHER EVENTS DURING OTHER CRISES

The Indian Tsunami Early Warning Centre (ITEWC) was established at the Indian National Centre for Ocean Information Services, Hyderabad. An autonomous body under the Ministry of Earth Sciences, the centre is designed to provide timely tsunami advisories to all stakeholders.

Apart from the service its renders domestically,  ITEWC also provides tsunami services to 25 Indian Ocean Countries as part of the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission (IOC) of the UNESCO framework.

INCOIS has introduced several innovative concepts in tsunami modeling, mapping of coastal inundation, Decision Support System, SOPs to meet the emerging challenges and provide accurate and timely tsunami early warnings.

The Indian National Centre for Ocean Information Services (INCOIS) established a Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) and Strong Motion Accelerometers in the Andaman and Nicobar Islands for quick and reliable estimation of source parameters for near-source earthquakes. In addition, INCOIS carried out Multi-hazard Vulnerability Mapping (MHVM) along the mainland of Indian coastland and an MHVM atlas has been created using the data.

The ITEWC regularly conducts workshops, training sessions and tsunami mock exercises to create awareness and preparedness about the tsunamis. In addition to workshops and training for disaster managers, ITEWC also coordinates with coastal States/UTs to implement a Tsunami Ready Programme – a concept introduced by UNESCO at a community level.

The Ocean Services, Modelling, Applications, Resources and Technology (O-SMART) Scheme was approved by the Union Cabinet in August 2018 and is implemented by the Ministry of Earth Sciences. It is an umbrella scheme which encompasses a total of 16 sub-projects addressing ocean development activities such as Services, Technology, Resources, Observations and Science.

The initiative aims to step-up ocean research and establish an early-warning weather system. It addresses ocean development activities such as services, technology, resources, observations and science. It also provides the necessary scientific and technological background required for the implementation of various aspects of Blue Economy.

The centre aims to develop a wide range of state-of-the-art ocean observation systems for the acquisition of real-time data from the seas around India and to cater to the testing and sea trial activities of ocean technology. It will generate and disseminate a suite of user-oriented ocean information, advisories, warnings, data and data products for the benefit of society. Data and research will generate high-resolution models for ocean forecast and reanalysis systems as well as algorithms for validation of satellite data for coastal research and to monitor changes in the coastal research.

Such programmes are critical to national security and survival as the world has seen an increase in natural calamities and disasters. Government at all levels – central, regional and state – rely increasingly on dedicated systems for critical event management (CEM). According to world experts in Critical Event Management – Everbridge, these silos can create redundancies in information and processes, data contradictions and, in worst-case scenarios, greater loss of life and damages.

Without an integrated CEM platform, command centres and security teams will be unable to respond as quickly and as thoroughly as situations warrant. The inability to respond adequately takes a severe toll on life and property, which, in turn, adversely affects citizen confidence and the cost to the country.

With an integrated CEM platform, rapid, consolidated responses are more easily coordinated. Emergency teams and command centres receive threat alerts in advance, allowing them to identify, assess and locate the risks, affected assets and appropriate responders. A CEM platform can also automate communications and by using a public warning system, action plans, and SOPs, so response teams have immediate access to information and can act rapidly. Post-event analytics can pinpoint where bottlenecks and delays surfaced and how these could be mitigated in the future.

With the pandemic forecast to be around for some time, planning responses to severe weather events must continue alongside COVID-19 management. In light of this, it behoves governments to evaluate processes, systems, tools and platforms they have to respond to critical events.

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The management of critical events is becoming an increasingly important and widespread practice. From significant weather events, natural disasters and global pandemics, critical events create operational disruptions and have an enormous financial impact.

The COVID-19 pandemic is perhaps the aptest example of this. Some nations have buckled under the pressure generated by the economic upheaval and setbacks the virus has caused. Other nations, like Malaysia, have risen to the challenge and have employed technology in innovative and efficient ways.

For example, in March 2020, the Sarawak Multimedia Authority (SMA) rolled out a digital tracking device to curb the spread of Covid-19 in the state. The digital surveillance solution gave the state disaster management committee the “scalable capability” to monitor the disease at all points of entry in Sarawak.

Under the solution, all those entering Sarawak were issued a QR-coded wristband based on two categories: person under investigation (PUI) and 14-day stay home notice. Wearers were required to report their situation twice daily by scanning their wristband’s QR code to submit the information.

Data collated will allow the state disaster management committee to make informed decisions and to conduct random checks on the wearers. The wearers’ location enables the committee to establish hotspots, a key strategy to curb further spread of the disease, the SMA General Manager had said in a statement.

At the time, various tracker systems had been deployed in China, Singapore, South Korea and Hong Kong where the data collected was crucial in managing the shape and evolution of the virus’ spread.

The state disaster management committee had earlier enlisted SMA to develop a digital system to track persons undergoing self-quarantine for Covid-19. Ultimately, this solution will be integrated into the ‘Permission to Enter/Exit’ system to effectively monitor Sarawak’s entry points.

This move resulted in the state, and Malaysia, being lauded for its efforts in combating the virus. On 22 September 2020, the Sarawak State Disaster Management Committee’s (SDMC) utilization of technology to curb the Covid-19 pandemic was recognised as the committee was awarded the Malaysian Technology Excellence Award (MTEA) by Singapore Business Review 2020 in Kuala Lumpur.

SDMC’s initiative for the development of two key applications, namely i-Alerts and enterSarawak, and the seamless integration of both systems was acknowledged by the judging committee from Deloitte Asia Pacific, KPMG Malaysia, BDO, Crowe Growth Consulting as well as Ernst & Young Advisory Services as riding the disruption wave and leading the technological revolution by leveraging on technology as a key catalyst to control the spread of the Covid-19 pandemic in Sarawak.

The award was received by the General Manager of the Sarawak Multimedia Authority (SMA) on behalf of the Sarawak Disaster Management Committee. He stated that the agency aims to be the leader in the Digitalisation of Malaysia; being at the forefront, realising The Right Honourable Chief Minister of Sarawak’s vision of a robust Digital Economy.

As strategised by SMA, the applications, which focus on data interoperability, allows for the harmonised approach of collecting and transmitting data between stakeholders, decision-makers and the public. This empowered the State to channel all relevant information via a single and globally interoperable information structure thus avoiding the unnecessary complexity in systems and improve overall efficiency.

The uniformity of these platform creates speed, systemization and standardization which improves overall efficiency across the entire disaster lifecycle thus allowing enterSarawak to be seamlessly applied across 33 Immigration, Customs, Quarantine and Security centres (ICQS) in Sarawak immediately during MCO creating touchless border security while i- Alerts acts as the Core Integrated Disaster Management Platform for SDMC.

The open standards for the system also ensure enhanced scaling and improved efficiency of the timeliness of the transfer of information. Furthermore, by making full use of existing data in the disaster management sector, i-Alerts can adopt mechanisms that ensure resource verification, findability, accessibility, interoperability, reuse and leverage the growth of existing Government Open Data initiatives.

Critical event management has come to the fore with the pandemic. Forecasting, planning and management of critical events help organisations and authorities prevent disruption of life and damage to property.

Governments rely on several, specific systems for critical event management. Such programmes are essential to national well-being especially with the increase in natural disasters. But, more often than not, they operate in isolation of each other. According to world experts in Critical Event Management – Everbridge, this siloed approach can create duplication in information and processes, data contradictions and, when unchecked, could lead to loss of life and damages.

Everbridge’s Coronavirus Preparedness can make a significant difference in mitigating harm caused by the pandemic. They provide richer intelligence and correlating threats with locations of assets and people ensuring more rapid and comprehensive incident assessment and remediation.

With the pandemic forecast to be around for some time, planning responses to adverse events must continue alongside COVID-19 management. In light of this, it is expedient for governments to re-look at their systems, tools, processes and platforms they have in place to manage critical events.

APAC CEM WEBINAR: MANAGING MULTIPLE THREATS WITH AN INTEGRATED CEM PLATFORM
October 28, 2020 | 10:30AM IST | 1:00PM SG/HKT | 4:00PM AEST
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Download Everbridge’s Whitepaper: MANAGING SEVERE WEATHER EVENTS DURING OTHER CRISES

Covid-19 has dominated 2020. It has been the top priority for almost every nation across the globe, and while dealing with the pandemic, many governments have also had to tackle national natural disasters and severe weather incidents.

In the first half of 2020, the world experienced many major natural disasters. And Asia has experienced at least ten of them in the first six months. The continent has faced everything from earthquakes, floods, landslides, volcanoes, typhoons, bushfires, all while dealing with the pandemic.

This year really has kept governments on edge, waiting for what is to come next. And this is a key point – What will come next? And are governments prepared for all eventualities? Have they planned for what would happen if a natural disaster were to occur? And how would they deal with a severe weather event while also dealing with the ongoing global pandemic?

Major Natural Disasters that Occurred in the first 5 months of 2020 in Asia

Bushfires, Australia
At the end of 2019 and early 2020, the bushfires in Australia spread quickly across the country. A state of emergency was declared in Queensland and New South Wales in November 2019, and slowly all the other states followed as the fires continued to spread.

The Australian bushfires are considered one of the biggest natural disasters of the year. The extent of damage ranged from an estimated 18 million hectares burned, over 9000 buildings and homes destroyed, and 400 deaths directly or indirectly.

Flash Floods, Indonesia
Flash floods occurred throughout the Indonesian capital of Jakarta and its metropolitan area on the early hours of 1 January 2020, due to the overnight rain which experienced nearly 400 millimetres (15 in) of rainwater, causing the Ciliwung and Cisadane rivers to overflow. At least 66 people have been killed, and 60,000 displaced in the worst flooding in the area since 2007.

Volcano Eruption, Philippines
The second most active volcano in the Philippines, Taal Volcano erupted in January 2020. On 12th January. As a result, a large amount of ash dust was emitted and forced authorities to evacuate over 8,000 people close by and 3,00,000 people overall.

Cyclone Amphan, Bangladesh-India
Cyclone Amphan is classified as one of the most powerful, deadly tropical cyclones to ever impact Bangladesh and India. It was categorized as a category 5 hurricane and the havoc it wreaked was devastating. It caused landfalls, heavy rains and lightning causing major destruction and killing 12 people.

Forest Fires, Uttarakhand – India
In May, a forest fire that lasted for days caused Uttarakhand to burn. What may have started as a small fire has managed to engulf 51 hectares of forest land. 2 deaths and several others have been injured.

Assam Floods, India
Many parts of Assam have experienced heavy rains and as a result, have been negatively affected in the form of floods. 128 villages, 5 districts and many more have been affected.

Disaster and Emergency Management Agencies release figures showing the true extent of the cost of severe weather

As Governments throughout Asia release the figures relating to severe weather and natural disasters, it is evident how costly these events are in terms of lives, homes, economy and infrastructure.

China
Natural disasters continue to hit China, and the country lost 271 lives during the first half of 2020, an official report showed. Some 19,000 houses were destroyed and 785,000 houses damaged during the last six months across mainland China, causing an economic loss of $11.5 billion, Global Times quoted a report by the Ministry of Emergency Management.

Last month’s heavy floods in eight provinces and regions of southern and eastern China affected more than a million people. The June 8 floods affected at least 1.76 million people, with 120,000 evacuated, nine dying and five missing, according to the Centre of Disaster Reduction in China.

Indonesia
The National Disaster Management Agency (BNPB) released numbers this week, they recorded 2,059 natural disasters that struck Indonesia during the period from January to September 20, with the number of deaths reaching 282.

Indonesia was hit by 771 incidents of floods, 534 whirlwinds, and 377 landslides. The natural disasters had affected and displaced a total of 4.2 million people, claimed 282 lives, and rendered 25 people missing while causing injuries to 427 others.

Furthermore, natural disasters damaged 30,655 homes and 1,419 public facilities. The country also recorded a total of 302 forest and land fires as well as five volcanic eruptions.

Governments Urge For Better Response to Severe Weather and Natural Disasters

Governments are quickly realising the need to act now to prevent, or rather, manage the events that they already know could happen at any time. This week saw governments in Asia review emergency planning and funding strategies as well as call on their technology institutes to work on preventing future disasters.

Australia
The Royal Commission in Australia, heard this week that more frequent natural disasters in Australia will become ‘a major strategic problem in its own right’. The commission is in its final week of hearings and is due to deliver its final report to the federal government on 28 October.

The Australian Defence Force (ADF) was called in to help the bushfire response this summer, and have been integrated into health and police departments as part of the response to the coronavirus pandemic. Peter Jennings, the executive director of the Australian Strategic Policy Institute, told the Royal Commission on Tuesday this week that the ADF would not be able to continue support with its actual defence responsibility without additional funding.

Peter Jennings added that more frequent and more severe national disasters, exacerbated by the climate crisis, would become “a major strategic problem in its own right”. And that the Pacific region, and south-east Asia, would be “the epicentre of natural disaster risk going forward”.

One of the initiatives that the Australian government is using to help with crises is a public warning system. In combination with Australia’s major telecommunications companies, the Everbridge Public Warning solution will be used to power Emergency Alert Australia, providing population-wide alerting to help reach the country’s over 25 million residents and approximately 9 million annual visitors.

Anyone in an area where a sudden, critical event occurs such as fire, extreme weather or a terror attack, residents and visitors to Australia will receive location-based SMS notifications on their mobile phones, in addition to smartphone mobile app notifications and fixed-line voice alerts, among other modes of communication.

India
Also, this week, speaking at the Indian Institute of Technology, on Tuesday 22nd of September, Prime Minister Modi, India urged the IIT  to use this experience in helping the state governments of the Northeastern region to tackle the various natural and other disasters which have been having a negative impact on the development prospects of the region.

He called for the IIT to form a centre for disaster management and risk reduction for the region. The Prime Minister said “The North East is full of possibilities. But it has problems of floods, earthquakes, life slam hand industrial disasters also, and the governments have to spend their time tackling these.”

The Missing Puzzle Piece: An Integrated CEM Platform

Many governments and national, regional and state authorities rely on multiple, separate systems for their critical event management (CEM).

According to world experts in Critical Event Management – Everbridge, these silos can spell redundancies in information and processes, data contradictions, and, in worst-case scenarios, greater loss of life and damages.

Without an integrated CEM platform, command centres and security teams can’t respond as quickly and as thoroughly as situation warrants, which in turn negatively affects budgets, stakeholder confidence, and employee and customer trust.

With an integrated CEM platform, however, rapid, consolidated responses are more easily coordinated. Emergency response teams and command centres receive threat alerts ahead of time, so they can identify, assess, and locate the risks, affected assets, and appropriate responders.

A CEM platform can also automate communications and by using a public warning system, action plans, and SOPs, so your teams have immediate access to information and can act at lightning speed. Later, analytics pinpoint where bottlenecks and delays surfaced and where they might be avoided in the future.

As the pandemic looms over the world for the foreseeable future, planning responses to severe weather events will continue in tandem with coronavirus risk management. And, as natural disasters are occurring more frequently throughout the region – it’s more important than ever for governments to evaluate the processes, systems, tools, and platforms they have to respond to critical events.

APAC CEM WEBINAR: MANAGING MULTIPLE THREATS WITH AN INTEGRATED CEM PLATFORM
October 28, 2020 | 10:30AM IST | 1:00PM SG/HKT | 4:00PM AEST
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Understanding Critical Event Management From Different Perspectives.