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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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Download Everbridge’s Whitepaper: MANAGING SEVERE WEATHER EVENTS DURING OTHER CRISES

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
REGISTER TODAY

Download Everbridge’s Whitepaper: MANAGING SEVERE WEATHER EVENTS DURING OTHER CRISES

The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) recently hosted a Contact Tracing Applications Pitch Party via Zoom to promote the reduction of pen and paper for establishments.

Dumaguete City Mayor Felipe Antonio Remollo cited that government agencies should use the applications to make the communities safer from the COVID-19 pandemic in preparation for the new normal. Through this process, the institutions will learn what applications they can use for their operations and protect both clients and staff as they re-open for business.

According to a press release, the event gathered about 12 tech startups/companies that pitched their contact tracing app to a panel of reactors coming from the private and public sectors. Remollo said showcasing these apps will encourage business enterprises and the government to adopt and implement in their respective areas and localities as the current pen and paper method entails a lot of risks and does not inspire the confidence of the public.

The Pitch Party was the second session in a series of webinars, under the DTI Ready to Recover (R2R) Program, that showcases effective, low-cost digital tools for contact tracing. The event is managed by DTI in partnership with the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT), the Department of Science and Technology (DOST), Startupisland.PH, the Company-Cebu, and the city government of Dumaguete.

The first session, dubbed “Understanding Smart Contact Tracing for Safer Communities and Faster Business Recovery”, discussed the science of contact tracing, contact tracing technologies/tools, Baguio city contact tracing best practice, and data privacy issues in contact tracing.

Recently, the Caloocan city government announced it will tap the scheduled use of quarantine bands (Q-bands) to process contact tracing. The City Administrator Oliver Hernandez stated that quarantined patients in the city may soon wear the innovative Q-band wristband to have their health status and locations monitored.

He said the plan is to have patients who are waiting for their swab test results to wear a quarantine wristband printed with a QR Code. The Q-band system will be a passive way to keep track of the patients. The wristband is made of durable acrylic. Patients must download the application, which includes a drop-down menu, to report their health status and locations. The city council, however, will still have to pass an enabling ordinance that would include fines for violators before the project is implemented.

Earlier this month, the Pasay City government rolled-out a contactless Quick Response (QR) Code System App to accelerate its COVID-19 contact tracing efforts. As OpenGov Asia reported, Mayor Emi Calixto-Rubiano said that the internet-based QR code technology was designed to give real-time updates of information and data to the city’s Contact Tracing Command Centre (CTCC). Once operational, an individual’s whereabouts, before a COVID-19 diagnosis, will be recorded in the system.

The Mayor added that the project is in response to the city’s preventive measures to contain potential virus transmissions in the country. The advanced digital contact tracing app’s key features include the ability to investigate COVID-19 cases, reveal testing results, provide clinical information, and conduct quarantine management.

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 Innovation and ICT Minister on 29 September 2020 announced $1.8 million of funding in the upcoming State Budget for the establishment of the State Government’s new Cyber Security Operations Centre. The new whole-of-government Cyber Security Operations Centre will significantly improve the visibility of cyber threats against agencies’ networks and the Government’s capability to detect and respond to cybersecurity incidents.

The new operations centre will support existing complementary efforts to improve cybersecurity resilience across government. It will also expand and complement the existing dedicated cybersecurity team within the Department of the Premier and Cabinet’s Office of Digital Government.

Staff in the new operations centre will be trained cybersecurity professionals, with the centre also offering further avenues of work and training for cybersecurity TAFE and university students participating in the Office of Digital Government’s work-integrated learning program.

The Office of Digital Government will today open applications for the recruitment of a whole‑of‑government pool of cybersecurity experts. Successful applicants will be placed in the Cyber Security Operations Centre team, another team within the Office of Digital Government’s Cyber Security Unit or in other public sector agencies. To apply, those interested can visit the website. 

The Innovation and ICT Minister Dave Kelly stated that the launch of the whole-of-government Cyber Security Operations Centre is a first for Western Australia and the first of its kind in Australia. During COVID-19, the nation saw a rise in malicious cyber activity in terms of frequency, scale, and sophistication. The Government is committed to building the cybersecurity capability within the State Government, the community and industry.

The new operations centre will provide unprecedented visibility of threats against agencies’ networks, as well as improve the State Government’s ability to coordinate and respond to cybersecurity threats against its systems. The Cyber Security Operations Centre will create further jobs and opportunities for cybersecurity professionals in WA.

Calls for improved cybersecurity measures heeded

Recently, OpenGov Asia reported that over the last year, the Australian Cyber Security Centre (ACSC) responded to 2,266 cybersecurity incidents and received 59,806 cybercrime reports, at an average of 164 cybercrime reports per day, or one report every 10 minutes. Of the 2,266 incidents reported, 828 were assessed as being Category 5 (Moderate Incident) with 754 assessed as Category 4 (substantial Incident).

Incidents reported by Commonwealth, state and territory governments accounted for more than a third of all incidents (35.4%). The nation’s critical infrastructure sectors including electricity, water, health, communications, and education represented around 35%of the incidents responded to by the ACSC. Malicious cyber activity against Australia’s national and economic interests is increasing in frequency, scale, and sophistication. Ransomware is one of the most significant threats because of its potential to damage government operations.

Between March 10 and 26, it received more than 45 pandemic-themed cybercrime and cybersecurity incident reports. Australia is comprehensively ramping up its cyber resilience capacities. On 30 June 2020, the Government announced a $1.35 billion Cyber Enhanced Situational Awareness and Response (CESAR) package to boost protection and cyber resilience for all Australians.

Under the Government’s CESAR package, the ACSC will continue working with AFP and ACIC to enhance capabilities to prevent and disrupt cybercrime targeting Australia. CESAR will also provide funding towards enhancing ReportCyber, improving the detection of widespread cybercrime campaigns and enabling the effective sharing of threat intelligence and cybersecurity advice to all Australians.

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
REGISTER TODAY

Download Everbridge’s Whitepaper: MANAGING SEVERE WEATHER EVENTS DURING OTHER CRISES

Entrepreneur of the Year 2017 - OpenGov Asia

He overcame all obstacles to reach his destination: Entrepreneur of the year (2017). Listen to our leader’s inspiring story.