Managing disaster response in one of the most volatile regions on Earth26/11/2015
Situated at the intersection of three major tectonic plates – between the highly volatile Pacific Ring of Fire and the Alpide belt – and home to 129 active volcanos, Indonesia is highly susceptible to a range of natural disasters, including earthquakes, tsunamis and volcanic eruptions.
The country is also vulnerable to extreme tropical weather events such as tornados, monsoonal rain, flooding, landslides, drought and man-made disasters such as forest fires, social conflict and catastrophic technology failures – all of which can have severely detrimental impacts on the community and economy.
For the government, the capacity to respond quickly and effectively to a wide range of disasters is essential.
Badan Nasional Penanggulangan Bencana (BNPB) is Indonesia’s national agency responsible for the coordination and implementation of disaster management activities in the country. This involves leading an integrated response to all aspects of a crisis, including prevention, preparedness, emergency response and recovery.
As part of the agency’s ongoing efforts to improve its capabilities, BNPB worked with Esri Indonesia to help enhance their capacity for field data collection and management. They introduced ArcGIS Online to enable comprehensive data integration. The web-based application allows field workers to upload information anywhere, in real-time.
In the face of recent large-scale forest fires, BNPB, working with both Esri Indonesia and US-based specialists supporting Esri’s Disaster Response Program, found the system drastically improved their ability to assess the situation and plan emergency responses, through:
- Improved data collection and recording using Collector for ArcGIS: Field workers and drones could easily record images and data in real-time, instantly updating response coordinators with current information
- Timely data analysis and reporting: With access to accurate, current data, BNPB was able to provide stakeholders with precise updates on fire locations and the severity of haze, ensuring adequate action was taken to save lives and property, and protect citizen health
- The speedy release of updated maps: With the capacity to layer information and make multiple, rapid updates, the digital mapping platform ensured BNPB could quickly produce and release current maps detailing locations impacted by fire and smoke haze
After witnessing the positive difference GIS technology made to their field data collection and real-time analysis, BNPB is now looking at additional ways to incorporate the ArcGIS platform into their operations – with a possible option including an enterprise-wide solution that would see the consolidation of their systems onto a single platform, producing even greater efficiencies.