In case of a major sudden-onset disaster, the application enables volunteers and crisis commanders to share relevant information and, therefore, create a better situational awareness, which is crucial for situation assessment and effective disaster response.
The main goal of the solution is supported by establishing an additional open communication channel between the affected population and responder organizations. Public users, who do not need to register and stay anonymous, can provide short observation reports on damages, supply needs or available resources, which are subsequently collected and reviewed by a control team. Special report templates can be predefined and adapted to the information needs of each category. The author can categorize the report according to its topic and provide additional information like geo-location, images etc.
Registered responders can validate and publish these reports or add supporting information (evacuation points, shelter locations and others). In order to control the information flow and to ensure quality management on the collected data, a central server interface manages a review process for each observation. Thereby, professionals and trusted informed reviewers can decide on the validity of the information and set the visibility for each target group.
GDACSmobile is linked to the Global Alert and Coordination System (GDACS). The development was motivated together with the Joint Research Centre (JRC) of the EU Commission.
Supported Use Cases
GM-01 Report Observations on Infrastucture and Needs in the Affected Area
Users from the general public can contribute to the crowdsourcing of information via the mobile application. Each user can submit reports on observations within the affected area of the disaster. These reports are categorized according to object or topic, e.g. road blockings, evacuation needs or observed damages. The applications is not supposed to replace emergency calls, but to enable users to share relevant information via an additional new communication channel. Reports can contain images, text descriptions and further information depending on the selected category, e.g. water hights. Users are not required to register and stay fully anonymous.
Related CM functions
GM-02 Manage and Share Crowed Sourced Volunteer Observsation
The information manager in charge of the observations reported by the volunteers using the mobile application can review the reports. In order to manage the shared information and to perform quality management, each report can be set to be rejected, accepted or accepted and shared to the public. A report can be rejected in case of outdated information, misinterpreted situations or simply wrong information. Accepted reports are only visible to registered users are not made available to the public. Only shared reports can also be seen by the users in the mobile application to foster their situational awareness.
Related CM functions
GM-03 Publish Crisis Related Information to the Public
Registered professionals and the information manager can push reports and geolocated information as well to the mobile application. These reports do not require quality management and can be used to inform the users on, for example, evacuation sites, shelters or roadblocks. They are similar to the reports provided by the volunteers and likewise categorized by object and topic of the information. Together with the accepted and shared crowd sourced information, they form the operational picture visible to all users.