Mobile apps and emergency management


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How smartphones are changing the way government deals with emergency management. Explains the importance of social media in a disaster, and reveals mind-blowing statistics on the penetration and use of mobile cell phones (mainly Australian data). Analyses impact of popular government smartphone app that provide citizens real-time bushfire information to their phones.

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  • Martin Cooper, inventor of the mobile phone.The first phone was the Motorola Dynatac 8000xLaunched in 1985. Cost $4k then, which in present day terms is $9,700Nowadays, phones everywhere. 6 million more subscribers than people.Pick up an LG prepaid for $49NASA went to the moon with less processing powerWhat the phone was like back then, imagine what things are going to be like just a few years from now…available at by Gabriella Fabbri available at
  • As first responders, how are you positioned to first respond to social mediaSo why might social media be useful in a crisis?
  • Australians have average of 25 apps on their phone (8 paid)Google Source:
  • Computing is nowmobileThe #1 method for accessing local information is the mobile deviceDouble in ‘mobile only’ homes in past 12 months 10%-18%More than one-third of people access NSW police Facebook page via mobile deviceBy 2014, mobile internet will be bigger than desktop(1) Source: Morgan Stanley via Mashable, DigitalBuzzBlog(2) Source: DigitalBuzzBlog, Source: KPMG The Converged Lifestyle 2011
  • Red cross survey out in 2011Internet third most popular way for people to find info during a crisis (television, local radio)Four-out-of-five believe emergency organisations should be monitoring social media to respond quickly
  • Average App Usage 287 seconds (high sticky and re-use factor).Ranked #22 in Australian App Store (News category)In front of 3AW, Herald Sun, SMH, Time
  • 4,342 new users on single day (first total fire ban day since 2012)38,911 subscribers to date
  • Apple platform comprises 85% of the market
  • 94k app usages hottest day (12/1)801k app usages this fire season(each time someone clicks or refreshes)
  • Peak on 12 January – first total fire ban day of summer55k push notifications single day817k push notifications sent to date(Only 6.5% have push turned off)
  • All hazards all agencies
  • If you build it, they will come, regardless.Can your staff handle itCan your IT infrastucture handle itHow will you be able to manage the influx in a crisisKeep investing, building, triallingIf you don’t buld it, they will come anywayGoing to turn to social media, if you create a vacuum, who’s fault will wrong info be?Publically curated information isn’t wrong – we need to find ways to embrace this new power in public hands. People will use the data and ultimately result in more resilient communitiesGet in early with hashtags
  • Free or paid social media monitoring tools, it doesn’t matter… but listen to your audiences.Need to use humans. One of Asia-Pacific’s leading social media monitoring tools, Brandtology, uses humans. 360m can help you make sense of it and develop a strategy to respond.Identify the metrics that matter, and report back. Write this into performance plans of staff at all levels.Image © Simon Krzic available at
  • We are not in control, the citizen isUsed to controlling the news media, but can’t control social mediaEmbrace it. Use the traditional management of journalists, they will leverage social mediaInformation moves fastCumbersome approval processes will hurt youToo slow means may as well not have botheredEg QLD floods, worked well.Command and control will not work in the world of hyperconnectednessImage by Armin Hanischavailable at
  • The Goverati: 2009 to describe a growing powerful elite within the public service:First-hand knowledge of how the government operatesWho understand how to use social software to accomplish a variety of government missionsWant to use that knowledge for the benefit of all.In a crisis, people will be wanting to helpCrisis campsTechnical experts want to help, be ready and able to accept helpSocial experts will want to help – make sure your response plans accommodateI’ve coined the phrase “Responder-ati”Tap into this to help build your organisational capabilitySocial media policy Q: WHO HAS ONE?Strategy and roadmapsTraining (tools change)Encourage mobileKick the tyresImage © Edward Mallia available at
  • Encouragegeotagging tweets and pics by defaultLead by example
  • 360m works with government and business to help them maximise community engagement and adapt to modern communication channels.Get in touch! We’d love to hear your challenges and how we might be able to help.Image available at (c)Shutterstock
  • Image by AngusWurthavailable at
  • Mobile apps and emergency management

    1. 1. VicRoads GIS User Group — GIS in Emergency Management
    2. 2. Smartphones have come a long way • First phone 1985 • Cost $9,700 • Now $49 • More power than moon landing
    3. 3. Modified image based on original © by Grovs1 via Picasa People are turning tosocial media in a crisis
    4. 4. • 2007 Californian Bushfires• Virginia Tech shootings• Chinese Earthquake 2008• Red-Cross @safeandwell• UK school closures• Haiti earthquake• Black Saturday• QLD floods• Fukushima Meltdown• London riots.
    5. 5. Image: © Chris JordanSmart phones are big.
    6. 6. Gartner 2011468,000,000
    7. 7. 81% Use the internet43% Looked up a map25 Apps installed 2012
    8. 8. The future of computing is mobile• Now #1 for local info• 1-in-5 homes ‘mobile only’• Maps on mobile• One-third via mobile• 2014: More mobile than desktops Image via
    9. 9. Social media and mobiles have changed the game forever.
    10. 10. Can help when traditional channels can’t cope
    11. 11. US Red Cross released survey in July 2010 revealing Online #3 way to find info during a crisis
    12. 12. People are going to post disaster info anyway
    13. 13. Deal with it. Monitor it. Embrace it.
    14. 14. Fish where the fish are
    15. 15. Real time info, direct from the CFA control centre
    16. 16. spread through word of mouth
    17. 17. It’s now all about “Mobile Local”And that’s where GIS comes in
    18. 18. • Put information at people’s fingertips• Make your data public in real-time• Helps people make their own choices• Relieves pressure on first responders• Leverage social media
    19. 19. Multiple data sources • CFA News • Weather Bureau • Twitter • Command centre • Warnings and alerts
    20. 20. Send to friends and family
    21. 21. Directions for rescuers
    22. 22. Push messages based on location
    23. 23. So what’s happened in the first three months? Analysis of user behaviour with FireReady v2
    24. 24. • 40,000 downloads• #22 in App Store (News)• Leading Herald Sun, 3AW• 100+ comments each week• Cheapest way to send targeted push message
    25. 25. Usage linked to hot weather
    26. 26. Spread by social media and word-of-mouthNov 2011 DEC 2011 JAN 2012
    27. 27. Apple is dominant
    28. 28. 801,000 ‘clicks’ to date
    29. 29. 817,000 push notifications sent • People love push • 93.5% welcome alerts • 55,000 sent on a single day • Location-based targeting
    30. 30. So what does the future hold?
    31. 31. Geo-targeted messages
    32. 32. Crowdsourced data
    33. 33. Real-time intelligence Live update
    34. 34. Use other vital data sources
    35. 35. 7-Eleven Collins St (03) 9629 3156 2x Magnum Icecream for $6, next 10mins Jan Logan Jewellers 90 Collins StWestpac Bank Melbourne VIC 3000360 Collins St (03) 9650 9099Earn 5,000 bonus 3 friends recommendpoints – walk in now! Tram 109 32 mins to Kew Next 7 mins (Tram 62) Plan for augmented reality
    36. 36. So what have I learnt? Darren’s Five Tips to help emergency management embrace social media
    37. 37. If you build it, they will come1 © JasonAbsolom
    38. 38. Make theinvestment to listen Simon Krzic via 2
    39. 39. 3Give up desire to control
    40. 40. 4Embrace The GIS-erati Image © Edward Mallia /via Flickr
    41. 41. 5 Harness mobile intelPrototype concept images
    42. 42. And a final piece of advice...
    43. 43. Time towrap up…
    44. 44. “ We can no longer afford to work at the speed of government… We have responsibilities to the public to move the information as quickly as possible … so that they ” can make key decisions. Los Angeles Fire Department
    45. 45. And one, final plug…Image © Shutterstock
    46. 46. Whew! That’s it…Questions?
    47. 47. Unless stated otherwise, content © 360m 2012. All rights reserved.