The South Island of New Zealand is no stranger to natural disasters.
Sitting in the middle of the island is Selwyn district; an area that stretches from mountain ranges with alpine villages, to farming communities on the plains and small seaside towns.
In the last few years, Selwyn district has faced significant challenges from wildfires to earthquakes, snowstorms, and flooding. The local emergency management team based at Selwyn District Council manages the response to these events.
Without a suitable software for their Emergency Operations Centre (EOC), staff struggled to effectively collate and manage information during an emergency.
In the past, EOC staff have worked from different spreadsheets and text documents, sharing information via email where it quickly became out of date. It was an ongoing challenge for the EOC to maintain situational awareness and share information with other agencies.
After using ‘D4H Personnel & Training’ to track staff and volunteer training, Selwyn District Council decided to deploy ‘D4H Incident Management’ in February 2018.
Just a couple of weeks later New Zealand was hit by ex-tropical cyclone Gita, leading to a declared emergency and a response led by the EOC over a 36 hour period.
Ryan O’Rourke, team leader for emergency management at Selwyn District Council, made the decision to rush 34 staff through a one-hour familiarisation session with ‘D4H Incident Management’ the day before the storm was forecast to hit. The EOC then used D4H from the beginning of the operation.
“It worked amazingly well – the staff have been overwhelmingly positive about the product and found it very intuitive and useful,” said Mr. O’Rourke.
“It has considerably improved situational awareness within our EOC and I believe it has also helped to achieve our objectives, by maintaining focus and tracking tasks better during the operation. Some of the staff on the operation had not even attended the one-hour familiarisation session, but were given a login and a few tips and were using the system within a few minutes.”
“Our partner agencies, emergency services, and political leaders have also been very impressed with the live SITREP we were able to share, and with our overall situational awareness in the EOC.”
During the operation, the public information team requested a way to track and manage media inquiries on D4H.
“I was able to create a new info-manager form for them within 10 minutes and they began using it straight away. I’m blown away that I was able to do this and make it live in the middle of the operation.”
“From an audit and accountability point of view, it’s amazing to have a nicely presented package of PDFs and a brilliant log, as opposed to various books, scraps of paper that I get left with after other operations. It’s helped us step up to a higher level of performance and I’m excited about the future of ‘D4H Incident Management’.”
‘D4H Incident Management’: a smart real-time incident management software that enables the coordination of effective responses to any situation. The software is designed to easily create a common operating picture of an incident, communicate objectives, and collaborate on a resolution through forms, logs, maps, status boards, and more.
‘D4H Personnel & Training’: a highly proactive system to easily manage the administration of personnel, qualifications, training, attendance, and availability. Enables performance measurement and collaboratively engage personnel to reach the highest standard of professionalism.
D4H Readiness & Response software is a complete solution used by hundreds of emergency response teams and corporations around the world to professionally manage their incidents, personnel, and equipment.
D4H supports over 70,000 responders and tracks over 15 million hours of response data every year from terrorist attacks to natural disasters, from maritime emergencies to chemical spills. Learn more.