As we all know, Australia is a sunburnt country of droughts and flooding rains. Floods, Droughts, Cyclones and Bushfires are all part of the Australian experience and they can impact travellers and locals alike. The Crisis Dashboards founder, Ian Tilley, used to live in Cairns in Far North Queensland. Cairns is regularly impacted by Cyclones in that region that were the seminal impetus for the Crisis Dashboards concept.
While living in Cairns, I experienced first-hand the destructive power of tropical cyclones. They are fierce and they come at you fast. Getting live updated information is critical. One question I would continually ask myself is "where can I get some info???" Local, State and Federal governments spend a lot of money supporting services (as they should) that help communities to survive and recover from these natural disaster events and each agency has its own communications channel. These siloed, fragmented communications channels can be hard to find and use because they are spread across so many different websites. Enter the Crisis Dashboard Project!
Allowing an instant 'big picture' overview of a situation, the dashboards use multiple data feeds to draw in up-to-the-minute information on weather features, emergency services, road closures, evacuation routes, flood alerts and more, for targeted local areas. With this holistic, real-time insight, I hope you will be able to make informed, time-critical and often life-saving decisions when moving about the region affected.
The First Cyclone Dashboards created were in March 2017 for Severe Tropical Cyclone Debbie. The two first cyclone dashboards created for Cairns and Townsville saw huge traffic numbers and spawned a range of additional dashboards covering major centres arond Australia and the Pacific Islands.
This project is currently unsupported by any government or private institution. So, if you find my dashboards useful and would like to partner or contribute to my project, please get in touch via the Cyclone Dashboard FaceBook page.