To effectively prepare for future floods, earthquakes or tsunamis, you must first understand the likely impacts that need to be managed. For example, to prepare contingency plans for a severe flood, emergency managers need to answer questions like:
- What are the areas likely to be affected?
- How many people will need to be evacuated and sheltered?
- Which schools will be closed?
- Which hospitals can still take patients?
- Which roads will be closed?
InaSAFE provides a simple but rigorous way to combine data from scientists, local governments and communities to provide insights into the likely impacts of future disaster events. The software is focused on examining, in detail, the impacts that a single hazard would have on specific sectors, for example, the location of primary schools and estimated number of students affected by a possible tsunami like in Maumere, for instance, when it happened during the school hours.
Effectively preparing for a disaster requires people from a wide range of sectors and backgrounds to effectively work together and share their experience, expertise, and resources. Using InaSAFE to develop a scenario requires the same spirit of cooperation and sharing of expertise and data.
InaSAFE is designed to use and combine existing data from science agencies, local governments, and communities themselves. While geodata is readily available in more developed countries, it is not always the case in many regions where significant natural disasters occur. To solve this problem, the InaSAFE team reached out to local universities and asked for help mapping everything from building-footprints to the demographics of the people who inhabit them. The more communities, scientists and governments that share data and knowledge, the more realistic and useful InaSAFE scenarios will be.
InaSAFE was conceived and initially developed by Indonesia’s National Disaster Management Agency (BNPB), the Australian Agency for International Development (AusAID) and the World Bank. In an effort to share this important project with other nations, InaSAFE was contributed to the public domain as an open source project licensed under the GPL and is looking for additional team members who want to contribute their efforts in-kind.
InaSAFE is a Python project built on top of the QuantumGIS project (QGIS) as a QGIS plugin. It is designed as an extensible platform that can be used to assess the impact of any kind of disaster supported by geographical population data from virtually any geography.