The details on disaster dashboards

Published: 11th June 2020

Being able to communicate information quickly and accurately with the general public during disaster events is essential. But when there is so much going on it can be challenging to distribute information and updates.  

This is where disaster dashboards come into play.  

What is a Disaster Dashboard? 

Disaster dashboards are web platforms that provide a single source of information like weather warnings, road closures, power outages, emergency news, map layering, social media feeds and other information that would serve the general public during a disaster event. 

Benefits of Disaster Dashboards: 

  • The broad distribution of specific information and data 

  • Empowerment of the general public in better decision making 

  • Real-time data for reporting and performance monitoring  

  • Accuracy of information which is streamed from a single point of truth 

  • Mobile ready  

  • A scalable environment, allowing for quality operation of the dashboard even under pressure. 

Case Study: 

In early 2019, Townsville City experienced a severe monsoon event with the largest rainfall to have occurred in the area for the last 120 years. Thousands of houses were flooded, and hundreds of families were displaced. 

During this time, the use of their Disaster Dashboard became an invaluable tool for Townsville City Council’s social media team—who were tasked with keeping the general public informed. They were able to direct people to the dashboard, resulting in two benefits: 

  1. The regular information updates during the event helped to minimise the stress during the disaster. 

  1. Call centre time was massively reduced, enabling responders to address other issues. 


    Disaster dashboard

    City of Townsville Disaster Dashboard

Even though Townville City Council’s Disaster Dashboard received over 3 million hits, it remained 100% operational thanks to the robust environment and software it was developed with.  

The effectiveness of the Townsville dashboard as part of the public information strategy contributed to Townsville City Council receiving multiple awards and being awarded Winners in Real Time Response for this year’s prestigious Shorty Awards.  

Disaster Dashboards are just one way that councils can enhance their ability to communicate quickly and effectively with the general public. Dashboards are fast, efficient and automated tools that have been reducing workload for councils and largely benefiting many communities. 

QIT is a market leader and reputable provider of software, particularly relating to localised weather events. In 2019, LGAQ signed a memorandum of understanding with QIT Plus so as to assist in providing disaster management digital solutions (Guardian Disaster Dashboards) to existing councils in the form of web services.