“You guys have put in a lot of thought in to the SAMBRO design“, a participant said.
The first week of the Training of Trainer program had the participants learn about GIS and Sahana. They went further into learning about the tools and techniques associated with GIS, specifically intended for risk mapping. Thereafter, the participants got a flavor of the Sahana concepts, other deployments, how the engine works and getting their hands dirty with a few exercises. Part of it also involved testing the usability of the Sahana Alerting and Messaging Broker (SAMBRO).
By the end of the first week they experienced the SAMBRO GIS workflows designed for risk mapping and developing predefined alert areas. They also went through the SAMBRO CAP-enabled warning workflows with developing CAP message templates, creating alert messages, and publishing them on the Web and disseminating through SMS, Email, and RSS feeds. After a tiring first week the workshop wound down on a cheerful mood with a BBQ hosted by the Geoinformatics Center.
The second week began with the participants engaging in a design exercise. It was intended for them to self-realize the systems and procedures required in managing crises. The preliminary group exercise was listing a handful of hazards and the kind of information required, then mapping the hazard events to the kind of information required for situational-awareness. Then they listed the communication media they would use to exchange the information between emergency response organizations and the public. The three sets and the arcs between them formed a tripartite graph. The complexity was apparent with a multiple arcs incident on a handful of communication media.
Surprisingly traditional media: TV and Radio was the most popular with new media: Web, SMS, and Email taking second place. Intuitively broadcast media is most effective communicating with the public and new media effective with the emergency management organizations. Coordinating information between multiple agencies using multiple communication modes is cumbersome and the complexity grows exponentially. This is where the power of SAMBRO helps simply the information exchange complexity.
The next exercise was designed to realize the kind of functions that a SAMBRO system would require in serving the information flow for decision support in response to crisis. The groups took part in developing an affinity diagram. They began generating a wish list with the kind of features and functions they desired in this system. The notes were clustered in to five cliques. Risk analysis, alerting / warning, situational-reporting, resource management, and communications. WALAH … that is exactly the vision of the SAMBRO design. That is providing the tools and work flows that allow for situational-awareness and addressing the resource management.