Myanmar SAMBRO Users pose with their situational-awareness map in the backdrop. After two days of training (25 & 26 Feb, 2016), they now have a better understanding as to how the system will improve their alerting efficiency and institutional responsiveness to local and national scale hazard events.
The Key Myanmar Users received training, from the Department of Meteorology and Hydrology (DHM) Trainers, with developing Common Alerting Protocol (CAP) messages templates and practicing issuing warnings. Defining warning priorities, establishing alerting authorities complying with the Myanmar organizational structure, and defining the alerting areas for impact-based alerting were other aspects of the training exercises.
Following, the Trainees will introduce the Myanmar Warning and Situational-Awareness Platform (their SAMBRO instance) software and CAP procedures to their respective departments. Thereafter, the individual departments will complete the implementation and perfect their SAMBRO supported CAP-enabled alerting practices.
A series of silent-test must be conducted before going live to ensure that the system performs to their expectations.
Myanmar monsoon season begins in May. DMH is keen in readying the system to be used by then. Floods, Cyclones, and Landslides are common events instigated by the heavy monsoon rains.
COMMON OPERATING PICTURE
The Myanmar National Natural Disaster Management Commission is informed of every risk situation in the country. The Commission in headed by the Vice President’s Office. With SAMBRO they would simply manage their subscription to receive every alert issued by Alerting Authorities in the country. Moreover, the V.P’s office can view the common operating picture of the situation reported by every agency in the country (CAP-on-a-Map).
The Ministry of Home Affairs managed Search and Rescue Commission and the Relief and Resettlement Department managed Regional/State National Disaster Management Centers would also benefit from the SAMBRO common operating picture and alerting capabilities.
Assurance of the message authenticity was a primary concern to the National and Regional/State Crisis and Emergency Managers. With SAMBRO the the responsibility of alerting can be diluted to the local village level, allowing for local authorities to manage their own alerting. However, every supervising node, in the hierarchy chain, is able to audit the alerts as to who issued it when, where, and why. Moreover, the alert issuing personnel are trained authorized users. Also the inherent properties of a CAP-enabled system: Consistency (believable), Completeness (unambiguity), and Control (security) ensures that messages received through SAMBRO are authentic.
At present the Ministry of Information (MOI) is tasked with disseminating the early warnings received from the Alerting Authorities, such as the DMH, Department of Health, Department of Agriculture, Department of Irrigation, Depart of Inland Water Transportation, Fire Department. MOI uses the Myanmar Post and Telecommunications (MPT) implemented SMS messaging system to multicast the alert to various focal points in Government and the Private Sector. Public receive the warnings through TV and Radio. SAMBRO would enhance the current practices by providing the single entry of an warning from an Alerting Authority to be delivered through SMS, Email, RSS Feed, and the Web.
Relief and Rehabilitation Department (RRD) and the General Administration Department (GAD) are instrumental to disseminating the alerts to the public. It is a chain reaction where the RRD Head Office would inform the Regional/State RRD. Then Regional/State office inform the relevant Local Authorities such as GAD, Police, Fire, Ambulatory, so on and so forth.
For example, RRD HO would inform the Yangon Regional Office. They intern inform Yangon North, South, East, West Divisional offices. Then the Divisional offices inform the Local Authorities. All this is done by FAX and Phone Calls by individuals at each node of the chain.
With the Myanmar Warning and Situational-Awareness Platform, the laborious work of informing down the chain is no longer required. Everyone would subscribe to receive alerts on their event and location of choice. The software has the knowledge to disseminate the SMS and Email alerts to the relevant subscribers in the alerting area and not to all.