Following a Commonwealth grant to South Australia to improve preparedness for natural disasters, councils will be able to provide information to constituents via smart phones. The Local Government Association of South Australia (LGASA) is overseeing the $165000 project, which received $130000 from the federal and state grant. Remaining funds and support for the Emergency Assessment Reporting System project (EARS) were provided by the LGASA, which expects the project to be completed this year. Initial funding of $2.85 million from the state and federal governments received an additional amount from 40 agencies bringing the total to $4.7 million. LGA President Kym McHugh said sourcing reliable local information in emergency situations is a key issue for both state and federal agencies. “We are proposing to use technology to provide a smart system so verified information from council inspectors, engineers and other staff have capacity to communicate verified information back to the community,” Mr McHugh said. According to Mr McHugh, this sort of information is vital in responding to community rumours which may not be correct. Federal Minister for Emergency Management, Robert McClelland said the funding was made available through the Commonwealth’s National Partnership Agreement on Natural Disaster Resilience.
Smart phones distribute disaster information