On 16 to 18 May 2012, the Space Research Centre of the Polish Academy of Sciences (CBK), the Main School of Fire Service (SGSP) and Secure World Foundation (SWF) organized the Workshop on Use of Space Applications in Humanitarian Operations. This workshop focused on a simulation of the response to a flood of a very large extent that demanded the support of the international community to deal with the needs triggered by the hypothetical event. The workshop was conducted within the framework of the GEO Network for Capacity Building (Geonetcab) project that aims at training the end users of EO data and engaging them into products development.
The simulation was designed by SIGMA Games, a private company in Poland that focuses on the creating scenarios of simulation games. The participants used a tailor-made software entitled Adaptive Layers for Information and Collaboration in Emergency system (ALICE), which has been produced by the Polish company Astri Polska. It contains a geo-viewer to display not only typical cartographic maps, but also information gathered from space applications (GNSS and satellite imagery), such as the location of particular infrastructure (hospitals, government buildings), collapsed bridges, fire brigades on site and temporary shelters; as well as layers depicting the geographical extent of floods. The simulation was structured in three phases:
- Phase 1. Typical coordination efforts within the affected country on behalf of its civil protection agency, local governments and emergency responders and the subsequent request for technical support and humanitarian assistance to be provided by the international community (NGOs);
- Phase 2. Coordination of a variety of activities on the ground, including the deployment of crews and pumping equipment to selected areas which were flooded, the deployment of responders to particular areas including shelters, and the mobilization of additional resources.
- Phase 3. Discussions regarding long-term recovery operations.