Natural and manmade hazards are associated with dangers and emergency situations. The mitigation of their consequences requires appropriate actions and measures to be taken by competent authorities and related bodies. The targeted and effective implementation of such actions and measures and the optimal exploitation of human and technical resources enhance the authorities’ abilities for prevention, preparedness and response. It is therefore important to reconsider the reasons that are related to failures when responding to emergency situations:
- deficiencies and weaknesses in the implementation of such actions by authorities and related bodies,
- inefficient coordination between the different levels of public authorities and other involved entities,
- lack of risk assessment studies, hazards’ mapping, updated records of human and material resources
The main objective of DECIDE is to develop and deploy an Intelligent Decision Support System (iDSS) that enhances the efficiency and managerial abilities of local civil protection authorities to effectively respond to natural and manmade disasters.
Specific targets of DECIDE include:
- To reinforce local authorities’ capabilities for effective and efficient coordination of prevention and response processes against natural and manmade hazards, using innovative, state-of-the art technologies.
- To strengthen the capabilities of local societies, in order to act immediately and effectively during the first critical hours after an emergency event, so as to avoid its turning to a disaster. Towards this direction, all local data, knowledge and entities that can contribute to avoiding the disaster will be exploited (public authorities, non–governmental and voluntary organisations, private companies, media, etc.).
- To achieve active participation of both the local authorities and the local societies members into the process of planning and response of disasters through effective information sharing and training.
- To contribute to economic and social development of local societies in a reliable, effective and affordable way, through the creation of synergies, multiplying actions and benefits derived from the use of technologies and the assimilation of both national and international experience in the civil protection fields.
DECIDE will focus on identifying the structures and needs of civil protection involved entities in the cross-border area of Greece and the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia. The project will develop an iDSS, the functions of which will be based on these findings. In addition, the active participation of both the local authorities’ and local societies’ members into the process of prevention, preparedness and response to emergency situations will be achieved through several actions, including the publication of reports, the organisation of training seminars and the execution of simulated exercises.
The main outcome of the DECIDE project is an Intelligent Decision Support System (iDSS) that will enhance related authorities’ and bodies’ capabilities in the effective prevention, preparedness and response to catastrophic events and thus in effective civil protection. The pilot area for DECIDE will be the Municipality of Amyntaio, located at the cross-border area of Greece and the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia. The system will be in a position to handle a variety of natural and manmade disasters.
DECIDE will develop and deploy an innovative, open-source, cloud-based Intelligent Decision Support System that will provide its users with the following functionalities:
- Allocation of civil protection units
- Routing under emergency conditions
- Recommendations for optimal and cost-efficient protection measures
- GIS-based network and risk mapping
- Viewer of roles and responsibilities
- Alerts and warnings
- Scenarios and Users management
- Support of multiple end-user interfaces (web, smart device etc.)
The iDSS that will be developed within the DECIDE project aims at handling a variety of natural and manmade disasters, exploiting a holistic approach, unlike most existing DSSs that focus on specific disasters and catastrophic events. The iDSS of the DECIDE project will take account needs, real abilities and constraints (legal, technical, technological and others) of users and will adjust its functions according to these. It will propose actions and measures for the effective disaster response and will also cover medium-term planning needs (prevention and preparedness).
The project will focus on incorporating technologies and benchmarking methodologies into the regional and municipal entities’ plans for civil protection, leading to optimized use of available resources, better planning and more efficient response. In addition, the project will support the mid-term planning of stakeholders involved in civil protection, as well as enhancing their cooperation and coordination in all risk management phases. DECIDE will also contribute to essential citizens’ awareness regarding self-protection measures and their adequate preparation for emergency situations. Furthermore, the project will seek the active participation of citizens in the processes of planning and response to natural and manmade hazards.