The Disaster Data Service

is an information service under development that will become a critical part of the global disaster management infrastructure

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It will deliver data about disasters as and when they occur,

to people throughout the continent of Africa.

The application of this service is firstly as an early warning system to prepare potentially affected communities and an efficient data delivery system during the disaster to advise impacted communities, volunteers and responders in the field that would coordinate response efforts. Africans, in general, would have access to broader information on how they could assist relief efforts and manage their own risks. Data is gathered from the affected area by responders, remote-sensing satellites, and other data gathering infrastructure.

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The disaster response commander collates the data into reports which are sent to service providers for satellite relay…

…the service provider encodes and uploads the data file for receipt by standard commercial satellite decoders.

The data file is received in communities and by responders, remotely or at control centres for use. This process is repeated as necessary for the duration of the disaster response.

The purpose of the Disaster Data Service is to deliver unencrypted files about disasters to widely distributed commercial multi-use decoders, where they can be written to external storage via decoder USB port or other methods. The broadcast service does not target specific decoder products but broadcasts all data to all decoders. Public announcements, descriptive incident information, and any other vital information concerning a disaster can be broadcast through this service. News and media services can rely on the service as a source of current and well-organized information. Communities affected by disasters will access the service to stay up-to-date with developments and be coordinated through the service Communities not directly affected but interested in updates about disasters can access the service to stay informed or even how to participate. The Disaster Data Service case contributes towards the United Nations Disaster Reduction framework development for regions within current available satellite beams but are lagging the global community in implementing Disaster Data and Communications Infrastructure. From a global humanitarian perspective, such proof of concept would be a breakthrough in addressing a complex, socio-economic problem: Disaster response and management.

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A successful collaboration with satellite service providers means that this solution, a rapid implementation, with low risk and low cost to stakeholders, will impact and save lives.

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