At the 12th Australia Safer Community Awards in Canberra yesterday the Federal Attorney-General Robert McClelland launched a new Android App (available for iOS too) called DisasterWatch which is available from the Android Market. The app will pull in data from ‘the latest public information about disaster events via direct feeds from a range of authoritative States, Territory and national sources.’

Funding for the app was announced by the Attorney General on July 29 this year when he cited ‘Nearly half of all calls to Triple Zero are non-urgent calls and when a disaster happens, calls are often requests for information about the disaster’. The app will hopefully lessen the amount of calls to Triple 0 which are not related to an emergency, allowing Triple 0 to respond to real emergencies.

The app is quite informative it starts out as a map of Australia and you can choose from Australia wide alerts or simply choose a state or territory to get more localised information, the alerts can be selected and have more information behind them and also have links to the source which takes you to the blog or public news feed the information was pulled from.

National emergencies affect my current job and I need to know up to date information, i`ve never even felt a call to Triple 0 was appropriate to find out information but obviously there are people out there who do, so it`s good to see this app being made available, it certainly lets you know about what`s happening. If you think this will be handy for you, head on over to the Android Market and check it out, don`t forget to check out the 10 Cent apps while you`re there.

Source: SMH.
    Inline Feedbacks
    View all comments
    RIPE is better

    This is a relative basic mode of capturing and displaying this type of information. It provides little value to what is already available and could have been much better than what has been produced.  I suggest you look at RIPE Intelligence to see what already exists and the significant value add this site provides (from the same data source)>

    Ian Tester

    RSS feeds are alright for regular updates, but if you want alerts and fast updates you need to push them to the devices. They should look at using something like XMPP (optionally with pubsub), Twitter, or whatever Google uses for syncing on Android. It just needs to be anonymous (i.e not requiring an account), so that might rule out all three.

    And Penguin’s idea of using GeoRSS is a good one. Just about every device this app will run on has a GPS receiver, so use that information!


    I have no idea why you just said but it’s a cool idea. Perhaps you can send that suggestion to the relevant department?

    Even though, I might download it in case there is a bush fire while we are out camping. Not much chance of a flood here in the west!

    Martin Dolan

    Yeah the west never have any disasters, don’t bother loading it – its not like you have floods, droughts, mining accidents, pandemics or anything out there…