FloodMapp: Australia’s devastating floods inspire new warning systems

FloodMapp: Australia’s devastating floods inspire new warning systems

Organisation: FloodMapp

Innovation Program: Humanitech Lab

Collaborators: Australian Red Cross, Queensland Reconstruction Authority,  Moreton Bay Regional Council, Noosa Shire Council and Sunshine Coast Regional Council

  • Challenge: Flood warning systems play a critical role in supporting emergency managers to prepare and respond to floods; however, they typically have a broad one-size-fits-most approach that isn’t as effective or efficient as they can be.
  • Technology: FloodMapp specialises in hyperlocal, real-time flood intelligence that offers location-specific flood forecasting and flood inundation mapping. This allows emergency managers to access scalable, up-to-date information to prepare and plan for emergency response activities to flooding.
  • Pilot: To better understand the needs of emergency managers and communities during flood disasters, the FloodMapp pilot connected with Australian Red Cross Emergency Service teams and other organisations through workshops and a mock flood exercise to test their technology and explore opportunities for further refinement.
  • Impact: By having access to flood intelligence tools and training, emergency managers obtained the skills and resources to make more informed decisions during flood events. This can impact every facet of emergency management to improve the physical and mental health of communities impacted by flooding.
"The Humanitech program was really such an exciting opportunity to partner with an innovative lab run by Australian Red Cross and see how our technology could be applied in a way that it could better help community and impact humanitarian outcomes."
Juliette Murphy, CEO and Co-Founder - FloodMapp

Flood warning systems are a crucial component of preparing and responding to floods. Yet with the rise in flood events due to climate change, many communities are now experiencing repeated flood warnings as the norm.

The good news is that technological innovation is being utilised to move warning systems away from a broad one-size-fits-most approach to provide hyper-local warnings in real-time that can help save time, money, and lives.

A platform for enabling flood intelligence

"I never set out to build a tech company" said Juliette Murphy, CEO and Co-Founder of FloodMapp.

When engineer Juliette Murphy experiened the devastating impact of flooding she identified a need for localised, real-time information that could help communities plan and prepare for the impacts of a major flood event.

"It was something that started out as a hobby for me on evenings and on weekends," Juliette said. "It was was something I wanted to build to better help people."

That hobby has developed into FloodMapp, a technology company that specialises in flood intelligence. FloodMapp provides live data to power emergency management operations before, during and after a flood.

In 2021, FloodMapp was selected for the inaugral Humanitech Lab, an Australian Red Cross innovation program to explore new and creative approaches to using technology to address humanitarian challenges.

Through the program, Red Cross collaborated with FloodMapp to pilot a collaborative approach that enables emergency managers to access scalable and real-time information to prepare and plan for emergency response activities to flooding.

Learn more about FloodMapp's pilot with Australian Red Cross and Humanitech

"The pilot for me was a real eye-opener, especially in terms of interest from the sector... It showed me that there are good technology solutions there."
Collin Sivalingum, State Emergency Services Manager - Australian Red Cross

To better understand the needs of emergency managers and communities impacted by flooding, the pilot connected FloodMapp with Australian Red Cross Emergency Service teams and other organisations and councils in Queensland to test their technology and explore opportunities for further refinement.

Through workshops and a mock flood exercise, the stakeholders' unique needs were identified, along with opportunities to further refine FloodMapp's products to enable rapid decision-making during emergencies.

"One of the best things we can do in the disaster sector is have technology that is purposefully designed and developed for emergency management actors," said Collin Sivalingum, State Emergency Services Manager at Australian Red Cross, who was involved in the pilot project.

By having access to flood intelligence tools and training, emergency managers obtained the skills and resources to make more informed decisions during flood events.

This can impact every facet of emergency management to improve the physical health and wellbeing of communities impacted by flooding.

Learn more about FloodMapp's technology on the FloodMapp website.

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