A natural disaster event can stretch emergency personnel to breaking point. However, at the very time that the community is most pre-occupied with response, important but perishable information on the event is available. The information helps us to understand how and why the event impacted on the community, and systematic efforts are needed to collect the data.
Risk managers need to base their decisions on accurate and reliable forecasting of the future. Organisations such as Geoscience Australia provide risk assessments to assist this decision making. Post-disaster data collection is essential to test risk assessment models against what has happened in real events.
Data collection technologies can also assist response teams by transmitting near real-time spatial information between field personnel and coordinating centres.