Damage Assessment and Reconstruction Monitoring (DARMsys™)

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Queensland's ability to recover from natural disasters has been significantly enhanced with the development of an Australian first system to gather early impact information through initial Damage Assessments (DAs) as well as follow-up assessments throughout the recovery processes.

What is DARMsys™

The Damage Assessment and Reconstruction Monitoring system (DARMsys™) is used to monitor Queensland's rebuilding progress. Real time data is collected by the Queensland Reconstruction Authority (QRA) and Queensland Fire and Emergency Services (QFES) officers undertaking damage assessments in the community using a hand held monitoring device and sent via wi-fi to provide map based damage data.

Introduced as a pilot program in April 2011, QRA has refined this system over more than 14 natural disasters and 45,000 individual DAs. QRA conducts street-by-street and house-by-house inspections through flood, bushfire and cyclone-affected communities to identify the level of damage, damage patterns, and where the greatest needs exist.

This, in turn, is helping local and state government agencies provide assistance to the most vulnerable in our communities.

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Results

DARMsys™ information has been invaluable in identifying the scale and scope of disaster impacts and is now used by multiple agencies to plan their response for recovery from natural disasters. In particular, the Department of Communities, Disability Services and Seniors (DCDSS) uses it for targeted assistance to identify vulnerable people and those needing assistance.

Other agencies who use DARMsys™ include utility providers, the Department of Housing and Public Works (DHPW), and councils.

DARMsys™ is acknowledged by the World Bank as having played an instrumental role in enabling Queensland to recover quickly from natural disasters.

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How it Works

Initial response (0-72 hours)

Conducted within the first 72 hours of an event when impacted area is safe.

  • Coordinated by QFES
  • Used to assess damage from multiple disaster types including floods, bushfires and cyclones.
  • The highest priority of responding agencies is the safety of residents and response personnel, consequently data collection may be delayed during this phase.
  • Initial assessment data is used to identify broad levels of damage and the impact on housing, critical infrastructure, services and businesses.

Follow-up assessments

Conducted every three months on properties identified as “damaged” during previous assessments.

  • Coordinated by QRA in conjunction with the DCDSS.
  • Carried out every quarter while a reconstruction program is ongoing.
  • Main priority is the welfare of disaster-impacted residents and business owners.
  • Follow-up assessment data is used to identify ongoing recovery issues to housing, critical infrastructure, businesses and services and track the recovery progress of the community.