Situational awareness | Natural Hazards Research Australia

Situational awareness

Situational awareness in its broadest sense is a continuum from the collection of data relevant to a range of natural hazards, through the transformation of that data into valuable and meaningful information, and its effective communication to a diverse group of users, each with their own needs, including:

  • emergency services
  • governments
  • businesses and critical infrastructure owners and operators
  • humanitarian and other not-for-profit organisations
  • communities
  • individuals.

All of these users or beneficiaries of information share a common need for awareness of the environment in which they work, live or travel, and current and emerging threats that may cause increased risk to their life or property.

Situational awareness (being aware of what is happening, or is likely to, happen around you) is something that everyone should be doing every moment of the day – and something that becomes far more time-sensitive and life-critical during periods of heightened natural hazard risk and exposure.

Research in this theme can explore many perspectives, including:

Technological research

  • exploring data from all sources, including terrestrial and earth observation
  • analytical tools, including artificial intelligence and machine learning
  • data and information visualisation

Impact forecasting

  • understanding, predicting, and modelling hazard behaviour
  • enhanced extreme weather forecasting
  • hazard simulations
  • test and validation datasets

Social research

  • public, business and government information and warnings
  • community understanding and responses to emergency information
  • human factors and decision-making
  • the impact of stress and uncertainty on the effectiveness of communication
  • motivators of action and inaction