PetaBencana.id provides residents, government agencies, and first responders with a real-time disaster information sharing system at an unprecedented scale. It is the first platform of its kind to harness the power of crowdsourcing through social media to aid humanitarian response and recovery.
#ThereIsHelp: As Indonesia braces for peak monsoon flooding, a nation-wide digital media campaign led by Twitter, PetaBencana, and BNPB supports community-led climate adaptation
As leaders convene at the G20 and UNCOP27 meetings to deliberate commitments to climate action, residents across the world are already experiencing the impacts of extreme weather and are struggling to adapt to unprecedented scales of weather-related disaster events. As Indonesia braces for peak monsoon flooding, a recently launched nation-wide digital media campaign is supporting residents to stay safe and adapt to extreme weather, from the ground-up. The #ThereIsHelp notification service was launched by Twitter, together with partners Yayasan Peta Bencana and BNPB. Now, when residents search for disaster related keywords in Indonesia, the social media site will include a notification encouraging them to click through to credible information and support provided by Twitter’s official partners, PetaBencana.id and BNPB.
Among Indonesians, the PetaBencana Twitter bot, or “BencanaBot” has become famous for its automatic responses to any post containing disaster-related keywords. The bot asks users to confirm their situation by submitting a disaster report. These reports are mapped in real-time on a free and open source platform, PetaBencana.id, where anyone is able to view and share real-time disaster updates in order to make decisions about safety and response. Since 2013, the platform has been used by millions of residents and first responders in Indonesia to make time-critical decisions about safety and navigation during emergency disaster events. Run by Yayasan Peta Bencana and supported by USAID Bureau of Humanitarian Assistance, the platform is also monitored by BNPB who use the platform to view and respond to incoming resident reports. The launch of the #ThereIsHelp feature supports the amplification of this community-based risk reduction effort, as it ensures that all Indonesians will be directed towards verified and timely information during disasters, thereby supporting greater and more effective coordination for all.
According to BNPB Public Relations Officer Theophilus Yanuarto, who participated in a public conversation on Twitter about the #ThereIsHelp feature, discussions about disaster risk are growing in popularity in Indonesia due to the region’s susceptibility to a wide range of hazards. According to Yunuarto, tools such as PetaBencana provide critical information for the public to support community-level response and increased disaster awareness. In addition, he expressed that increased public participation in disaster information sharing is critical in reducing risk for the nation as a whole, and Yunuarto specifically pointed towards how the crowdsourced data provided on PetaBencana.id helps emergency managers at BNPB effectively respond to disasters.
According to Monrawee Ampolpittayanant, Head of Public Policy and Philanthropy for Southeast Asia at Twitter, “Our core objective of launching this #ThereIsHelp notification search prompt is to truly help shorten the search time and to provide timely access to credible information from our partners to those in need. In collaboration with BNPB Indonesia (@BNPB_Indonesia), Peta Bencana (@PetaBencana), MERCY Malaysia (@MERCYMalaysia), and NADMA Malaysia (@mynadma), we hope this notification service can serve as a means to help the Indonesian and Malaysian public, as well as government and non-government stakeholders navigate the extreme weather that the monsoon season brings in along with other unprecedented disaster events.”
According to Nashin Mahtani, Director of Yayasan Peta Bencana, “As extreme weather events become more frequent and severe, it is imperative that every single person is empowered to participate in disaster risk reduction and recovery efforts. During disasters, the first source people turn to is often social media. In a time of information overload, the #ThereIsHelp prompt helps to quickly direct people towards trusted and verified source of information, so that everyone is able to proactively act on their own safety and participate in the civic co-management of disasters. We celebrate the #ThereIsHelp initiative and are grateful to collaborate with our long-time partners at Twitter to ensure that all residents have easier, immediate, access to credible information during emergency situations and are aware of the ways they can participate in our shared goals of reducing risk together through digital gotong royong!”
With a historical triple La Nina this year, Indonesia is expected to receive higher than usual rainfall. We remind residents to stay informed and stay safe! Anyone in Indonesia can submit an anonymous disaster report by tweeting @petabencana, sending a telegram message to @bencanabot, or sending a facebook message to @petabencana.
PetaBencana meets with Egyptian Meteorological Agency in preparation for COP27
In preparation for COP27, PetaBencana was invited to participate at the “Intergenerational Thinkshop for Hydromet Early Warning Early Action (EWEA): The Engagement of Young Professionals in Disaster Risk Reduction” in Cairo. The ‘Thinkshop’ gathered stakeholders from across 5 generations, representing a range of geographic backgrounds from across 4 continents, coming from a range of disciplines including academics, first responders, NGOs, emergency managers, and scientists. Participants gathered to discuss adaptation efforts to increasingly escalating hydrometeorological shocks due to climate change, and to reflect on the implications of the UN Secretary General Guterres initiative to ensure that “every person on Earth is protected by early warning systems within five years”. The workshop was also attended by head of the Egyptian Meteorological Agency, , who iterated his commitment to ensure multi-hazard warning systems for all.
PetaBencana was invited to share our experience working with residents across Indonesia to adapt to extreme weather events, where we highlighted the role of local knowledge in risk reduction, and involving local communities as co-designers of risk reduction programs.
As the culmination of the workshop, together with the participants we co-published a Cairo Statement which will be presented to leaders and stakeholders at COP27. The statement highlights the need to consider the full spectrum of warning and action within the early warning system discussion, acknowledging that the social and behavioural aspects of warning systems, or the ways by which people are equipped and empowered to take action, is a significant portion of the warning infrastructure that has seldom been discussed. History has shown that an improved forecast does not always translate to more proactive responses to warnings. Instead of investing on predictive modelling and technical systems only, equal attention must be given to the behavioural aspects of risk reduction – that is, how people respond to warnings. Additionally, warning systems cannot be thought of as a one-way delivery from large institutions. Local, residential, and indigenous knowledge also play an invaluable role in detecting the earliest warning signals, which are often apparent only through situated, place-based perceptual skills and so must be integrated into monitoring systems on an equal basis with more technical tools of detection. The statement also highlights that funding for the early warning system initiative must prioritize the most vulnearable individuals and areas first. The full statement can be read here.
Peta Bencana joins BNPB to celebrate Disaster Risk Reduction Month!
To commemorate the Month for Disaster Risk Reduction (Bulan PRB), BNPB hosted an annual event in Balikpapan on 12-14 October 2022, where PetaBencana was invited to participate as a speaker and exhibitor. We set up our famous 3D mural at the event, and hundreds of emergency managers from provincial and local disaster management agencies (BPBDs) all across Indonesia, stopped by to take selfies and practice simulating reports via PetaBencana.id. was successfully carried out and Peta Bencana contributed to presenting the platform on the Ignite Stage and taking selfies with BPBD colleagues from all over Indonesia at our booth.
The opening of the 2022 Disaster Risk Reduction Month Commemoration was held on October 12, 2022, at the BSCC Dome, Balikpapan City. This event was opened by the Deputy for Prevention, Prasinta Dewi, followed by the opening of a disaster preparedness exhibition where stakeholders representing Representatives of the Provincial Government, Ministry of Institutions (BMKG, BASARNAS, BPBD), NGOs / DRR Communities, Business Institutions, and SMEs and Universities, had the opportunity to showcase their work in DRR.
Yayasan Peta Bencana’s involvement in the events was a great way to strengthen the understanding of colleagues in the government, especially BPBDs, business institutions, and the community regarding our efforts to #ReduceRiskTogether by involving public participation in disaster risk reduction. During the session, we showcased our two-way disaster reporting features, which allow for greater coordination among government agencies and the public.
Thank you to everyone who visited, took selfies, learned how to submit disaster reports! We are excited to continue the collaborations and strengthen the network of people who are able to harness the data from PetaBencana.id in order to make evidence-based, coordinated decisions during disasters, and save lives!
Powered by CogniCity Open Source Software, PetaBencana.id is a free, web-based platform that produces real-time disaster maps using both crowd-sourced reporting and government agency validations. The platform harnesses the heightened use of social media and instant messaging during emergency events to gather confirmed situational updates from street level, in a manner that removes the need for expensive and time consuming data processing. These verified user reports are displayed alongside relevant emergency data collected by local and government agencies. By integrating localized knowledge from a variety of sources into a single, robust platform, PetaBencana.id is able to provide a comprehensive overview of disaster events, enabling residents, humanitarian agencies, and government agencies to make more informed decisions during emergencies.
Since its debut in 2013 (as PetaJakarta.org), the PetaBencana.id platform has been used by millions of resident users to make time-critical decisions about safety and navigation during emergency disaster events; it has also been adopted by the National Emergency Management Agency (BNPB) to monitor flood events, improve response times, and share time-critical emergency information with residents. The platform has enabled greater information sharing and data coordination among residents and government agencies, fostering equitable and collaborative resilience to climate change.
PetaBencana.id has proven that community-led data collection, sharing, and visualization reduces flood risk and assists in relief efforts. In the 2015 World Disaster Report of the International Federation of the Red Cross, the project was recommended as a model for community engagement in relation to disaster response. In 2016, the Federal Communication Commission of the United States also recommended the project as a best practice regarding disaster information crowdsourcing.
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in Post-Internet Indonesia,” in e-flux Architecture, August, 2017.
Turpin, E., and T. Holderness. “From Social Media to GeoSocial Intelligence: Experiments with Crowdsourcing Civic Co-Management for Flood Response in Jakarta, Indonesia,” in Social Media for Government Services, eds. Surya Nepal, Cécile Paris, Dimitrios Georgakopoulos (Springer, 2016).
Holderness, T., and E. Turpin, “How tweeting about floods became a civic duty in Jakarta,” in The Guardian, Public Leaders Network, 25 January 2016.
Holderness T. and E. Turpin. “Floods in Jakarta? Tweeting Now,” in Strategic Review 5.1(October-December 2015): 26-35.
Holderness T., and E. Turpin. PetaJakarta.org: Assessing the Role of Social Media for Civic
Co-Management During Monsoon Flooding in Jakarta, Indonesia, SMART Infrastructure Facility, University of Wollongong, GeoSocial Intelligence Working Group White Paper 01 (June 2015).
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Turpin, E., A. Bobbette, and M. Miller, eds. Jakarta: Architecture + Adaptation (Depok: Universitas Indonesia Press, 2013).
The PetaBencana.id community is made up of a diverse group of volunteers, local community leaders, and professionals dedicated to building capacities for community-based disaster co-management. There are a number of ways to get involved!
Support open data & open software for climate adaptation:
Help us keep the map running as a free platform, so that everyone in Indonesia can have access to time critical information!
To donate via wire transfer, please email email@example.com.
Become a Sustaining Partner:
Partner with Yayasan Peta Bencana to increase employee engagement and Corporate Social Responsibility Programs! We also work with organisations to provide customized alerts to ensure the safety of your belongings and staff.
Become a Risk Ambassador:
Are you passionate about spreading disaster awareness and increasing preparedness in your communities? Sign up to become a risk ambassador – no experience needed, we will provide you the support you need!
Technology and Training:
Yayasan Peta Bencana provides training to organizations, embassies, schools, and volunteer communities. Through digital literacy workshops we provide the necessary skills to safely and easily access and share time-critical information – leveraging capacities for everyone to participate in critical decision-making and boost community resilience. We can customize training to meet the needs of your organization.
Sign up for a training by sending us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org!
Bring the crowd-sourced disaster mapping platform to your location:
The platform is now being further developed to address additional hazards and other geographies in South East Asia. If you would like to see a crowd-sourced disaster mapping platform implemented in your area, please contact us at email@example.com.
Contact us for current volunteer activities, or if you would like to get involved in other ways! We would love to hear from you!