To inaugurate the national launch of the PetaBencana.id disaster management platform, Yayasan Peta Bencana and BNPB, supported by PLN and Bank BRI, hosted the first country-wide disaster preparedness event of its kind—the #112Challenge. Over 125 organizations and 3,376 residents across 17 provinces in Indonesia participated in the nation-wide competition, where residents simulated real-time flood reporting and information sharing through PetaBencana.id.
PetaBencana.id is a free and open source platform that provides real-time disaster information and transparent communication between residents and government agencies, in order to reduce risk and increase emergency response times. The online platform harnesses the use of social media to crowdsource disaster information from residents on-the-ground, who often have the most up-to-date information, and displays this information on a live web-based map.
During the opening remarks of the official launch, Doni Monardo, Head of BNPB, said: “PetaBencana.id will become a primary channel of interactive crisis communication between the government and residents. By enabling all residents across Indonesia to submit real-time disaster reports through social media, the platform will support faster response and reduce disaster risk.”
In this unprecedented community-led disaster preparedness event, over 125 schools, BPBDs, NGOs, and businesses across Indonesia simultaneously set up disaster-themed murals in their neighborhoods as part of the #112Challenge. They invited their friends, neighbors, and nearby communities to take photos with the mural, post #banjir on social media, and submit test reports to PetaBencana.id. Throughout the course of the day, the platform received more than 3,376 reports as organizations competed to train millions of community members about real-time disaster information sharing.
Now, any resident in Indonesia can submit a disaster report anonymously by tweeting @petabencana, sending a Facebook message to @petabencana, or sending a telegram message to @bencanabot. Government emergency management agencies also monitor the map to assess the disaster situation and respond to resident needs as part of a two-way communication system; they can also update the map to alert residents about the severity of a disaster.
In response to the platform’s national launch, Agus Wibowo, Head of the Center for Data, Information, and Public Relations at the National Disaster Management Agency, said, “The transparency of the platform provides all residents, community organizations, humanitarian agencies, and government agencies, free access to time-critical information needed to make informed decisions, thereby fostering collaborative resilience and coordinated response to disaster events across the country.”
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 flood events in Jakarta, Bandung, Semarang and Surabaya. The platform has been the recipient of numerous grants and awards, including the prestigious 2019 United Nations Public Service Award. 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.
Having proven beyond any doubt that community-led data collection, sharing, and visualization reduces disaster risk and assists in relief efforts, in 2020 the platform expanded to support all of Indonesia. Later in the year, PetaBencana.id will also expand its reporting mechanism to include reports for all other hazards, including volcanoes, earthquakes, extreme wind, and forest fires and haze.
PetaBencana.id is a part of the USAID BNPB InAWARE: Disaster Management Early Warning and Decision Support Capacity Enhancement Project in Indonesia. PetaBencana.id is supported by the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID). The project is made possible through collaboration with project partners including the Pacific Disaster Center at the University of Hawaii and the Humanitarian OpenStreetMap Team; our implementing partners at the National Emergency Management Agency; our data partners including Mapbox, Twitter, Qlue, and PasangMata; and, financial sponsors for the #112Challenge, PT. PLN and Bank Rakyat Indonesia .