What is resilience and how do we measure it? To answer this question, we looked for inspiration from the immune system - a resilient machinery that has evolved to fight against attacks.
A big component of immunity is memory - the immune system has a mechanism that retains information so that it is able to respond faster and more efficiently against future infection. Inspired by this concept, our team aims to harness experiences built from the 2003 and 2020 Canberra bushfires to prepare our community and build resilience for future bushfire seasons.
The Fire Festival is an annual multi-day public event that aims to educate families and individuals by demystifying the scale of bushfires, their causes, and their profound effects on society by examining previous bushfire crises in 2003 and in 2019-2020.
The Fire Festival will empower members of the public with the knowledge to suitably prepare for these catastrophic events through a variety of initiatives such as connecting with local emergency and social services, creating disaster plans, and fostering a support network with the community.
The Fire Festival will also be a platform to showcase a network of IoT devices connected through Telstra's IoT LPWAN involving a series of sensors that record data such as ambient temperature, thermal imagery, animal movement activity, particulate matter in the air, wind gust and more.
Sample festival path: https://www.google.com/maps/d/viewer?mid=1HFnXJC10DSpmPSD9vZauZhLXQsIEUiTn&usp=sharing
Sample festival schedule: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1Uu7Etmk_w2tfwpvFh7VNyIc5m_72Y86k/view
Abstract vector created by freepik - www.freepik.com
The motivation behind the proposal of the Fire Festival initiative is based on analysis of multiple ACT data sets.
ACT's projected population is only expected to grow, reaching around half a million by 2032. An increasing yearly rate of overseas migration into Canberra brings a population that has never experienced an Australian bushfire season and a dynamic mapping of Bushfire Prone Areas and ACT School Locations 2017 illustrates the need to educate a community surrounded by bushfire-prone land.
When mapping out a route for the festival tour, we've looked at the 2003 ACT affected areas map to find locations that were once devastated by the fires. We've also used the ACT Public Barbecue dataset to create a stop to discuss fire safe behaviour and fire safety ratings.
Since this event aims to educate and train the community, we also want to demonstrate the technology available for bushfire data collection. To support the use of the Telstra IoT network over other networks, we have compared the mobile network availability to the map of 2019/2020 bushfire affected zones to show that the current mobile networks are not suitable for data collection in the bushland surrounding Canberra.