State Emergency Service – flood support system

Client: State Emergency Service
Location: Tasmania, Australia
Date: January 2008 – December 2008

Developing a web-based flood decision support system to help emergency services assess flood risks and manage emergencies


The Tasmanian State Emergency Service (SES) flood support system was developed to assist emergency services managers to better assess flood risks, and to help manage all phases of flood emergencies including planning, mitigation, preparation, response and recovery.


Entura was engaged to design, develop and implement the system, involving designing the system to handle available flood study and flood evacuation plan information, installing and setting up an installation and set-up of open-source GIS database and designing a GIS data model, and developing an web application to assist in managing flood evacuations.

When river levels are forecast to rise, SES personnel enter the level into the system, and the appropriate flood inundation and evacuation plan is loaded to the user interface. Users can then view information, such as evacuation route cut-off points, evacuation zones and information specific to an individual property, such as whether it should be sandbagged, evacuated, monitored, or whether it will be islanded but not inundated.

Throughout the flood event, SES personnel in the field can update the system with evacuation status and property-specific comments. Information is stored in the central system, creating an evacuation status history for each property, which can be used in post-event reviews. Owner and property information is drawn directly from online web services, ensuring that information is up to date.

Information can be loaded into the system for an unlimited number of river basins.


Entura’s extensive experience and expertise in flood modelling and forecasting, flood evacuation plans and web-based GIS enabled the successful execution of this project. The use of a web-based open-source GIS system was cost-effective, reducing the need for expensive proprietary software.

This system allows SES personnel to better manage flood response and evacuation processes, directly improving safety outcomes for the public. The online mapping information allows personnel in the field and remote offices to make coordinated decisions based on the same up-to-date information.