Saturday, August 30th, 2014 - ISD Analytics

A world first tool that can predict the behavior of communities to impending disasters such as bushfires, floods, terrorism, storms, tornadoes and tsunamis will be presented at the AFAC emergency services conference in New Zealand in September 2014. In collaboration with Emergency Services Victoria, ISD Analytics will present case studies of how its Community Emergency Response Model (CERM) was able to accurately predict community response to past fires, and test hypothetical scenarios for high risk communities to inform strategy and policy with the aim of saving lives in future fires.

CERM uses theories of rationality and risk-based cognitive models derived from established principles about how people process and react to potentially life-threatening situations. CERM utilizes Census data, observational and administrative data, survey data, expert knowledge, previous research and recent advances in computer and simulation technology.

CERM simulates the decision making process of each individual (or collection of individuals acting together, such as a family unit) in a specific community as they respond to the threatening situation, such as a bushfire. CERM outputs include reports on the proportion of the population that stay, leave or are uncommitted to a response, as well as the proportion of the community that seek refuge in a number of types of places, including designated shelters and neighborhood safe places, with a neighbor, at an improvised refuge such as an open area like a sports oval, or that leave the region altogether. A response timeline showing how the community's response evolves is built up from predictions made for each half-hour interval over the course of the incident.

" Theories of rationality tell us that people will act to maximize the likelihood of a good outcome; in the context of natural disaster, rational actions are ones that minimize the chance of injury and casualty to themselves and their loved ones, and any damage to their property." said Dr Drew Mellor from ISD Analytics.

" When people make (or appear to make) poor decisions it can be because they must choose between many possible actions in the face of uncertainty and have limited time to determine which are the best."

ISD Analytics CEO Dr Don Perugini said "Most people do not behave irrationally when faced with a potentially life threatening situation. However, it is important to understand that no-one has a perfect, instantaneous and god-like understanding of the whole situation as it unfolds. Instead members of threatened communities must make critical decisions based on uncertainties and unknowns under stressful circumstances and in a timely way. Understanding the basis of their decisions as we can with CERM, allows us the opportunity to design better warnings and interventions that will ensure people make better decisions in an emergency and ultimately save lives."

Dr Drew Mellor and Alan Rhodes from Emergency Services Victoria will be presenting at the AFAC conference in Wellington, New Zealand, on September 3rd.

For more details, call Dr. Don Perugini at ISD Analytics on +61 (0)8 7200 3589, email [email protected], or view the website at

Contact Profile

ISD Analytics

Predict and influence how people actually behave ISD's Simulait allows you to better predict and influence human behavior at any level from individuals to complete populations, in order to assist with business strategy and Government policy… it’s like a real-life SimCity application! Simulait has been applied to a range of industries globally including water, energy, retail, transport, emergency response, Government policy, and organizational analysis, where it has achieved greater than 90% accuracy in predictions.
Don Perugini
P: 0412 662 544


Predictive Analytics, Big Data, Emergency Services, Bushfire, Terrorism, Community Behavior




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