Monday, September 9th, 2013

The Victorian Fire Services Commissioner (FSC) has funded a project to develop a new innovative tool that can accurately predict how communities respond to bushfires and warnings. The Community Emergency Response Model (CERM), developed by ISD Analytics, inputs bushfire progression and warnings communicated in order to predict whether people will stay or leave, when, and which type of locations they are likely to go to if they leave. The model has been validated on two bushfires in Victoria and South Australia and has demonstrated over 90% accuracy in predicting community behavioural response when compared with survey data. CERM will be presented at the SimTecT 2013 conference in Brisbane next week. The presentation will focus on how CERM has been applied to support bushfire safety planning and risk assessment for high risk communities, for example to support traffic modelling.

Since the 2009 bushfires, Victoria’s approach to community response has focussed on the importance of people leaving early, improving fire danger information and warnings and providing a broader range of safety and shelter options for people threatened by fire. There have been limited opportunities to assess the effectiveness of these initiatives in influencing public response.  Consequently, policy and planning for these initiatives has generally not been able to account for people’s likely response in different threat situations.

The FSC commissioned ISD Analytics to develop the predictive tool using their new innovative micro-simulation technology Simulait. Simulait emerged from the Defence industry and can utilise a broad range of data to predict human behaviour. Simulait had been already used in a range of sectors such as water, energy, Government policy, and retail in Australia, USA and Europe. CERM was developed with the assistance of emergency services experts, researchers, and extensive Bushfire CRC data on the behavioural response of communities to bushfire and health risk.

CERM is able to predict people’s response to different levels of threat, their likely actions (remain or leave), the timing of their decision to leave, and their likely destination if they leave their home.  CERM can account for a broad range of factors influencing people’s response such as the different levels of threat, fire spread, household preparedness, socio-demographic data, warning schedules, and the presence of emergency services.

ISD Analytics plans to further extend the model to other emergencies such as floods.


For more details, call Dr. Don Perugini at ISD on +61 (0)8 7200 3727 email [email protected], or view the website at

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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


Big data, Bushfire, Emergency Management, Policy, Analytics, Simulation, ISD Analytics, Simulait Online, Predict, Forecasting, Behaviour



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