Amazon Web Services has unveiled in Australia a program offering more than $6500 in AWS credits to select organisations and partners to help them prepare for natural and man-made disasters.
Provided to eligible local government, education and small community organisations, customers and partners, AWS Project Resilience is a $US5000 ($6649) offer to support disaster response services, such as those on the front lines including police, fire, and emergency responders.
The announcement follows findings from the Royal Commission into National Natural Disaster Arrangements, which noted that as natural disasters become more frequent and severe, technology will play an increasingly important role in facilitating resilience and recovery.
One partner AWS has been working with on community disaster resilience already is Melbourne's Whispir, a cloud communications platform that combines communication channels like email, messaging and chat into one space.
Whispir has been working with Moreton Bay Regional Council, north of Brisbane, to develop a platform to provide disaster management alerts to residents and complement warnings issued by the Bureau of Meteorology and other emergency services. The team has also worked with Cairns Regional Council and the Emergency WA website to develop emergency communications and critical messaging systems.
AWS partner ARQ Group has also worked with the NSW Rural Bushfire Service since 2015, developing technology solutions including the Fires Near Me app, which allowed people to set watch zones and receive alerts should a fire occur in those areas.
Iain Rouse, country director for AWS public sector, ANZ said the vendor was committed to working with customers and partners to help local communities prepare, respond and recover from disasters.
“By making AWS Project Resilience available in Australia, we can help our customers offset the cost of storing their data safely and securely on AWS, which means that even if computing equipment, such as laptops and servers, are damaged in a disaster, their critical data is still securely stored and easily accessible in the AWS Cloud,” he said.
“AWS can also help organisations support rapid spikes in traffic to their websites and calls to their contact centres leading up to and during events, and to analyse data to improve early warning systems and damage assessments. By taking immediate action through AWS Project Resilience, we can enable our communities to better prepare and respond to disasters, while we continue to create and implement long-term solutions.”