The CSIRO has released a new report detailing how emerging technologies help emergency services better manage the impacts of natural disasters and minimise their impacts on people, infrastructure and the environment.


The All Hazards: Digital Technology and Services for Disaster Management report brings together a number of research works conducted by the CSIRO in disaster planning, preparation and recovery.


CSIRO’s Research Leader, Government and Commercial Services Alan Dormer, said that in 2010 alone, 385 natural disasters impacted on 217 million people at a cost of US$123.9 billion to the world economy.


"In Australia, we had the 2011 Queensland floods and Cyclone Yasi, and the 2009 Black Saturday bushfires. We've yet to discover what the 2012-13 summer cyclone and bushfire season will bring," Mr Dormer said.


The CSIRO has recently established a new disaster management team within the Digital Productivity and Services Flagship to better intergrate research areas and take a broader ‘all hazards’ approach.


"Although we've got lots of pieces of the natural disaster research puzzle, we haven't got all of them. We'd like to bring together CSIRO's existing expertise and provide support across the spectrum of prediction, preparation, emergency response and recovery,” Mr Dormer said.


"We also want to collaborate with organisations with complementary data sources and capability, such as Geoscience Australia and the Bureau of Meteorology."


"Of course all this technology won't be able to stop natural disasters happening but it will provide ways to plan for and manage disasters more effectively and so reduce the human costs," he said.


The full report can be found here