All the local weather information you want, you may find in this one-stop shop currently being set-up by the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) with the help of computer giant International Business Machines Corporation (IBM).
Called the Intelligent Operations Center or IOC, the one-stop shop aims to consolidate information from PAGASA as well as the different components of the Nationwide Operational Assessment of Hazards (Project NOAH).
Formally unveiled during the last leg of DOST’s nationwide information campaign dubbed as “Iba na ang Panahon: Science for Safer Communities” at the Philippine International Convention Center in May 2014, IOC will also provide analysis of a disaster’s possible impact.
In particular, IOC will provide emergency managers critical information such as advance warning for extreme weather events, feedback from first responders on the number of casualties and affected families, and conditions of buildings and infrastructure among others.
“All of these [consolidated information] will be forwarded to DOST and NDRRMC (National Disaster and Risk Reduction Management Council),” said Dr. Carlos Primo David, IOC’s project leader.
IOC also comes with an Integrated Communications Center to facilitate better and more coordinated disaster management efforts with the DOST and across various government agencies.
Currently stationed at DOST’s Information and Communications Technology Office (ICT Office) in Diliman, Quezon City, IOC is being manned by ICT Office engineers and developers from the University of the Philippines.
IBM provided the equipment and training of IOC personnel while some of the tech giant’s staff were also temporarily assigned to help the center until it becomes fully operational in 2015.
“IOC will run 24/7 once it gets fully operational by 2015,” said Dr. David.
Since IOC is an IBM proprietary system albeit being turned over to DOST, Dr. David said they are developing in-house and web-based software tools as it will be the Department’s command center in times of extreme weather events.
The overwhelming impact of Typhoon Haiyan (Yolanda) when it hit the country in November 2013 was what pushed IBM to develop the IOC.
“Given as a response to typhoon Yolanda, IBM is honored to be an enabler in building a Smarter Philippines,” said IBM in a statement. (S&T Media Service)