When the "unforeseen" happens, public security comes to its limits. Whether Elbe River Flood, hurricane Katrina or the Fukushima nuclear disaster - effective risk management must be a continuous process that recognizes new threats even before they occur. For this purpose, ESPRI analyzes, evaluates and develops new technologies and approaches.
In order to respond to public security challenges, ESPRI has its focal point on the human being. Unlike previous approaches using detection technology ("How do I identify risk?"), Information needs and Information logistics play the central role ("Who must know what and when in a dangerous situation in order to act properly"). Therefore, ESPRI aims at integrative approaches to security systems in the Smart City which combine public, private and industrial systems in an intelligent and effective way.
From October 30 to November 1, 2013, Fraunhofer FOKUS will be hosting the international conference on “Public Alerting and Social Media during Crisis and Disasters”. This event will be attended by 100 international political and administrative decision makers, researchers and specialists in the field of risk management.
With the symbolic press of the start button on 27 May 2013, the County Commissioner Manfred Müller marked the start of the warning and information system KATWARN in the county of Paderborn. As of now, all citizens within the postal code area of the county can free of charge register themselves and use the system. In case of dangerous situations the users receive official warnings via smartphone-app, text message and email, respectively. The warnings are provided by the county's control center located in Büren-Ahden.
The Opti-Alert project coordinator, Fraunhofer FOKUS, organizes a workshop on "Safety and Security Systems for the Public and Industries". The workshop will be hosted by the 11th International Symposium on Autonomous Decentralized Systems (ISADS 2013), March 6-8, 2013, in Mexico City.
As a special decoration for their achievements in scientific research, Prof. Dr. Agnès Voisard on 14 February 2013 the French National Order of Merit - "National Order of Merit" - awarded the rank of Knight at the French Embassy in Berlin.
On February 1st, 2013, Herford started up Fraunhofer FOKUS-disaster warning system KATWARN as the first distinct in North Rhine-Westphalia. The system coordinated by local fire brigades and emergency management agencies provides warnings and location based instructions in case of crisis situations by SMS, email or via a smart phone app.
On monday, the first county in the south of Hesse, Darmstadt-Dieburg, gets connected with the early warning system KATWARN developed by Fraunhofer FOKUS. District Administrator Klaus Peter Schellhaas activated the information system for the public in the control center of fire department and civil protection.
Shortly after the launch of the new channel of the KATWARN App, a free disaster alert system, the user numbers of the system at the Apple Store rise to No. 1 for the category "free news" and No. 56 of all the "top free apps". The severe weather warnings are from Deutscher Wetterdienst (DWD – Germany's National Meteorological Service) and inform about "extreme severe weather", the highest warning level.