Disaster HQ in your pocket

10 August 2015

Following the 2011 Brisbane floods, a Brisbane company has developed a ground-breaking app designed to house everything businesses need to get back to operation as quickly, safely and sustainably as possible.

EarthCheck General Manager, Consulting Mark Olsen saw the effects of the floods on his city and decided to do something about it.

“EarthCheck’s business is about delivering sustainability through data-driven solutions,” Mr Olsen said.

“So, seeing the effects of the floods, I knew we could do more to help people and businesses prepare and recover in future.”

It was from this immediate need that EarthCheck’s risk app was born. The app is a digital “Go Pack” for businesses, providing key people with the process, documentation and contacts they need to get back to business as quickly as possible.

EarthCheck, which won the 2014 Lord Mayor’s Business Award for Business Innovation, has a long history of delivering sustainable business solutions, with its flagship product EarthCheck Certification having helped clients realise over $500 million in operational savings.

These savings have been driven by globally recognised, industry-leading experts providing sound advice backed by world-leading bespoke software solutions housing years of hard industry data. The app is a logical extension of EarthCheck’s existing product and service offer.

“During the floods it became clear that many businesses didn’t have disaster recovery plans, or if they did, they were underwater in a filing cabinet. And, from our research, we know that 80 per cent of businesses without such a plan fold within two years of disaster striking,” Mr Olsen said.

“The app is an evolution of technology that puts the paper-based crisis management practices we’ve had for years into a smart phone and the hands of operators, no matter where they are.

“Since the floods, we’ve seen a number of cyclone events in Queensland, tsunami and earthquake events in Southeast Asia and Japan, and more recently the earthquakes in Nepal. We know the severity of these events continues to rise, and the cost in terms of human suffering and economic collapse continues to rise along with this severity.

“During these events it’s hard to think clearly, and everybody reacts differently. With the app, you just press ‘go’ and it talks people through what they need to do step-by-step – effectively it’s a ‘Disaster HQ’ in your hip pocket.”

Mr Olsen said the possibilities for the app were much broader than the tourism sector.

“Its beauty is in its simplicity. It’s been designed to provide a solution for any form of business risk.”

As a result, the app has already seen quick take-up in thousands of Australian businesses.

“With the level of interest shown by decision-makers globally within our network of 1400 clients, it makes sense for us to pursue those opportunities as a priority. We’ll be announcing the first major partnership shortly and it’ll be exciting to see the customisation this brings to the app,” Mr Olsen said.

“Then, through our strategic relationship with the APEC International Centre for Sustainable Tourism (established in partnership with EarthCheck), we’ll be exploring how we can distribute the app across the 21 economies that make up that organisation.”

For more information, or to download the app go here.



  • EarthCheck is the world’s leading scientific benchmarking certification and advisory group for travel and tourism.
  • Since 1987, it has helped businesses, communities and governments to deliver clean, safe, prosperous and healthy destinations for travellers to visit, live, work and play.
  • It understands the value of big ideas and the importance of clear communication.
  • It knows that what can be good for the planet is also good for business.
  • It has a passion for delivering responsible businesses practices, driving efficiency gains, and safeguarding the natural and social environment.
  • Its multi-disciplinary team is made up of leading scientific and business professionals.
  • Its clients range from leading destinations and multi-national companies to local governments and small business owners.

Risk App

  • Born out of the 2011 Brisbane floods – the app is designed to house everything businesses need to get back to operation as quickly, safely and sustainably as possible, all on the one thing everyone has on them during such an event, their phone.
  • Having the app means people don’t need to find anything or think through a strategy. They simply press “go” and follow the steps as outlined in the app.
  • Simple and effective, the design of the app is such that it can be used for risk management in any industry.
  • The take-up in Australia has been significant, with thousands of downloads.

EarthCheck is now going to market globally – starting in the tourism and travel sector before moving into other sectors.

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