Queensland's ability to recover from natural disasters has been significantly enhanced with the development of an Australian first system which enables the gathering of early and accurate information, to develop speedy damage assessments.

What is DARMsys™

Damage Assessment and Reconstruction Monitoring system (DARMsys™) is used to monitor Queensland's rebuilding progress. Real time data is collected by assessors using a hand held monitoring device and sent via wi-fi to provide map based damage data.

Introduced as a pilot program in April 2011, the Authority is using the system to travel street-by-street and house-by-house through flood and cyclone-affected communities to identify where the greatest needs exist.

This, in turn, is helping the Government provide assistance to the most vulnerable in our communities.


DARMsys™ information has been invaluable to State Disaster Management Group and is now in use by all relevant agencies to plan their response for recovery from Severe Tropical Cyclone Debbie. In particular, the Department of Communities are using it for targeted assistance to identify vulnerable people and those needing assistance.

Others who are using it include utilities providers, public works, temporary housing planners and councils.

It has been acknowledged by the World Bank as having played an instrumental role in enabling Queensland to recover quickly from last summer's natural disasters.


How it Works



Conducted within the first 72 hours of an event when impacted area is safe.

  • Coordinated by the Queensland Fire and Emergency Service (QFES)
  • Employs an All Hazards approach
  • The highest priority of responding agencies is the safety of residents and response personnel, consequently data collection may be delayed during this phase
  • Initial assessment data is used to identify broad levels of damage and the impact on critical infrastructure, services, businesses and housing



  • Provides detailed and comprehensive information to support response and recovery decisions
  • Conducted within 3-14 days of an event, or when safe to do so
  • Damage assessments are more focussed and detailed than Phase 1 rapid damage assessments
  • Includes quantification of the extent of damage to public assets and private properties
  • Nature of the disaster event and the risk profile of affected area may necessitate the conduct of initial damage assessments in this phase, rather than in Phase 1
  • May require the support of local government/s and/or SES personnel
  • Supported by Department of Communities staff who can provide on the spot support to distressed residents
  • Damage assessment data may also be exchanged with the following other agencies
  • Phase 2 information supports disaster response and recovery planning and arrangements including funding and staffing requirements
  • Phase 2 information is disseminated to key recovery and reconstruction organisations and supporting agencies to improve their understanding of the needs and priorities of impacted communities


  • Commences once the restoration of, or initiation of processes to restore services such as transportation, sanitation, power and communications, has been achieved
  • Provides regular updates on the progress of recovery and reconstruction
  • Reconstruction monitoring data builds upon the data collected in Phases 1 and 2
  • The focus and frequency of reconstruction monitoring audits may vary depending on stakeholder requirements, the severity of damage and the nature of the causal event
  • Supported by staff from the Queensland Building Services Authority the Department of Public Works who are skilled in building compliance and planning
  • Reconstruction monitoring continues until it is determined that the reconstruction effort is complete
  • Information and data collected in Phase 3 is made available to response and recovery groups and supporting agencies to enhance their understanding of the rate of reconstruction progress

Reconstruction Monitoring

Videos showing QRA team members capturing data in Bollon and St. George.

QRA team members capturing data in Yasi, Roma and Mitchell