Proposal talk:Emergency=disaster response

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Please also check further discussion at --Fizzie41 (talk) 05:46, 30 December 2020 (UTC)

More discussion can be found in the community forum --Os-emmer (talk) 19:51, 18 September 2023 (UTC)

I can only talk about the German Federal Agency for Technical Relief (THW), because I'm not familiar with other nation's emergency legal systems. In Germany, disaster response is not a federal task, but one of the individual member states. Civil protection, however, is a federal task, delegated to THW. So tagging a THW facility with emergency=disaster_response is incorrect. Additionally, the widely used term technical fits better, as THW is an agency for technical relief. This seems to be in row with some criticism of the above mentioned rescue_stations proposal. Trying to unify tagging shouldn't come with a loss of information. --PVitt (talk) 13:39, 8 February 2021 (UTC)

Thanks for that. That's actually a question that I've asked a couple of times over this process, but haven't had a response - what is "Technical Rescue / Relief" (I've seen references to both)? Certainly not trying to reduce the amount of information available, just get it all together in one spot, where it can be easily found! --Fizzie41 (talk) 00:18, 10 February 2021 (UTC)
@PVitt - we do not want to tag administrstive hierarchies here. So, when the task of disaster response is delegated to the Technisches Hilfswerk THW, why would the tagging be incorrect?--Polarbear w (talk) 19:22, 16 February 2021 (UTC)

usage in OSM

I have mapped a building using this tag. I don't believe that there is an existing tag appropriate for this purpose. please go forward with this proposal, you have my support. --SherbetS (talk) 22:25, 12 April 2022 (UTC)

Australian SES

In Australia, the SES (State Emergency Service) is not a single nationwide organisation, but each state controls their own version of it:,, so there would need to be a Wikidata entry for each of them e.g. Queensland is

Naming will also vary, depending on each unit, but the most common versions are <city/town/area name> SES/State Emergency Service Unit/Group, or SES/State Emergency Service <city/town/area name> Unit/Group.

You should also make mention of the updated proposal on the Tagging Mailing List & Community forum.

Good luck! --Fizzie41 (talk) 00:25, 10 July 2023 (UTC)

Thank you for the explanation. I think this will help to improve the proposed tagging of the SES.

What do you mean with "You should also make mention of the updated proposal on the Tagging Mailing List & Community forum."? I am quite new here in the wiki.

--Os-emmer (talk) 05:41, 10 July 2023 (UTC)

Here's the Community forum, where a lot of discussion takes place: I've now created a new thread to mention that this proposal has been refreshed: Please talk to everybody else & put your thoughts & suggestions out there for others. & don't take it personally if people say "That's wrong"! Unfortunately, that happens all the time :-( --Fizzie41 (talk) 06:27, 11 July 2023 (UTC)


Not sure on the best way to work tagging?

As you've said emergency=disaster_response, but how should it go after that?

Do we just leave it at that, & rely on name & operator to distinguish individual groups e.g.,

Or try to break it down into each country > state > group e.g. disaster_response=AU + AU=State Emergency Service + SES=Queensland + Qld_SES=Gold Coast (which is impossibly cumbersome & messy!) --Fizzie41 (talk) 00:44, 10 July 2023 (UTC)

I proposed emergency_service=THW for the German THW and emergency_service=SES for the Austrailian SES. This way we can group all organisations with emergency=disaster_response and maybe amenity=emergency but still be able to distinguish between the organisations. Ofcause we need more values for emergency_service=* for all the other organisations. What do you think anout this proposal? --Os-emmer (talk) 05:39, 10 July 2023 (UTC)

[W]NSW SES (Q7011790) is an "instance of" [W]SES (Q7011790) . That's how Wikidata works. —— Kovposch (talk) 07:04, 13 July 2023 (UTC)

Thanks for the recent interest. I think we do not need an amenity=* key in this context. Having emergency=* as top level is sufficient and keeps load off the amenity=* key. Looking at emergency=* it does not require an amenity=* key for other uses.

For the operator, I'd favour the operator=* key since it is universally used in OSM. Things like 'name' and default tags such as address should be kept out of the proposal, as they are default anyway and make the proposal look more complicated.

In my experience, the community is more likely to agree to a simple key-value pair than to a complicated tagging structure, which might evolve naturally afterwards. --Polarbear w (talk) 21:05, 11 July 2023 (UTC)

About goal ambiguity and disaster unified response teams

I think many countries are similar because modern countries often share experiences, but let’s take the case of South Korea. (I’m not sure I can explain it properly with my short English skills, but I’ll give it a shot, so please bear with me.)

There are many different types of disasters, and each one has its own response organization, but in modern times I know disaster response as unified response. In a large or complex disaster, a response team will be formed, and the response team will coordinate all relevant organizations. But, disaster response teams do not have any resources. Depending on the type of disaster, they take resources from “A” organization, “A-2”, and “B-1” and “B-2” from “B” organization. This means that “A-2” is a redundant attribute that originally belonged to “A” and is mobilized for a specific disaster. In other words, “A-2”, “B-1”, and “B-2” don’t have independent properties, but are each subproperties of “A” and “B”, and additionally have the property of disaster response.

Not every country in the world is like this, but at least many that I know of respond to disasters this way. If I’ve misunderstood something, please let me know. --깨몽/dreamy (talk) 04:22, 13 July 2023 (UTC)

Possible German examples

Moved here from proposal page

Tags for Technisches Hilfswerk (THW), Germany

Tag Description
Tag to group all objects of this organisation. This may be redundant with operator=Bundesanstalt Technisches Hilfswerk (THW) so that it could maybe be removed.
Name depending on administrative level and specifc task. Maybe for special places adjustments are needed.
Offical Name in long and short form in two different Tags instead of merging them in something like operator=Bundesanstalt Technisches Hilfswerk (THW)
The wikidata/wikipedia reference to the organisation.
Official 4-letter reference, compare to name=*. Currently ref:thw=... is in use. I (@Os-emmer) am not sure if ref:thw=* or ref=* is better suited.
These tags are currently in use to assingne the local stations to their higher-order administrative stations. I (@Os-emmer) am not sure if something like this is relevant in different countrys.

Additional special tags

  • squad=* Used to declare which units and which equipment is located, already in use ( Here is some work needed for a unified use. And maybe squad=* is not even the best way of displaying this information.

Original Australian suggestions

Moved here from Proposal page

Tag Description
emergency_service=SES Compare to "Technisches Hilfswerk (THW)".
name=? Is there a unified way of naming SES-Places? If so please add it here.
operator=State Emergency Service (SES) Compare to "Technisches Hilfswerk (THW)".
The wikidata reference to the organisation. There seems to be a "State Emergency Service" and a "New South Wales State Emergency Service". Are they the same? Do they need different tagging?

Classification of organisations

One big problem with finding a globally working tagging scheme for disaster-response-organisations is that these types of organisations are only similar but still different all around the world. To find an overview over the existing organisations that could maybe be tagged as emergency=disaster_response the table below may help. It mainly consists of the Rationale of this proposal. It would be great if everybody could add information about the organisations and also add missing organisations. Maybe we need more columns to classify more propertys. If we find out what the organisations have in common and what not we may be able to find a good definition of disaster-response-organisations.

name of organisation with wikipedia link area wikidata has equipment (trucks, boats, excavators, chainsaws, pickaxes, crowbars, other handtools, ...) has paid members (people working there full time and making a living from this) has volunteer members (people who participate in the organisation as a hobby, doing training in their free time) has its own places where equipment is stored has its own places for training of the members and reparing the equipment typical tasks (examples) note current way of tagging
State Emergency Service Austraila Q7603194, Q56395948, Q17054236, Q7927057, Q7011790, Q111654262 yes ? yes ? ? Road rescue after vehicle accidents; Search for lost people; Rescue people trapped in caves; Do search and rescue in flood waters; Support Fire brigades in bush fires, Police at major accidents; Support the community after major wind storms securing property, clearing roads of trees down; preventative work – both on their own before/during storms and floods with sandbagging, securing windows and doors, etc – and assisting the RFS and Police during searches Organisation is devided in local sub-organisations
Österreichischer Zivilschutzverband (ÖZSV) Austria Q306544 no yes ? no yes This organisation gives training to the civil public so that they can help themselfe in case of emergencys and catastrophys. The organisation only gives information but does not actually send someone to help in an emergency. My (@Os-emmer) understanding of this organisation is not very good so the information in this line may be not completely correct. ?
Civiele Bescherming / Protection civile Belgium Q1895669 ? yes ? yes ? Assistance in complicated disaster response cases amenity=emergency_service
Civil defense in Brazil Brazil Q10264735 ? ? ? ? ? ? ?
Civilna zaštita Croatia ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ?
Civilní obrana Czechia ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ?
Sistema Nacional de Protección Civil, Prevención y Mitigación de Desastres El Salvador Q5839336 ? ? ? ? ? ? ?
Bundesamt für Bevölkerungsschutz und Katastrophenhilfe (BBK) Germany Q1005427 no yes no no no warn the population in case of an catastrophy, for example with the self developed "NINA"-app for smatphones; general administration of governmental emergency structures in Germany My (@Os-emmer) understanding of this organisation is not very good so the information in this line may be not completely correct.
Technisches Hilfswerk (THW) Germany Q697698 yes yes yes yes yes save people from collapsed houses; build up temporary electrical networks as replacements; build up tents for people that can't go to theire own houses right now; pump away water from flooded regions; coordinate big operations including police, firefithers, ambulances, ...; ...
? Greece ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ?
Dipartimento della protezione civile (PCN) Italy Q206936 ? ? ? ? ? ? ?
Civil Protection / Protección Civil Mexico Q16491402(?) ? ? ? ? ? ? ?
not existing Poland - - - - - - - AFAIK no dedicated service, handled by firefighters with support from other emergency services and army for things requiring manpower
Autoridade Nacional de Emergência e Proteção Civil Portugal Q16495430 ? ? ? ? ? ? ?
Central Disaster and Safety Countermeasures Headquarters (CDSCHQ) South Korea Q16189763 no yes ? ? ? ? Act as a disaster headquarters only (Explanation). ?
Державна служба України з надзвичайних ситуацій (State Emergency Service) Ukraine Q1711627 ? ? ? ? ? ? ?

--Os-emmer (talk) 12:38, 16 July 2023 (UTC)

Default tags?

Is it really useful to list this address/contact tags? And what is meant exactly by "default" here? Mateusz Konieczny (talk) 20:04, 3 November 2023 (UTC)

Thank you a lot for showing interest in this proposal.

I think someone else already meantioned that this listing should probably be removed. I added it to the proposal because I wanted to make clear that these tags should also be used. But maybe it is just clear that something that has an address should be mapped with all the addr:*=* tags. As you are not the first one who thought this should maybe be removed I just removed the section to simplify the proposal. --Os-emmer (talk) 21:37, 4 November 2023 (UTC)

Yeah, I would not go into this - for example whether addr:country=* should be used is controversial and you really do not want to deal with contact: prefix debate Mateusz Konieczny (talk) 10:07, 5 November 2023 (UTC)
Thats true. This basic addr:*=* and contact:*=* discussion is bigger than this proposal. I just added a new post to the discussion in the forum with more on topic qustions. Maybe you want to have a look. :) --Os-emmer (talk) 11:44, 5 November 2023 (UTC)

Resolved: Mateusz Konieczny (talk) 11:46, 5 November 2023 (UTC)