Rapid identification of vulnerable households in an emergency or crisis


  1. Project outputs
  2. Project timeline

This project, led by Westmorland & Furness Council (previously Cumbria Council), will investigate the scaling of a digital tool (VIPER) for the rapid identification of vulnerable households by emergency teams during a crisis. The tool was developed by Cumbria’s Local Resilience Forum to be used by regional partners and will replace manual, inefficient, paper-driven processes.

The key requirement is to be able to access the tool across a wide range of agencies at an input (data processing) and output (welfare check) level, as there may be multiple agencies working across an incident.

The property profile basis of VIPER also ensures that there are very limited GDPR concerns.

The ability to map properties on any geographic scale provides quick and concise situational awareness for agencies in a crisis. This reduces the risk of lives being lost, or casualties being created, among the most vulnerable during a major incident.

Project outputs

The following products will be produced as a result of this project phase:

  • project website – all of the final versions of the products list will be published on the project website
  • user research
  • service patterns
  • feasibility assessment
  • technical and data architecture models
  • data standards
  • information governance guidance
  • communication and events
  • updated prototype – the key output at the end of this project phase will be an updated prototype which will be tested across all of the partners listed for this project

During the project, all participating organisations will have shared access via a number of digital tools.

Project timeline

March 2023

The project is awarded £139,000 in funding through Round 6 of the Local Digital Fund to begin an alpha phase.

April 2023

Craig from Westmorland and Furness Council discussing their Local Digital Fund project roadmap
Craig from Westmorland and Furness Council discussing their project roadmap
Since the Local Digital Round 6 welcome event, the Westmorland and Furness project team have scheduled a kick-off meeting with partner councils for 16 May. The team has received a quote from Netcall for technical professional services to assist with development, and they have started conversations with potential third-party delivery partners.

The next sprint will be defined after the kick-off meeting, and the team expects to confirm the project roadmap, progress the procurement of a delivery partner, and identify roles and responsibilities.