Events

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AFAC14 - conference opening, Wellington
AFAC14 - conference opening, Wellington
Date
02 Sep 2014

2014 New Zealand annual conference

The largest and most important emergency services and public safety conference and trade exhibition for Australasia in 2014 was in Wellington, New Zealand, 2-5 September at Shed 6 and TSB Bank Arena.

The Bushfire and Natural Hazards CRC joined forces with AFAC to host the AFAC14 conference addressing the theme After Disaster Strikes, Learning from Adversity.

The conference week began on Tuesday 2 September with the sold-out Research Forum. This day was dedicated to presentations and discussion on the latest scientific projects for bushfire and natural hazards.

Audio of all the Research Forum presentations is available under the Audio Presentations tab below, while all speaker slides are available from the Resources tab.

You can also watch in its entirety the final keynote of the day by BNHCRC Project Leader Professor David Johnson of Massey University below. Prof Johnson explored research that investigated causes of injury from the 2010/2011 Canterbury earthquakes in New Zealand.

Visit www.afac.com.au/conference to access resources from days 2 and 3 of the conference, including videos of keynotes from Tom Harbour (US Forest Service), Vaughan Poutawera (Grace Orthopaedic Centre) and Dr Deen Sanders (Professional Standards Council).

See the conference website

Venue

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Related

The 2014 Research Forum in Wellington was a sell out.
4 March, 2015 | The collected proceedings of the 2014 Research Forum, held as part of the 2014 Bushfire and Natural Hazards CRC and AFAC conference in Wellington, New Zealand, are now online.

Jeff Kepert presents at the 2014 Research Forum
29 October, 2014 | Audio of all presentations at the sold out Bushfire and Natural Hazards CRC Research Forum in Wellington, along with video of the closing keynote, are now available online

2014 annual conference in Wellington
22 September, 2014 | More than 390 emergency management practitioners and researchers attended the very first Bushfire and Natural Hazards CRC Research Forum – a sold out crowd – at our annual conference in Wellington.

Gary Morgan receives his award from Richard Thornton
22 September, 2014 | A special award was presented at the annual conference to outgoing Bushfire CRC CEO Gary Morgan for his contribution to establishing the national science and research program for bushfires and natural hazards.

Lamorna Cooper from Timaru District Council
22 September, 2014 | Lamorna Cooper from Timaru District Council in New Zealand was our lucky winner of a professional quality first aid kit at the annual conference in Wellington.

TSB Arena Wellington
26 August, 2014 | The Bushfire and Natural Hazards CRC Research Forum next week in Wellington is officially full.

24 July, 2014 | There is still time to consider registering for the valuable “extras” that surround the conference week in Wellington (2-5 September). You don’t have to be registered for the main conference to attend the professional development sessions, the field trips or the ever-popular Research Forum.

Paul Baxter - NZ Fire Service
1 May, 2014 | The full speaker program for the 2014 annual conference was launched to the fire and emergency management sector last night in Melbourne.

The CRC 2013 annual conference in Melbourne
11 February, 2014 | The deadline for abstract submissions for our annual conference has been extended.

Year Type Citation
2015 Conference Paper Eburn, M., Hudson, D., Cha, I. & Dovers, S. Learning from Adversity: What Has 75 Years of Bushfire Inquiries Taught Us? Conference Paper 2014. Bushfire and Natural Hazards CRC and AFAC Wellington Conference 2014 (2015).
2015 Conference Paper Irons, M., Paton, D., Lester, L., Scott, J. & Martin, A. Social Media, Crisis Communication and Community-led Response and Recovery: An Australian Case Study Conference Paper 2014. Bushfire and Natural Hazards CRC and AFAC Wellington Conference 2014 (2015).
2015 Conference Paper Kepert, J. D., Naughton, M. & Bally, J. Managing Severe Weather - Progress and Opportunities Conference Paper 2014. Bushfire and Natural Hazards CRC and AFAC Wellington Conference 2014 (2015).
2015 Conference Paper Rumsewicz, M. Research Forum 2014: proceedings of the Research Forum at the Bushfire and Natural Hazards CRC & AFAC conference. Bushfire and Natural Hazards CRC and AFAC Wellington Conference 2014 (Bushfire and Natural Hazards CRC, 2015).
2015 Conference Paper Thurston, W., Tory, K. J., Kepert, J. D. & Fawcett, R. J. B. The Effects of Fire-Plume Dynamics on the Lateral and Longitudinal Spread of Long-Range Spotting Conference Paper 2014. Bushfire and Natural Hazards CRC and AFAC Wellington Conference 2014 (2015).
2015 Conference Paper Dharssi, I., Kumar, V., Yeo, C., Bally, J. & Kepert, J. D. Mitigating the Effects of Severe Fires, Floods and Heatwaves Conference Paper 2014. Bushfire and Natural Hazards CRC and AFAC Wellington Conference 2014 (2015).
2015 Conference Paper Henderson, D. & Ginger, J. D. Improving the Resilience of Existing Housing to Severe Wind Events Conference Paper 2014. Bushfire and Natural Hazards CRC and AFAC Wellington Conference 2014 (2015).
2015 Conference Paper Taylor, M. et al. Experiences of responders in supporting animals and their owners in disasters Conference Paper 2014. Bushfire and Natural Hazards CRC and AFAC Wellington Conference 2014 (2015).
2015 Conference Paper Sharples, J. J., Simpson, C., Evans, J. P. & McRae, R. H. D. Threshold Behaviour in Dynamic Fire Propagation Conference Paper 2014. Bushfire and Natural Hazards CRC and AFAC Wellington Conference 2014 (2015).
2015 Conference Paper Barnes, P. Discovering Future Disaster Management Capability Needs Using Scenario Planning Conference Paper 2014. Bushfire and Natural Hazards CRC and AFAC Wellington Conference 2014 (Bushfire and Natural Hazards CRC, 2015).
2015 Conference Paper van den Honert, R., Coates, L., Haynes, K. & Crompton, R. Estimating the Impacts of Natural Hazards on Fatalities and Building Losses Conference Paper 2014. Bushfire and Natural Hazards CRC and AFAC Wellington Conference 2014 (2015).
2015 Conference Paper Rajabifard, A. et al. A Pre-Disaster Multi-Hazard Damage and Economic Loss Estimation Model Conference Paper 2014. Bushfire and Natural Hazards CRC and AFAC Wellington Conference 2014 (2015).
2015 Conference Paper O'Halloran, M. NSW RFS Bush Fire Household Assessment Tool Conference Paper 2014. Bushfire and Natural Hazards CRC and AFAC Wellington Conference 2014 (2015).
2015 Conference Paper Phillips, E., de Oliveira, F. Dimer, Koschatzky, V. & Somerville, P. Disruption of critical infrastructure during prolonged natural disasters Conference Paper 2014. Bushfire and Natural Hazards CRC and AFAC Wellington Conference 2014 (Bushfire and Natural Hazards CRC, 2015).
2015 Conference Paper Owen, C., Brooks, B. & Bearman, C. Challenges of Measuring Emergency Management Performance Under Adversity: The Good, The Bad, The Ugly Conference Paper 2014. Bushfire and Natural Hazards CRC and AFAC Wellington Conference 2014 (2015).
2015 Conference Paper Newman, J. et al. Integrated Disaster Decision Support System Conference Paper 2014. Bushfire and Natural Hazards CRC and AFAC Wellington Conference 2014 (2015).
2015 Conference Paper Leavesley, A. J. et al. The Effect of Hazard Reduction Burning on the Fuel Array in Nature Reserves and Urban Parks in the Australian Capital Territory Conference Paper 2014. Bushfire and Natural Hazards CRC and AFAC Wellington Conference 2014 (2015).
2015 Conference Paper Gould, J., Sithole, B., Campbell, A., James, G. & Sutton, S. Building Community Resilience to Natural Hazards in Northern Australia Conference Paper 2014. Bushfire and Natural Hazards CRC and AFAC Wellington Conference 2014 (Bushfire and Natural Hazards CRC, 2015).
2015 Conference Paper Brearley, M. et al. Urban Search and Rescue Operations in Tropical Climates Conference Paper 2014. Bushfire and Natural Hazards CRC and AFAC Wellington Conference 2014 (2015).
2015 Conference Paper Fawcett, R. J. B. & Nairn, J. The Heatwaves of the 2013/14 Australian Summer Conference Paper 2014. Bushfire and Natural Hazards CRC and AFAC Wellington Conference 2014 (2015).
2015 Conference Paper Ronan, K. et al. Promoting Child Resilience to Disasters: Policy, Practice, Research Conference Paper 2014. Bushfire and Natural Hazards CRC and AFAC Wellington Conference 2014 (2015).
2015 Conference Paper Whittaker, J., Handmer, J. & McLennan, B. J. Building Community Resilience Through Informal Emergency Volunteering Conference Paper 2014. Bushfire and Natural Hazards CRC and AFAC Wellington Conference 2014 (2015).
2015 Conference Paper Fawcett, R. J. B., Yeo, C., Thurston, W., Kepert, J. D. & Tory, K. J. Modelling the Fire Weather of the Coonabarabran Fire of 13 January 2013. Bushfire and Natural Hazards CRC and AFAC Wellington Conference 2014 (2015).
2015 Conference Paper Hussey, K. & Dovers, S. Managing Critical Infrastructure in a Changing Climate: Risk, Roles, Responsibilities and Politics Conference Paper 2014. Bushfire and Natural Hazards CRC and AFAC Wellington Conference 2014 (2015).
Handling uncertainty in optimal decision-making for natural hazard mitigation planning

Modelling, simulation and decision support systems are critical for decision making for natural disaster mitigation.

Managing animals in disasters (MAiD): Improving preparedness, response, and resilience through individual and organisational collaboration

The Managing Animals in Disasters project (MAiD) is seeking to identify and build best practice approaches to animal welfare emergency management to enable engagement with animal owners and other stakeholders in disasters/emergencies.  

Disaster landscape attribution: Thermal anomaly and hazard mapping

This project seeks to (1) optimize the use of earth observing systems for active fire monitoring by exploring issues of scale, accuracy and reliability, and (2) to improve the mapping and estimation of post-fire severity and fuel change through empirical remote sensing observations.

Modelling wildfire asset protection to assist with real-time resource allocation

The development of decision support tools to assist with the management of wildfires is an active field

Optimising mitigation measures policy and planning decision support

We are developing a decision support system for the assessment of policy and planning investment options for optimal natural hazard mitigation.

Legal implications of utilising social media for communication during a disaster: An analysis by Responder Group

Social media plays an increasing role as a tool for: information dissemination, situational awareness and co-ordinating community action. 

Thermal remote sensing for wildfire detection and monitoring: Is it fit for purpose?

Using thermal and mid infrared measurements, this PhD aims to accurately map the area, temperature and configuration of active firs across Australia to support enhanced Surveillance and mapping of wildfires and prescribed burns.

A hard day's night: Does the timing of your daytime sleep affect how you perform on 12h night shifts?
The timing of daytime sleep may influence performance at night by altering the accrual of sleep pressure.
Improved decision support systems: Enhanced spatially distributed model calibration

Risk mitigation requires understanding the impact of land use Planning and Management on hazard exposure and vulnerability. 

Out of uniform: Building community resilience through non-traditional emergency volunteering

Citizens may play vital roles in helping those affected to respond and recover, and can provide invaluable assistance to official agencies.

Mapping bushfire hazard and impact

Little accurate and timely spatial information is currently available on bushfire hazard and impacts.

Heat and hydration: Firefighters know what to do

Firefighters commonly perform their fire-suppression duties in hot environmental temperatures.

Economics of natural hazards

The project tackles a range of economics issues, including estimation of non-financial benefits from hazard reduction, risk analysis, and development of decision making frameworks that would help deliver value for money from public investments in natural hazard management.

Capability needs for emergency and disaster management organisations

Understanding future capability needs for response and recovery agencies and allied government agencies, with standing in the oversight of emergency and disaster response, are relatively un-addressed or where the relevant issues have been examined, remain incomplete. 

Improved predictions of severe weather to help reduce community impact

To improve our understanding of and ability to predict severe weather, including for bush fires, tropical cyclones, severe thunderstorms and heavy rainfall, through the use of high-resolution modelling in conjunction with available observations. 

Long shifts: Are the breaks important?

During bushfire suppression, Australian firefighters can be deployed to work long consecutive shifts, obtaining an averageof 3-4 hours of sleep per night.

A pre-disaster multi-hazard damage and economic loss estimation model for Australia

Australia has experienced a number of natural disasters throughout history that have significantly impacted upon the economy. 

Practical decision tools for improved decision-making in complex situations

There is increasing pressure on agencies from larger-scale natural hazards, financial constraints and declining volunteer numbers.

Fire danger indices: Current limitations and a pathway towards better indices

To identify potential new candidate Fire Weather Indices (FWIs) for a New Fire Danger Ratings System.

How a lack of sleep on the fire ground may be impacting firefighters' physiological stress response

Two common fireground stressors include: physical work (12-15h shifts), and sleep restriction (4h sleep between shifts).

Voluntary expectations and experience

In the face of an increase in the frequency and severity of emergency events, various individual, organisational, social and economic forces are impacting on the capacity to quickly mobilise a skilled volunteer workforce.    

What can derail decision making? A phase model perspective

Phase models are a common way to frame decision making in emergency management. 

Mitigating the effects of severe fires, floods and heatwaves through the improvements of land dryness measures and forecasts

This project will improve Australia’s ability to manage extreme events by developing a state of the art, world’s best practice in soil moisture analysis.

Effective wildfire communication in New Zealand: Target the audience, tailor the message and tune the method

Effective communication is key to minimising human-caused fires and hence impact wildfires hold for New Zealand communities.

Volunteer retention in emergency services

The quality of volunteer leadership is an important factor in attracting and keeping volunteers.

Cost-effective mitigation strategy development for building related earthquake risk

The primary objective of this research is to develop cost-effective strategies to mitigate damage, injury and business disruption associated with the most vulnerable buildings in Australian business districts to earthquakes. 

Improving flood forecasting skill using remote sensing data

Accurate, timely and precise Forecast precipitation is the “holy grail” of flood forecasting; this project aims to use observation constrained hydrologic models to estimate precipitation.

Non-traditional volunteering: Volunteered geographic information (VGI) and bushfire preparation

This research explores the potential role of VGI for fostering community engagement in bushfire preparation and building individual empowerment and disaster resilience in Tasmania.

Improving the resilience of existing housing to severe wind events

Typically, older houses do not offer the same level of performance and protection during windstorms as houses constructed to contemporary building standards. 

Using satellite data to identify fuel moisture conditions prior to major fires in South-East Australia 2009 Black Saturday and other large fire events - Moisture conditions project
Fuel moisture (FM) is a primary driver of the ignition and spread of wildfires. Monitoring FM is thus critically important for predicting forest fire risk.
Can we better understand how scientific knowledges work in risk mitigation through scenario exercises?

This project focuses on how a better understanding of the role of science in decision-making will help industry articulate and defend decisions to the community, media, inquiries and elsewhere, and, better frame information and advice on how scientists and professionals communicate.

Wellbeing of firefighters

This project aims to investigate the wellbeing of Australian urban and regional firefighters as well as the individual operational and organisational factors that contribute to wellbeing. 

Cost-effective mitigation strategy development for flood prone buildings

The main objective of this research is to develop cost-effective strategies to mitigate damage to residential buildings from riverine floods. 

Spatial variation in fuel moisture: Measuring and modelling local effects

The moisture content of dead fuels has a large impact on fire risk and behaviour. 

Eburn poster

This research will identify legal, policy and governance barriers to more active community (including the business community) involvement in emergency management. The research will identify solutions whether in reform of policy and governance structures and processes or how they are applied in practice.

The Australian natural disaster resilience index: A system for assessing the resilience of Australian communities to natural hazards

Resilient communities will be better able to anticipate hazards, withstand adversity, reduce losses and adapt and learn in a changing environment.

Enhancing resilience of critical road infrastructure: Bridges, culverts and flood-ways under natural hazards

Road networks and critical road structures such as bridges, culverts and flood ways have a vital role before, during and after extreme events to reduce the vulnerability of the community being served. 

A statistical analysis of bushfire penetration into peri-urban areas

Over the last few decades bushfire threat has expanded as a result of increased peri-urban and rural development. 

Flood management in a changing climate

Flooding is Australia's most expensive natural hazard and record damages resulting from the 2010-11 floods reflect global trends.  Climate change scenarios predict that flood intensity and frequency will increase, potentially exposing Australia to even greater damages in the future.  Floods are therefore a key area for improving adaptive capacity.

Scoping community resilience

Scoping community resilience through participatory action research (PAR) in Northern territory remote aboriginal communities. 

Natural hazards exposure information modelling framework

Exposure is referred to as the elements at risk within a given area that have been, or could be, subject to the impact of natural hazards.

Probability of fire ignition and escalation

This poster will serve to summarise four of the key modelling approaches used.

Growing community disaster resilience: Are arrangements for implementing the national strategy for disaster resilience fit-for-purpose?

This research will investigate the effectiveness of the National Strategy for Disaster Resilience (NSDR) as a public policy instrument for advancing community disaster resilience from two related perspectives.

Child-centred disaster risk reduction: A longitudinal investigation of bushfire education

The aims of this research project are to establish an evidence-base for a effective, school-based bushfire education programs with children.

Resilience to clustered disaster events on the coast - storm surge

Coastal communities in Australia are particularly exposed to disasters resulting from the coincidence of severe wind damage, storm surge, coastal flooding and shoreline erosion during cyclones and extra-tropical storms. 

A three-tiered smoke forecasting system for managing air pollution from planned burns

The principal outcome of the Smoke Emission and Smoke Transport project will be a prototype forecast modelling framework optimised for Victoria and using state-of-the-art modelling systems informed by local observational data which characterises the fuel loads, fire behaviour and emission characteristics of planned and un-planned fires.

The heat is on... and has been for a while, new research shows

A paper analysing the historical impacts of extreme heatwaves in Australia has been one of the first outputs of a project to measure and understand the impacts of natural hazards in terms of human health and building damage. 

The role of children in disasters: A program of research

Children represent the most vulnerable demographic group in disasters.  

Developing better predictions and forecasts for extreme water levels around Australia

The occurrence of extreme water levels can lead to loss of life and damage to coastal infrastructure. 

Foothills fire and Biota project: Understanding the effects of fire and environment on Biota

The Foothills Fire and Biota project aims to enhance understanding of the relationships between fire and biodiversity in the foothills forests to inform fire management. 

A cross cultural investigation of child-centred disaster risk reduction and climate change adaptation in Indonesia and Australia

There remains an assumption that children and young people are passive victims with no role to play in communicating risks or participating in risk reduction strategies. 

Optimisation of fuel reduction burning regimes: Determining fire size

Optimising fuel reduction burning at the landscape- or catchment-scale requires knowledge of the effects of fire size on key variables – Fuel load, Vegetation and Carbon and Water cycles. 

The effects of fire plume dynamics on the lateral and longitudinal spread of long-range spotting

High-resolution numerical modelling is used to explore how the dynamics of bushfire plumes under different wind conditions can modify: (1) The distance travelled by firebrands, and (2) The spread in landing positions of firebrands. 

Disruption of critical infrastructure during prolonged natural disasters

The project aims to qualify and quantify the impacts of prolonged and multi-hazard natural hazard events on utility, transport and/or communication networks; and to also understand the interconnectedness of these critical services. 

Improving the role of hazard communications in increasing residents' preparedness and response planning

Communication and education of risk mitigation strategies play an essential role in building and maintaining resilience through preparation and planning by residents. However, little is known about the relative effectiveness of existing hazard communications and education strategies. 

Assessing ecological risk with indigenous communities: Tropical savannas Northern Australia

This project builds upon substantial work previously undertaken within the facility of the Bushfire CRC “North Australia fire mapping” project.

An experiment to evaluate uncertainty visualization techniques for decision-making in a bushfire situation

PHOENIX Rapidfire is fire spread modelling software that uses a variety of different inputs to predict bushfire spread. As with all models, there is uncertainty associated with the output.

Resilient cultures and the role of innovation in building capacity

At the core of innovation is people, how they communicate, the decisions they make and the values that shape this.

Building resilient communities: Creating effective multi-channel communication during disaster response and recovery

To examine evidence-based strategies that motivate appropriate action and increase informed decision-making during the response and recovery phases of disasters.

Next generation models for predicting the behaviour of bushfires: Challenges and prospects

Bushfires occur on a scale that may be measured in kilometers.  However, a challenge faced in developing next generation bushfire models is to capture the significant contributions that small scale phenomena make to the propagation of bushfires.   

Negotiating the path of multi-agency coordination

This research specifically investigated strategic level multi-agency coordination arrangements.  

Estimating the Impacts of Natural Hazards on Property and Building Losses

To measure and understand the impacts of natural hazards in terms of the toll on human life and injuries, and building losses and damage, in order to provide an evidence base for emergency management policy and practise

Type Title Credited author Credited author/s NON-CRC
Presentation-Slideshow Disaster Resilience: Can the homeless afford it? Danielle Every
Presentation-Slideshow Bushfires and Natural Hazards - A simple equation? Bridging the gap between the policy and the practical Richard Thornton
Presentation-Slideshow Next generation models for predicting the behaviour of bushfires Graham Thorpe, Daniel Chung, Khalid Moinuddin, Andrew Ooi
Presentation-Slideshow Pre-disaster multi-hazard damage and economic loss estimation model Mohsen Kalantari Muhammad Habibur Rahman
Presentation-Slideshow Mitigating the effects of severe fires, floods and heatwaves Imtiaz Dharssi Vinod Kumar
Presentation-Slideshow Capability needs for emergency and disaster management Paul Barnes
Presentation-Slideshow Building community resilience to natural hazards in Northern Australia Bevelyne Sithole Jackie Gould,
Presentation-Slideshow The Australian natural disaster resilience index Phil Morley, Neil Argent, Graham Marshall, Judith McNeill, Richard Stayner, Peter Hastings, Melissa Parsons, Sonya Glavac, James McGregor, Ian Reeve, Martin Thoms
Presentation-Slideshow Threshold behaviour in dynamic fire propagation Jason Sharples, Colin Simpson, Jason Evans, Rick McRae
Presentation-Slideshow Measuring the impacts of natural hazards on human fatalities and building losses Robin van-den-Honert, Katharine Haynes, Lucinda Coates
Presentation-Slideshow The effects of fire plume dynamics on the lateral and longitudinal spread of long-range spotting Jeff Kepert William Thurston, Kevin Tory, Robert Fawcett
Presentation-Slideshow Flaws in our understanding and perception of flood risk Rory Nathan
Presentation-Slideshow Managing severe weather - progress and opportunities Jeff Kepert, John Bally Mike Naughton
Presentation-Slideshow Natural hazard decision support system Jeffrey Newman, Holger Maier, Hedwig van Delden, Aaron Zecchin, Graeme Dandy
Presentation-Slideshow The heatwaves of the 2013/14 Australian summer RJB Fawcett, JR Nairn
Presentation-Slideshow Building new migrants' safety and disaster resilience in New Zealand Julie Warren
Presentation-Slideshow Managing critical infrastructure in a changing climate Karen Hussey, Stephen Dovers
Presentation-Slideshow Building community resilience through informal emergency volunteering Josh Whittaker, Blythe McLennan, John Handmer, Michael Eburn
Presentation-Slideshow Challenges of measuring emergency management performance under adversity Christine Owen, Benjamin Brooks, Chris Bearman
Presentation-Slideshow Resilient disaster response and recovery Kathleen Tierney
Presentation-Slideshow Modelling the fire weather of the Coonabarabran fire of 13 January 2013 Claire Yeo, Jeff Kepert RJB Fawcett, W Thurston, KJ Tory
Presentation-Slideshow Building best practice in child-centred disaster risk reduction Kevin Ronan
Presentation-Slideshow Coupled atmosphere-fire modelling of wildland fire and low level jets with WRF-fire Colin Simpson
Presentation-Slideshow Urban search and rescue operations in tropical climates Matt Brearley, Ian Norton, Daryl Rush, Mick Hutton, Steve Smith, Hector Fuentes
Presentation-Slideshow Understanding behavioural responses to earthquake shaking using injury data from the 2010/11 Canterbury earthquakes David Johnston
Presentation-Slideshow The "Tassie fires - we can help" Facebook page Douglas Paton Melanie Irons, Jenn Scott, Angela Martin, Libby Lester
Presentation-Slideshow The effect of the degree of grass curing on the behaviour of grassland fires David Nichols, Alen Slijepcevic Miguel Cruz, Rachel Bessell, Jim Gould, Richard Hurley, Susan Kidnie, Vijay Koul, Ingrid Welles, Martin Wyschka
Presentation-Slideshow Managing animals in disasters (MAiD) Mel Taylor
Presentation-Slideshow Disruption of critical infrastructure during prolonged natural disasters Emma Phillips
Presentation-Slideshow NSW RFS bushfire household assessment tool Melissa O'Halloran
HazardNEWSEdition September 2014 - Conference Special
Images of the Event: New Zealand 2014
Presentation-Audio-Video Understanding behavioural responses to earthquake David Johnston

Associate Professor Rory Nathan from the University of Melbourne discusses lessons for how we estimate flood risk, manage and communicate the risk and in how we accommodate uncertainty.


Prof Kathleen Tierney (US Natural Hazards Centre) discusses what resilience looks like in the aftermath of disaster and what patterns researchers consider to be indicative of adaptive resilience.

Key Topics: recovery, resilience, response

Severe weather often becomes high impact weather when certain tipping points are reached. Managing the impacts of severe weather is about managing risk, says the Bureau of Meteorology's Jeff Kepert.


John Nairn of the Bureau of Meteorology documents the heatwaves of the 2013/14 summer and described how well they were forecast by the Bureau's heatwave forecasting service.

Key Topics: fire weather

Matt Brearley of the National Critical Care and Trauma Response Centre outlines the physiological burdens of sustained Urban Search and Rescue (USAR) operations in tropical conditions.


Dr Christine Owen (University of Tasmania) and Dr Chris Bearman (CQUniversity) present research on measuring emergency management operational performance.


Paul Barnes (QUT) looks at future capability needs of disaster management and explored the challenges to anticipating the needs of agencies before, during and after phases of complex emergency disaster situations using capability deficit assessments and scenario planning.


Kevin Ronan (CQUniversity) presented findings on research into child-centred disaster risk reduction, focusing on best practice through education and communication. It was found that children are at the centre of successful adaptation to disasters.


David Nichols (CFA) looks to further our understanding of grass senescence effects on overall fuel moisture content and fuel availability, and the degree of grass curing in fire behaviour.

Key Topics: fire, propagation

Melanie Taylor (University of Western Sydney) investigates the experiences of emergency services personnel in supporting animals and their owners in disasters.


Phil Morley (University of New England) outlined the aims of this project, which will look to develop an Australian Natural Disaster Resilience Index as a tool for assessing, evaluating and reporting resilience to natural hazards under the National Strategy for Disaster Resilience (NSDR).

Key Topics: communities, resilience

Rob van den Honert (Risk Frontiers) outlined his research which will include a timeline examination of the historical economic costs of property and building losses due to natural hazards in Australia.

Key Topics: infrastructure, resilience

Emma Phillips (Macquarie University) takes a look at the vulnerability of infrastructure and essential services to disruption from natural disasters.

Key Topics: infrastructure, mitigation

Karen Hussey and Steve Dovers (ANU) investigate the governance-related barriers to managing emerging climate risks in selected infrastructure sectors.

Key Topics: infrastructure, mitigation

Jeffrey Newman (University of Adelaide) explains the use of decision support systems (DSS) and the advantages of its use during natural disasters.

Key Topics: decision making, policy

Mohsen Kalantari (University of Melbourne) discusses a proposal for a methodology for increasing the disaster risk resilience of the Australian economy.

Key Topics: economics, multi-hazard

Melanie Irons (University of Tasmania) looks at how social media can be used during natural disasters. She proposes that all agencies should be involved in social media and suggests proposals for how they can get involved.

Key Topics: communication, framework

Melissa O'Halloran (NSW RFS) takes an in depth look at Bayesian Network and how it informs the household assessment tool for improved community safety.

Key Topics: communities

Jackie Gould and Bev Sithole (Charles Darwin University) presented their research on community disaster planning in Australia's north.


Imtiaz Dharssi (Bureau of Meteorology) discusses the ability to mitigate the effects of fires, floods and heatwaves through improvements to land dryness measures and forecasts.

Key Topics: fire, flood, forecasting

Danielle Every and Kirrilly Thompson (CQUniversity) delivered her presentation on the disaster resilience of homeless people. Because of their limited access to economic, social and community resources, the homeless are at greater risk during natural disasters.

Key Topics: animals, risk management

Claire Yeo (Centre for Australian Weather and Climate Research) presents an analysis of the Coonabarabran fires of 13 January 2013, using state of the art high-resolution numerical weather prediction simulations and vertical cross sections of radar imagery.

Key Topics: fire, flood, mitigation

Julie Warren's research focuses on improving communication between fire services and new settlers, and identifying factors that build post-disaster resilience.

Key Topics: communication

Jeff Kepert (Centre for Australian Weather and Climate Research) presented this research on the lofting of firebrands from bushfires. The effects can lead to downwind of the firefront. The use of fire-plume dynamics helps construct position predictions flight time and landing analysis.

Key Topics: fire, modelling

Ian Lambie (University of Auckland) took a look at the largest ever international study on children who deliberately light fires, and discussed the findings of the research.


Jason Sharples (UNSW) demonstrates new research that specifically investigates the environmental precursors necessary to drive dynamic fire propagation.

Key Topics: fire, propagation

Dr Blythe McLennan discusses the role of informal volunteers in emergency management in Australia and New Zealand. She identifies opportunities for and barriers to greater involvement of informal volunteers in emergencies.


Graham Thorpe (Victoria University) looks at the challenges and prospects of the next generation models for predicting the behaviour of bushfires. The outcome of the research will be an increased capacity to accurately predict the behaviour of bushfires under a very wide range of conditions.

Key Topics: fire, modelling

David Johnston (Massey University) is looking into behavioural responses to earthquake shaking using injury data from the 2010/2011 Canterbury earthquakes.


Colin Simpson investigates how the use of the Advanced Regional Prediction System (ARPS) numerical weather prediction model can help predict blow-up fire behaviour.

Key Topics: fire weather, modelling

All the resources from our 2016 conference

Research program in detail

Where, why and how are Australians dying in floods?

2015-2016 year in review

Bushfire planning with kids ebook

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