Disaster Reduction Day 2016 - speaker panel
Disaster Reduction Day 2016 - speaker panel
13 Oct 2016

Live to tell - surviving a natural disaster

All around the world, on 13 October, communities were talking about how they are reducing their exposure to disasters.

In Australia, the Bushfire and Natural Hazards CRC and RMIT University, held a free public forum on the latest research and policies targeted at preventing deaths in natural disasters.

Speakers explored Australia’s contribution to reducing deaths from a range of natural disasters.

  • What are the challenges we face in preparing and responding to natural disasters and how can they be addressed?
  • What can we do today to ensure that the impacts are less tomorrow?
  • What policies need to be created, better implemented or changed?

See the video of the forum at RMIT University, Storey Hall, below. The event was hosted by Dr Richard Thornton, CEO of the CRC, and supported by Prof John Handmer, Director of the Centre Risk and Community Safety at RMIT University.


Mark Crosweller, Director-General, Emergency Management Australia, spoke about how Australia can better accept the inevitability of catastrophic disasters.

John Schauble, Director, Emergency Management Resilience, Emergency Management Victoria, spoke about the foreseen and unforeseen consequences of a policy that promotes greater community responsibility in managing a hazard.

Dr Katharine Haynes, Risk Frontiers and Bushfire and Natural Hazards CRC, spoke about her work on flood fatalities in Australia over the past century - the how, why and when of flood deaths. A Hazard Note on this research was released on the day.

Dr Martine Woolf, Geoscience Australia and Bushfire and Natural Hazards CRC, talked about the CRC projects that are modelling the potential impacts of large scale hazards such as earthquakes, cyclones, bushfires and storms, on built up areas in Australia.

John Richardson, Australian Red Cross, delivered a more personal account of his experiences in dealing with the hazard fatalities, in particular the aftermath for effected communities.

The United Nations General Assembly has designated 13 October as the annual date to celebrate International Day for Disaster Reduction to promote a global culture of disaster reduction, including disaster prevention, mitigation and preparedness.

Since it began 25 years ago, the day has grown into a major global awareness event celebrated in many ways to encourage efforts to build more disaster-resilient communities and nations.

UN Office for Disaster Risk Reduction has  launched  a  campaign  to  promote  each  of  the  seven  targets  of  the  Sendai  Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction adopted in Sendai, Japan in March 2015.

The success of the campaign depends on  engaging  and  connecting  with  a  wide  range  of  stakeholders  to  promote  awareness  of  the  Sendai  Framework and actions required to implement it, and to achieve its targets.

The campaign is an opportunity for governments, community groups, the private sector, and international organisations, to promote best practice at international, regional and national level across all sectors, to reduce disaster risk and disaster losses.

In 2016, the International Day for Disaster Reduction is focussed on the Sendai Framework target to substantially reduce global disaster mortality by 2030, which aims to lower the average per 100,000 global mortality rate in the decade 2020-2030 compared to the period 2005-2015.

In 2014 the Bushfire and Natural Hazards CRC hosted the event at the Australian National University in Canberra. Check out the talks from the day.

Last year the CRC ran the event in conjunction with the Australasian Natural Hazards Management Conference in Perth. See the full 2016 event here:


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AJEM January 2017 cover
31 January, 2017 | Highlights from the International Day for Disaster Reduction and CRC research on incident management and communicating tsunami risk are featured in the latest edition of the Australian Journal of Emergency Management.

Panelists at 2016's International Day for Disaster Reduction.
21 November, 2016 | To mark the International Day for Disaster Reduction, the CRC hosted a public event on disaster risk reduction on 13 October.

Type Title Credited author Credited author/s NON-CRC
Presentation-Audio-Video Overview of flood research findings - An analysis of building losses and human fatalities khaynes Elspeth Rae
HazardNoteEdition Where, why and how are Australians dying in floods? khaynes, lcoates, rvandenhonert, agissing, fdimerdeoliveira, dbird Deirdre Radford, Rebecca D’Arcy, Chloe Smith
Presentation-Audio-Video Live to tell - surviving a natural disaster forum 2016
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