What is disaster resilience and how can it be measured?

HazardNOTES

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Brigade personnel instruct residents how to prepare for a bushfire. Photo: Damien Ford, NSW Rural Fire Service
Brigade personnel instruct residents how to prepare for a bushfire. Photo: Damien Ford, NSW Rural Fire Service

The shift from a risk-based approach to managing natural hazards toward ideas of disaster resilience reflects the uncertainties inherent in natural disasters. These uncertainties range from predicting their location and impact, to the changing patterns of natural hazard risks resulting from changing climate and demographics.

Helping to enhance disaster resilience is research described in Hazard Note 17, which is an overview of the Understanding and measuring social resilience cluster of projects. This research has three linked studies:

  • The Australian Natural Disaster Resilience Index
  • Scoping north Australian community resilience
  • North Australian bushfire and natural hazard training

These studies are helping communities, government and organisations develop the capabilities needed for living with natural hazards.

As well as the Hazard Note, three short videos feature researchers and an end-user outline different aspects of the studies, and the benefits they will bring. 

The Scoping remote north Australian community resilience project focuses on Indigenous and remote communities and aims to understand the issues these communities face and identify how we can build economic resilience within them, explains project leader Adj Prof Jeremy Russell-Smith (Charles Darwin University), while Mark Ashley (Executive Director Bushfires NT) outlines how the research will benefit CRC partners

Steve Sutton, project leader of the North Australia bushfire and natural hazard training  project talks about the main aims of the research and the problems it is trying to solve.

Amongst the northern Australian landscape, Dr Kamaljit Sangha explains payment for ecosystem services in north Australia, and the value of managing land in culturally appropriate and economically viable ways.

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