News from the CRC

New online - February 2017

New journal articles and reports on CRC research are available online.

From the Decision support system study is a report that looks to develop an integrated spatial decision support system for Adelaide to model long term changes in risk and subsequently assist decision makers plan and implement disaster risk reduction policies and investments. 'Futures Greater Adelaide 2050: An exploration of disaster risk and the future' looked to discover critical elements relevant to disaster risk reduction and consider how they change into the future. As a method for exploring the future, scenarios were developed considering the changes from 2013 to 2050. Five alternate futures for Greater Adelaide were developed by members of SA’s State Mitigation Advisory Group (SMAG), assisted by the research team. These were subsequently modelled and results of the qualitative and quantitative scenarios are presented in this report. In September 2014 the first stage of this process was completed with results documented in Van Delden et al. (2015). The second phase, of which this report documents, incorporated the development of exploratory scenarios to better understand relevant uncertainties, develop strategic capacity in decision makers to consider uncertainties impacting on policies and provide a better understanding of the value and use of the developed DSS.

Despite its low seismic activity, Australia is more vulnerable to earthquakes than one would expect due to the concentration of population and the large stock of buildings which are structurally unable to withstand even moderate seismic shaking. An earthquake scenario for Melbourne has been developed by the Using realistic scenario analysis to understand natural hazard impacts and and emergency management requirements project. Following on from an earthquake scenario for Adelaide presented at our Adelaide conference in 2015, this report looks at a series of realistic disaster earthquake scenarios for Melbourne.

Using the relationship between tree size and tree water use, and leaf area index and forest water use, the Optimisation of fuel reduction burning regimes project has investigated the impact of fuel reduction burning on water availabilityLeaf area index is an important input for estimating evapotranspiration and measurement techniques such as digital photography can potentially be used by land managers as a means of rapidly quantifying the impact of fuel reduction burning on water balance at both the plot- and catchment-scale. Results will enable land managers to identify hydrologically sensitive areas in accordance with their management objectives.

Two papers have been published in the International Journal of Disaster Risk Reduction. The Managing animals in disasters study has a paper on developing a scale to understand willingness to sacrifice personal safety for companion animals. The study presents the construction, through principal components analysis, of a stable 24-item multidimensional scale measuring the potential intensity and perceived efficacy of pet-directed actions during disasters: the Pet-Owner Risk Propensity Scale. Preliminary findings support its validity, reliability, and utility in understanding companion-animal owners’ risk-taking propensity, which may help predict and avoid harmful outcomes for people and their animals during disasters.

In the same edition of International Journal of Disaster Risk Reduction is a paper on the concept of denial of natural hazard risk and its use in relation to householder wildfire safety in Australia. The paper concludes that the concept of denial of risk has been used so inconsistently as to be meaningless without an explanation of the intended sense of the term. Finding from reports of post-event interviews with residents threatened by severe Australian bushfires are discussed, and from a survey of agency community safety senior managers. The reports indicated that small percentages of residents in high-risk communities could be described as perhaps being in denial. The survey found that none of the bushfire agencies employed the concept formally. It is suggested that it may be more useful to view most householders' failures to mitigate their bushfire risk as resulting from potential threats being entwined with more immediate higher priority competing demands of everyday life.

The Fire spread prediction across fuel types study has had a paper published in the Journal of Fluid Dynamics, looking at turbulent flow over transitionally rough surfaces with varying roughness densities.

More news from the CRC

Dr Veronique Florec talks at AFAC17.
Registrations are now open for AFAC18 powered by INTERSCHUTZ, the annual conference of the Bushfire and Natural Hazards CRC & AFAC.
Lismore floods 2017. Photo: NSW SES
Emergency management practitioners are encouraged to share their views on planning and preparation for catastrophic disasters through a new survey
New journal articles and reports on CRC research are available online.
Tony Jarrett from the NSW RFS at the 2017 International Day for Disaster Reduction.
Watch the highlights and full session from the International Day for Disaster Reduction public forum.
Prescribed burn of an area infested by Gamba grass near Darwin.
This is the February 2018 newsletter from the Scientific diversity, scientific uncertainty and risk mitigation policy and planning project (RMPP), with updates for project end-users.
Bush at Moggs Creek in the Otways after a burn. Photo by Timothy Neale.
This is the February 2018 newsletter from the Hazards, culture and Indigenous communities project, with updates for project end-users.
York Town Hall. Photo: Geoscience Australia
Research is underway to protect a small town in one of Australia’s most active earthquake regions.
Check out the latest CRC research to be published.
Engaging for Industry event at RMIT University
Research promotion was on the agenda this month at two high profile research and industry events.
12 February 2017 was amongst the most dangerous fire conditions in NSW history.
A year after some of the worst fire conditions ever experienced in NSW history, a new research report has found many people continue to underestimate the risk of fire.

News archives

AFAC17 logo

AFAC17 logo

All the resources from our 2017 conference

National research priorities for natural hazards

National research priorities for natural hazards

National priorities for research

The Sir Ivan fire. Photo: Nick Moir, Fairfax Media

The Sir Ivan fire. Photo: Nick Moir, Fairfax Media

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