News from the CRC

New online - March 2017

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

The Community understanding of the tsunami risk and warnings systems in Australia project has both a report and a paper in the Australian Journal of Emergency ManagementThis project adopted a qualitative approach to assessing people’s view about tsunami warnings and their ability to act on the. Interviews with volunteer, community, and maritime groups and organisations revealed that tsunami are perceived as a non-existent or very low probability event throughout Australia. A belief that no tsunami events had occurred in Australia (at least since colonial times), that major causes (e.g., seismic, volcanic) were absent, and a lack of regular government (local and national) and media discussion of tsunami reinforced this view. Consequently, the predominant belief about tsunami was characterized by risk rejection. Risk rejection resulted in respondents believing that no resources or effort should be directed to tsunami risk reduction strategies. Rectifying this view involves more than training.

Looking at bushfire management in northern Australia, a paper from the Scientific diversity, scientific uncertainty and risk mitigation policy and planning project illustrates how cultural, ecological, economic and political factors thoroughly condition hazard management and modes of intervention. Drawing on a case study in the Northern Territory’s Greater Darwin region, the paper suggests not only that examining such sociocultural realities provides new insights into hazards and their distribution, but also that attention to such issues is crucial to understanding our flammable future.

The Policies, institutions and governance of natural hazards project explores the implications of different framings of both “critical” and “infrastructure”, through two questions: critical how and for whom; critical when and at what scale? The paper argues that a better understanding of what is critical about urban infrastructure is not just recognition of its vulnerability and interconnectedness, but also of the key linkages between critical infrastructure and human and environmental system integrity and equity within the context of capitalist urbanisation.

PhD student Rachel Westcott has published a paper examining the experiences and interactions of firefighters, police, and rescue officers of the State Emergency Service with animal owners in bushfires, from the emergency responders’ perspective. The exploration of this interface aims to inform a collaborative path forward to strengthen shared responsibility, self-sufficiency, and reciprocal understanding to build trust and promote community engagement in future scenarios. The paper supports the potential for positive outcomes gained by reciprocal collaboration between animal owners and emergency responders.

 

More news from the CRC

New journal articles and reports on CRC research are available online.
Prescribed burning underway. Photo Veronique Florec
Not everything that is important can be assigned a dollar value, with research helping natural hazards managers justify the use and allocation of resources for mitigation efforts.
Photo: Rex Boggs (CC By-ND 2.0)
CRC research is informing community flood warning campaigns, emergency services training and national policy initiatives.
Photo: Nathan Maddock, Bushfire and Natural Hazards CRC
Sophisticated fire mapping and modelling of fire severity is helping fire and land managers assess greenhouse gas emissions and develop carbon abatement plans.
NSW RFS Schools Program, photo by Ben Shepherd NSW RFS
Educating children and youth about disaster risk reduction and resilience is now front and centre around Australia, based on research that has identified the valuable role that children play in the safety of their...
Mud Army and SES volunteers working together at the 2011 Queensland floods. Photo: Queensland Fire and Emergency Services
Research has influenced key national initiatives, with findings used extensively for the development of the National Spontaneous Volunteer Strategy, handbook development by AIDR and the new NSW SES Volunteering Reimagined...
Black Saturday 2009 Kinglake
Research is helping government and emergency management agencies identify and allocate ownership of risks, how risk owners are responsible, and what they can do to manage them.
Planning for animals during an emergency adds another layer of complexity.
Australians love their pets – and this influences how people behave during an emergency, with emergency services incorporating findings from research to influence their plans and policies during disasters.
A flood wipes out a bridge in southern WA, February 2017. Photo: Dana Fairhead
Changing the focus of warning messages based on research has been the key to ensure critical safety advice is heard and acted upon.
Photo: Sascha Grant CC BY-NC-ND 2.0
Using the latest satellite-based earth observation systems and the Himawari satellite, research will allow fire managers to hone in on bushfires before they become too large to handle.

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