News from the CRC

New online - October 2017

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

Cost-effective flood mitigation strategy for flood-prone buildings

Two reports that investigate flood mitigation in Launceston have been released. Both reports compare the benefits through avoided impacts of the flood levee mitigation program, against the cost of construction. Launceston flood risk mitigation - June 2016 floods show that the upgrading of the levee system resulted in avoiding losses of about $216 million (had the pre-existing levees failed), which is approximately four times the total investment in the new levee system. This investment in building the new levee system was found to be a sound economic decision based on the estimated costs at the time of decision making, alongside improved estimates of benefits from this study. Flood mitigation for the suburb of Newstead is covered specifically in a second report

Hazard Note 40 highlights the main research findings from this study.

Optimisation of fuel reduction burning regimes

The priority for fuel reduction burning is often effective mitigation of risk to life and property, which can sometimes contrain environment objectives. Optimisation of fuel reduction burning regimes for carbon, water and vegetation outcomes, published in the Journal of Environmental Management explores trade-offs between fuel reduction burning and environmental management objectives and propose a framework for optimising fuel reduction burning for environmental outcomes.

PhD student Rahul Wadhwani

Rahul has a paper on the kinetics of pyrolysis of litter materials from pine and eucalyptus forests published in the Journal of Thermal Analysis and Calorimetry. This research investigated the kinetics of pyrolysis of timber, bark, twigs, and leaves, estimating them under nitrogen. The activation energy for the pyrolysis of timber was found to be independent of conversion, whereas it varied for the litter materials in the range of the pyrolysis temperatures employed.  

Rahul has also authored a conference paper for the 11th Asia-Pacific Conference on Combustion, which compares two competing models for a physics-based simulation of grass fires: a simple linear parameterisation and a non-linear Arrhenius model. For the lucerne hay fuel the linear model provides better agreement with the experimental data tested, and therefore would be more suitable for large-scale wildfire simulation.

Sheltering during Black Saturday

A new paper in the International Journal of Disaster Risk Reduction discusses sheltering by community members during Black Saturday. Experiences of sheltering during the Black Saturday bushfires: Implications for policy and research presents findings from research that examined people's experiences of sheltering in and exiting houses, sheds, personal shelters and other structures on Black Saturday. Qualitative data were sourced from 315 semi-structured interviews with residents affected by the bushfires and 50 witness statements presented to the Victorian Bushfires Royal Commission. Results indicate that despite limited planning and preparation specifically for sheltering on Black Saturday, many residents protected themselves from fire by sheltering inside houses, other structures and in open spaces. Most sheltered actively, engaging in regular monitoring and action to protect the shelter and occupants. However, some found sheltering challenging due to heat, smoke and responsibilities for children, vulnerable household members and the incapacitated. Misconceptions persist about the safety offered by houses and, in particular, bathrooms during bushfires. Education and advice should emphasise the need to plan and prepare for active sheltering, regardless of whether people intend to stay and defend or leave. The paper offers recommendations to promote planning and preparedness for active sheltering and identifies areas for further research.

More news from the CRC

New journal articles and reports on CRC research are available online.
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.
Photo: Michael Dawes (CC BY-NC 2.0)
Research has shown that improvements can be made that can strengthen houses to reduce wind damage, as well as save money through the reduction of insurance premiums.
Photo: South Australia SES
‘What if?’ scenario modelling by the CRC is helping government, planning authorities and emergency service agencies think through the costs and consequences of various options on preparing for major disasters and how...
Photo: South Australia SES
Emergency Management Victoria is embedding national findings to develop a better understanding of resilience at the state level, using baseline data to build a ‘living’ resilience index within the organisation.
Photo: New Zealand Fire Service

Teamwork is essential to ensure incident management teams function to the best of their ability in challenging and high stakes environments. To help improve teamwork, practical tools have been developed by the...

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.

News archives

AFAC17 logo

AFAC17 logo

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National research priorities for natural hazards

National research priorities for natural hazards

National priorities for research

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