News from the CRC

New science set to dazzle

An exciting new direction of natural hazards research in Australia is set to begin, with eight new Bushfire and Natural Hazards CRC projects beginning in July. These new projects, covering coastal management, emergency management capability, land use planning and recovery, are part of the next phase of national research into natural hazards. The new projects are:

  • Forecasting impact for severe weather
  • Urban planning for natural hazard mitigation
  • Flood risk communication
  • Diversity: building strength and capability
  • Catastrophic and cascading events: planning and capability
  • Hazards, culture and Indigenous communities
  • Factors affecting long term community recovery
  • Enabling sustainable emergency volunteering

Some of our original projects are finishing their active research and moving to utilisation activities, while many others are set to begin the next stage of the science.

A preview of the new projects will be a feature of the Research Driving Change – Showcase 2017 event in Adelaide in July. They are all in their formative stages, and the CRC would like more end-users to help shape the projects. Contact desiree.beekharry@bnhcrc.com.au to get involved.

Project overviews

The Forecasting impact for severe weather project, led by the Bureau of Meteorology and Geoscience Australia, is aiming to develop a pilot capability to make useful predictions of the impacts of extreme weather, influencing the ability to take actions to reduce damage. It will focus on case studies along the east coast, looking at damaging winds, flooding and heavy swells. Read more.

The Urban planning for natural hazard mitigation project, led by the University of Melbourne and the University of Adelaide, will produce new and innovative ways of integrating urban planning and natural hazard risk management. It will increase the understanding of what planning and emergency management can and cannot do, separately and in synergy, and develop new approaches to applying tools and methods available to planning systems to the design and management of communities as they change. Read more.

With previous research showing that most flood fatalities are avoidable, the Flood risk communication project will develop an understanding of the motivations, beliefs, decision making processes and information needs of at-risk groups for flood fatalities. Led by Macquarie University, the study will cover both age and gender, including an understanding of what a Plan B would look like, how to motivate proactive decision making ahead of the journey, what the current challenges and barriers are to this and what further support and information is needed. Outcomes will include targeted risk communication materials. Read more.

The Diversity: building strength and capability project, led by Victoria University, will investigate how diversity is understood and practiced in emergency management, identify the constraints and enablers in implementing inclusion activities, and understand how diversity can serve to enhance the current operational environment and systems. Read more.

The Catastrophic and cascading events: planning and capability project, led by Macquarie University, will better identify ways to improve management approaches to catastrophic events. These events can take many years to recover from, with many of the impacted population choosing to re-locate to other areas permanently. Economic losses can be severe as industry is disrupted, businesses close and  further demands for capital injections from government to support recovery costs. Read more.

The Hazards, culture and Indigenous communities project, led by Western Sydney University and Deakin University, is investigating the hazard priorities of diverse Indigenous communities in southern Australia, and the emergency management sector’s engagement with these communities. It will conduct collaborative research with Indigenous peoples and emergency management practitioners to explore how better engagement can be supported, with a focus on the interaction of scientific, Indigenous and other knowledge sources. Read more

The Factors affecting long term community recovery project, led by the University of New England and Massey University, will investigate two complementary areas of research relating to the long term recovery of communities after a disaster. The first area looks at community connectedness from the perspective of people who move home often and live in different locations, and the role this plays in both their, and the communities, social recovery after an emergency. The second area will use case studies to examine the enablers and barriers to successful recovery, looking at natural, cultural, human, social, political, built and financial capital. Read more

The Enabling sustainable emergency volunteering project, led by RMIT University and the University of Western Australia, will investigate how to adapt the emergency management sector to new ways of volunteering, and the change management practices required to achieve this. Read more.

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