Citizens may play vital roles in helping those affected to respond and recover, and can provide invaluable assistance to official agencies.
Be Ready Warrandyte (BRW) was an award-winning, community-led bushfire preparedness project instigated by community members and coordinated by the Warrandyte Community Association from May 2012 to June 2015. Its goal was “to have more Warrandyte households with effective bushfire plans”. It involved close collaboration between community volunteers, local governments and the Country Fire Authority (CFA).
The public is usually first on the scene in an emergency or disaster and remain long after official services have ceased. Citizen participation is a key principle of disaster risk reduction and resilience building. However, emergency management relies largely on volunteers affiliated with official agencies and a comparatively smaller workforce of paid staff. Individuals and groups working outside of this system have often been seen as a nuisance or liability, and their efforts are largely undervalued.
Citizen participation is a key principle of disaster risk reduction and resilience building.
A risk-benefit framework has been designed to assist decision-makers in emergency management organisations (EMOs) consider potential benefits and risks of six strategic options for ‘non-traditional’ emergency volunteers in response and recovery phases.