Gwynne Brennan

Gwynne Brennan

End-user
About
Gwynne Brennan

Lead end user

The increasing frequency and complexity of natural hazards poses a challenge for community resilience. Communication and education of risk mitigation strategies play an essential role in building and maintaining resilience through preparation and planning by residents.

This project, now in its utilisation phase, has combined expertise in communication, social and consumer psychology, and disaster and emergency management. It identified barriers and enablers in residents’ decision making, preparing, and planning by examining residents’ intended use of different types of triggers for action during hazards. This included when to start evacuating and what information source to use, with the aim of trying to understand why some residents form a better-quality household plan with safer intended triggers than other residents.

With the multitude of warnings issued when an emergency hits, how can emergency services ensure their critical safety advice is heard and acted upon, rather than dismissed as noise? This project is helping emergency services warn communities by actively testing the wording and structure of warning messages to better understand how messages are understood and translated into direct action. The team is supporting broader initiatives in the communications and warnings space, not just for individual organisations, but also at the national level by providing reviews and assisting with the development of evidence-based warning doctrine.

This project, which began in July 2017, will address two complementary areas of research relating to the long term recovery of communities after a disaster.

Firstly, the project will investigate how a person’s history of moving house or town influences the likelihood of their willingness to dissolve social ties.

The second area will be an examination of the enablers and barriers to successful recovery using a framework of community capital and the tracking of capital flows. This will look at natural, cultural, human, social, political, built and financial capital resources, their interconnectedness and interactions in disaster recovery. Examination of these assets through case studies and working with end-users will identify both potential areas for improvements, as well as recognise what has worked well in recovering communities. This process will provide feedback and a guide for the planning of recovery activities in a range of communities.

Research team:
Disaster resilience education: a practice framework for Australian emergency management agencies
29 Jun 2017
Disaster resilience education for children and young people has been identified as a key mechanism...

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