Published works

Published works

Discovering Future Disaster Management Capability Needs Using Scenario Planning Conference Paper 2014

TitleDiscovering Future Disaster Management Capability Needs Using Scenario Planning Conference Paper 2014
Publication TypeConference Paper
Year of Publication2015
AuthorsBarnes, P
Conference NameBushfire and Natural Hazards CRC and AFAC Wellington Conference 2014
Date Published01/2015
PublisherBushfire and Natural Hazards CRC
Conference LocationWellington

In recent years disaster risk reduction efforts have focussed on disturbances ranging from climate variability, seismic hazards, geo-political instability and public and animal health crises. These factors combined with uncertainty derived from inter-dependencies within and across systems of critical infrastructure create significant problems of governance for the private and public sector alike. The potential for rapid spread of impacts, geographically and virtually, can render a comprehensive understanding of disaster response and recovery needs and risk mitigation issues beyond the grasp of competent authority. Because of such cascading effects communities and governments at local and state-levels are unlikely to face single incidents but rather series of systemic impacts: often appearing concurrently. 

A further point to note is that both natural and technological hazards can act directly on socio-technical systems as well as being propagated by them: as network events.  Such events have been categorised as ‘outside of the box,’ ‘too fast,’ and ‘too strange’ (Lagadec, 2004). Emergent complexities in linked systems can make disaster effects difficult to anticipate and recovery efforts difficult to plan for.  Beyond the uncertainties of real world disasters, that might be called familiar or even regular, can we safely assume that the generic capability we use now will suit future disaster contexts?

This paper presents initial scoping of research funded by the Bushfire and Natural Hazards Cooperative Research Centre seeking to define future capability needs of disaster management organisations. It explores challenges to anticipating the needs of representative agencies and groups active in before, during and after phases of emergency and disaster situations using capability deficit assessments and scenario assessment.

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