Published works

Published works

A community's experience of bushfire response and recovery

TitleA community's experience of bushfire response and recovery
Publication TypeConference Paper
Year of Publication2017
AuthorsJennings, F
Conference NameAFAC17
Date Published09/2017
PublisherBushfire and Natural Hazards CRC
Conference LocationSydney

Introduction: This paper documents the research of a community’s experience of the 2013 Forcett Tasmania bushfire disaster.  

Background: Friday 4 January 2013 was one of the most significant fire days in Tasmania since 1967.  It was the Forcett bushfire that caused the most damage.  During and immediately after the bushfire event some of the small communities were inaccessible due to the hazard and road closures.  Many local people isolated in these small communities impacted by the bushfire fulfilled various roles and acted in response to the evolving individual and community needs.  It appeared over time that much of this energy and focus shifted to accommodating the external response, i.e. donations, help and goodwill.    

Literature: There are numerous studies and articles that draw attention to the concept of resilience in disasters. The disaster management sector recognises the critical role that community members play in the disaster management process, nevertheless in practice it has been problematic.  

Research inquiry: This study aims to understand a community’s experience of the 2013 Forcett bushfire disaster in southeast Tasmania.  Constructivist grounded theory offered a practical method to gain insight into understanding the local processes. The research investigated: what happened; how community members approached the event and what they thought was important; and what supported or hindered their involvement.  The study aims to communicate rich insights into the community’s experience of a bushfire disaster to assist in refining ways of working with people, groups and communities impacted by these types of hazard events.

Bushfire and Natural Hazards CRC project:  This study is linked to the ‘Out of Uniform building community resilience through non-traditional emergency volunteering’ project. 

Refereed DesignationNon-Refereed

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