Resilience to Hazards

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House building at the rural-urban interface
House building at the rural-urban interface

Project Status:

This project is developing an index of the current state of disaster resilience in Australian communities – the Australian Natural Disaster Resilience Index. The Index is a tool for assessing the resilience of communities to natural hazards at a large scale and is designed to provide input into macro-level policy, strategic planning and community engagement activities at national, state and local government levels.

Deliverables will include development of disaster resilience indicators, maps of disaster resilience at multiples scales, a State of Disaster Resilience Report, and examples that use the Index in a natural hazard resilience planning context.

Resilience is the capacity of individuals and communities to cope with disturbances or changes and to maintain adaptive behaviours. Australia’s National Strategy for Disaster Resilience (NSDR) takes an internationally progressive approach in the application of a disaster resilience paradigm. This strategy gives communities greater options and diversity in managing natural hazards, and places natural hazard preparation, prevention, response and recovery in the context of societies learning from and adapting to change.

The NSDR recognises four characteristics of disaster resilient communities: 1) they function well while under stress 2) they adapt successfully 3) they are self-reliant and 4) they have strong social capacity. Building these characteristics of disaster-resilient communities is seen as a shared responsibility among individuals, households, businesses, governments and communities. Yet how could progress towards the development of these characteristics be assessed? Where are the areas of high and low disaster resilience in Australia? How could investments to develop disaster resilience be prioritised, evaluated and reported?

This project is developing an index of the current state of disaster resilience in Australian communities – the Australian Natural Disaster Resilience Index.

The Index is a tool for assessing the resilience of communities to natural hazards at a large scale and is designed to provide input into macro-level policy, strategic planning and community engagement activities at national, state and local government levels.

First, it is a snapshot of the current state of natural hazard resilience at a national scale. Second, it is a layer of information for use in strategic policy development and planning. Third, it provides a benchmark against which to assess future change in resilience to natural hazards. Understanding resilience strengths and weaknesses will help communities, governments and organisations to build the capacities needed for living with natural hazards.

Deliverables will include development of disaster resilience indicators, maps of disaster resilience at multiples scales, a State of Disaster Resilience Report, and examples that use the Index in a natural hazard resilience planning context.

The Index has application across local (e.g. local emergency management committees, local councils), state (e.g. emergency service organisations) and national (e.g. Attorney-General’s Department, Red Cross, ANZEMC, AFAC) levels.

The project team is working with end-users to align the results and outputs from the Index with agency policy and programs. The researchers will work with agencies to develop fact sheets that agencies can use in community profiling and community engagement tools. The Index results can also be included in risk assessments. The maps provide quantitative spatial information about resilience for community planning and community engagement activities.

Post fire field work
17 November, 2017
New journal articles and reports on CRC research are available online.
Parliament House, Canberra
20 October, 2017
Key Commonwealth Government representatives were briefed by Bushfire and Natural Hazards CRC researchers recently in Canberra.
AJEM October 2016 cover
26 October, 2016
Many peer-reviewed papers from the AFAC16 powered by INTERSCHUTZ Research Forum have been published in a special edition of the Australian Journal of Emergency Management.
14 September, 2016
New journal articles and reports on CRC research are available online.
16 August, 2016
New journal articles and reports on CRC research are available online.
15 March, 2016
New journal articles and reports on CRC research are available.
CRC workshop on resilience in Ngukurr, NT
15 June, 2015
I gratefully attended the CRC workshop held recently at Ngukurr in Arnhem Land, Northern Territory, to explore the linkages between my resilience project and related studies that are being conducted by CRC researchers out of Charles Darwin University.
Workshop participants at Ngukurr.
5 June, 2015
CRC researchers have spent four days deep in Arnhem Land in the Northern Territory discussing the community resilience studies underway in the communities of Ngukurr and Gunbalanya.
Tony with firefighters from the Kakunodate Fire Department.
16 April, 2015
With the prospect of being able to joining in a range of public events, the UN World Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction in Sendai has been a target of mine for a while.
Year Type Citation
2017 Conference Paper Rumsewicz, M. Research proceedings from the 2017 Bushfire and Natural Hazards CRC and AFAC Conference. Bushfire and Natural Hazards CRC & AFAC annual conference 2017 (Bushfire and Natural Hazards CRC, 2017).
2017 Conference Paper Parsons, M. et al. The Australian Natural Disaster Resilience Index: assessing Australia's disaster resilience at a national scale. AFAC17 (Bushfire and Natural Hazards CRC, 2017).
2017 Report Parsons, M. et al. The Australian Natural Disaster Resilience Index: annual project report 2016-17. (Bushfire and Natural Hazards CRC, 2017).
2016 Journal Article Parsons, M. et al. Top-down assessment of disaster resilience: A conceptual framework using coping and adaptive capacities. International Journal of Disaster Risk Reduction 19, (2016).
2016 Report Parsons, M. et al. The Australian Natural Disaster Resilience Index: Overview of Indicators. (Bushfire and Natural Hazards CRC, 2016).
2016 Report Parsons, M. et al. The Australian Natural Disaster Resilience Index: Annual project report 2015-2016. (Bushfire and Natural Hazards CRC, 2016).
2016 Report Parsons, M. et al. The Australian Natural Disaster Resilience Index: Conceptual framework and indicator approach. (Bushfire and Natural Hazards CRC, 2016).
2015 Report Morley, P. & Parsons, M. The Australian Natural Disaster Resilience Index Annual Report 2014. (2015).
2015 Report Morley, P. et al. The Australian Natural Disaster Resilience Index: Annual project report 2014-2015. (Bushfire and Natural Hazards CRC, 2015).
The Australian natural disaster resilience index: A system for assessing the resilience of Australian communities to natural hazards
25 Aug 2014

Resilient communities will be better able to anticipate hazards, withstand adversity, reduce losses and adapt and learn in a changing environment.

Key Topics:
The Australian Natural Disaster Resilience Index: Assessing the Resilience of Australian Communities to Natural Hazards
18 Aug 2015

Resilient communities are better able to anticipate hazards, withstand adversity, reduce losses and recover From natural hazard events. The Australian natural disaster resilience index is a system of indicators that WILL assess and report the resilience of Australian communities to natural hazards.

Melissa Parsons Conference Poster 2016
12 Aug 2016

The Australian natural disaster resilience index (ANDRI) will assess the state of disaster resilience in Australia.

Key Topics:
The Australian Natural Disaster Resilience Index
30 Jun 2017

Australia faces increasing losses from natural hazard events. Resilient communities will be better able to anticipate hazards, withstand adversity, reduce losses and adapt and learn in a changing environment. The Australian Natural Disaster Resilience Index is a system to assess and report the resilience of Australian communities to natural hazards.

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