Research leader

Dr Mel Taylor Research Leader
Dr Katharine Haynes Research Leader

End User representatives

Phil Campbell End-Users
Elspeth Rae End-Users
Andrew Richards
Andrew Richards End-Users
Tamsin Achilles End-Users
Susan Davie
Susan Davie End-Users
Kate White End-Users
Peter Jeffrey End-Users
Amanda Leck End-Users
Amy Peden End-Users
Suellen Flint
Suellen Flint End-Users
Jon Carr End-Users
Deborah Lamb End-Users

This study commenced in July 2017. It will build on the recently completed CRC project on the analysis of Australian flood fatalities, which identified several important trends in relation to gender, age, activity at the time of death and reasons behind the actions taken. The research discovered many new fatalities, making floods the second most deadly natural hazard (following heatwaves) in terms of the total number of fatalities since 1900.

The opportunity to undertake a PhD in this project is currently open, with details available at

This new project will develop an understanding of the motivations, beliefs, decision making processes and information needs of at-risk groups for flood fatalities. It will cover both age and gender, including an understanding of what a Plan B would look like, how to motivate proactive decision making ahead of the journey, what the current challenges and barriers are to this and what further support and information is needed.

Specific high risk behaviours include:

  1. Those driving and entering floodwaters, including those in 4WDs. While young males comprise the highest risk group for this activity, there are also high proportions of women and older men dying in recent years. Of note are the high numbers of fatalities among passengers, particularly females.
  2. Those recreating in floodwaters. Children and young adults, particularly boys and men, comprise the highest risk group. Parents are an associated risk communication target group for this category.

Outcomes will include targeted risk communication materials, which will be developed in partnership with end-users.

Academic Advisory Team

  • Andrew Gissing, Risk Frontiers
  • Dr Jonatan Lassa, Charles Darwin University
  • Dr Julia Irwin, Macquarie University
  • Ian Faulks, Queensland University of Technology
  • Dr Kyra Hamilton, Griffith University
Year Type Citation
2018 Journal Article Haynes, K., Tofa, M., Avci, A., Van Leeuwen, J. & Coates, L. Motivations and experiences of sheltering in place during floods: Implications for policy and practice. International Journal of Disaster Risk Reduction 31, 7 (2018).
30 Jun 2017

Project objectives:

  1. Develop a detailed understanding of the motivations, beliefs, decision making processes and information needs of at-risk groups (split by age and gender).
  2. Develop and adapt targeted risk communication materials in partnership with those from at-risk groups and endusers
  3. Develop an innovative methodology for evaluating the effectiveness of various communication materials and initiatives using a realistic disaster scenario.
Flood risk communication to reduce vehiclerelated flood fatalities
18 Sep 2018

If imagery in public risk communication always presents a fast flowing, clearly dangerous body of water, how do we expect drivers to behave when faced with more benign-looking water on the road?