End User representatives
This study has informed community flood warning campaigns, emergency services training and national policy initiatives by investigating the circumstances of all flood fatalities in Australia from 1900 to 2015. It has also compare the impacts of disasters from more than 100 years ago with more recent events.
By exploring the socio-demographic and environmental factors surrounding the 1,859 flood fatalities over 115 years, the research found distinct trends in relation to gender, age, activity and the circumstances of the death. These trends were analysed in the context of changes to emergency management policy and practice over time.
The NSW State Emergency Service has used the findings of the research for its ‘FloodSafe’ community campaign and training, while the Queensland Fire and Emergency Services has used it to inform its ‘If It’s Flooded, Forget it’ campaign.
The results of this research have significantly contributed to investigations into preventing flood fatalities by the Prevention of Flood Related Fatalities Working Group of the Community Engagement Sub-committee of the Australia–New Zealand Emergency Management Committee. This working group comprised policy makers, practitioners and researchers involved in flood risk management from Australia and New Zealand.
Similar analysis has recently been completed for fatalities due to cyclones, earthquakes and severe storms across the same time period (1900 to 2015). At least 406 fatalities occurred, with three quarters due to severe storms. The majority of these fatalities have been males.
As well as fatalities, the project has also explored building damage, by hazard, across time and by state or territory. Historical losses have been adjusted for known societal changes (i.e. numbers of homes, the value of these homes and improvements in building codes and construction). While there is substantial variability across time, there is no statistically significant upward trend in the cost of natural hazards. This result implies that no signal has yet been detected to indicate that insured losses from causes other than societal changes (such as population changes and wealth growth) are increasing.
No single hazard dominates or is responsible for most insured building losses— hailstorms, cyclones, floods, earthquakes and bushfires all feature as the most damaging events in Australia.
A paper analysing the historical impacts of extreme heatwaves in Australia has been one of the first outputs of a project to measure and understand the impacts of natural hazards in terms of human health and building damage.
To measure and understand the impacts of natural hazards in terms of the toll on human life and injuries, and building losses and damage, in order to provide an evidence base for emergency management policy and practise
Floods are the second highest cause of death from natural hazard events in Australia following extreme heat. Bushfire and Natural Hazard CRC research has so far uncovered 1874 flood fatalities between 1900-2015. This data shows a growing number of fatalities associated with vehicles entering floodwaters, particularly 4WDs.
This project is measuring and gaining a greater understanding of the impacts of natural hazards in terms of the toll of human life, injuries and building damage in order to provide an evidence base for emergency management policy and practice.
Who is most at risk? Why? What are they doing? How have vulnerability and exposure trends changed over time? What can we learn about the circumstances of these deaths? This information will assist agencies with planning, resourcing and community education.
|Mapping and understanding bushfire and natural hazard vulnerability and risks at the institutional scale||Prof Roger Jones||Victoria University|
|Economics of natural hazards||Dr Veronique Florec||University of Western Australia|
|Optimising post-disaster recovery interventions in Australia||Prof Mehmet Ulubasoglu||Deakin University|
|Improved decision support systems for optimal natural hazard mitigation||Prof Holger Maier||University of Adelaide|
|Using realistic disaster scenario analysis to understand natural hazard impacts and emergency management requirements||Dr Thomas Loridan||Macquarie University|