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Live to tell - surviving a natural disaster

Live to tell - surviving a natural disaster forum 2016

All around the world on 13 October, communities were talking about how they are reducing their exposure to disasters.

In Australia the Bushfire and Natural Hazards CRC and RMIT University held a free public forum on the latest research and policies targeted at preventing deaths in natural disasters. Speakers explored Australia’s contribution to reducing deaths from a range of natural disasters.

  • What are the challenges we face in preparing and responding to natural disasters and how can they be addressed?
  • What can we do today to ensure that the impacts are less tomorrow?
  • What policies need to be created, better implemented or changed?

The event was hosted by Dr Richard Thornton, CEO of the CRC, and supported by Prof John Handmer, Director of the Centre Risk and Community Safety at RMIT University.


  • Mark Crosweller, Director-General, Emergency Management Australia, spoke about how Australia can better accept the inevitability of catastrophic disasters.
  • John Schauble, Director, Emergency Management Resilience, Emergency Management Victoria, spoke about the foreseen and unforeseen consequences of a policy that promotes greater community responsibility in managing a hazard.
  • Dr Katharine Haynes, Risk Frontiers and Bushfire and Natural Hazards CRC, spoke about her work on flood fatalities in Australia over the past century - the how, why and when of flood deaths. A Hazard Note on this research was released on the day.
  • Dr Martine Woolf, Geosciences Australia and Bushfire and Natural Hazards CRC, talked about the CRC projects that are modelling the potential impacts of large scale hazards such as earthquakes, cyclones, bushfires and storms, on built up areas in Australia.
  • John Richardson, Australian Red Cross, delivered a more personal account of his experiences in dealing with the hazard fatalities, in particular the aftermath for effected communities.

All the resources from our 2016 conference

Research program in detail

Where, why and how are Australians dying in floods?

2015-2016 year in review

Bushfire planning with kids ebook

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