Dr Katharine Haynes

Dr Katharine Haynes

Dr Katharine Haynes is a Senior Research Fellow at the Department of Geography and Planning at Macquarie University, specialising in disaster risk reduction and climate change adaptation. She has considerable experience conducting quantitative and qualitative research with members of the public, emergency management practitioners, professionals and policy makers. Katharine has a special interest in participatory processes and action research as a means for community-based adaptation and risk reduction. Her research interests include: risk communication; the implementation and adaptation of policy and organisational procedure; the science-policy interface; and community and youth-based disaster risk reduction.

Katharine has experience working on a range of hazards and risks within: Philippines; Indonesia; Australia and the United Kingdom. She has worked on a number of projects for the Australian emergency management sector, private organisations and international NGO’S. Recently Katharine has undertaken research for NCCARF, NSW State Emergency Services, NSW Fire and Rescue, Plan International, Sydney Water, Australian Building Code Board, the Bushfire CRC, the Bushfire and Natural Hazard CRC, CSIRO and the Attorney General’s Department.

Katharine appeared as an expert witness for the Victorian Bushfires Royal Commission and is the moderator of the UNISDR Prevention Web online forum “Children, Youth and Disasters Network”.

Project leadership

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.

This project was commissioned and funded entirely by Fire & Rescue Service New South Wales.
Research team:
This project focused on the two behaviours most frequently associated with flood fatalities: driving into floodwater in a motor vehicle, and recreating in floodwater. As the project comprised a number of studies it generated a substantial number of findings and insights, which have been condensed into a series of practitioner-focused Research into Practice briefs and a series of short videos to showcase key research findings and augment the briefs. Based on the research findings, the project team have led the co-development of National Community Service Announcements for flood with AIDR, the ABC and AFAC. Survey tools and findings about how people behave, perceive risks, and make decisions around floodwater were developed through this project and the research findings can be used to inform more targeted communications and safety-related training. The survey tools themselves can be used as an engagement tool both with communities and SES personnel. Surveys with SES personnel about entering floodwater included evaluation of organisational safety climate as well as risk taking behaviour, and the data provides a baseline against which a number of SES jurisdictions could evaluate work health and safety improvements and the effectiveness of a range of safety interventions.
Research team:
This project is part of the Black Summer research program funded by the Commonwealth Government through the 10-year extension of funding into natural hazard research in Australia.
27 Aug 2019
Just under half of all flood-related fatalities in Australia (45%) are attributed to people...
Disaster risk reduction education policies and practices in Indonesia: Bridging the research-practice gaps
18 Sep 2018
The Sendai Framework on Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) stresses the importance of collaboration ...
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...
30 Jun 2017
Project objectives:Develop a detailed understanding of the motivations, beliefs, decision making...
Disaster resilience education: a practice framework for Australian emergency management agencies
29 Jun 2017
Disaster resilience education for children and young people has been identified as a key mechanism...
An analysis of human fatalities and building losses from natural disasters in Australia
29 Jun 2017
Who is most at risk? Why? What are they doing? How have vulnerability and exposure trends changed...
Katharine Haynes Conference Poster 2016
12 Aug 2016
This project is measuring and gaining a greater understanding of the impacts of natural hazards in...
Risk Reduction and Resilience Education: Recommendations for Scaling Up. Views from Indonesia
18 Aug 2015
Nearly one third of the world's population are children. However, much disaster management...
Would You Drive Through Flood Water?
18 Aug 2015
Floods are the second highest cause of death from natural hazard events in Australia following...

Resources credited

Type Released Title Download Key Topics
HazardNoteEdition 05 May 2021 Lessons from Black Summer: how people experienced the 2019/20 NSW fire season PDF icon Save (1.23 MB) communication, communities, warnings
HazardNoteEdition 17 Mar 2020 A step towards zero: understanding preventable residential fire fatalities PDF icon Save (875.58 KB) fire, risk analysis, vulnerability
HazardNoteEdition 06 Mar 2020 Understanding bushfire risk, warnings and responses - lessons from the 2018 Reedy Swamp fire PDF icon Save (561.7 KB) communication, communities, warnings
Presentation-Slideshow 24 Sep 2019 Flood Risk Communication PDF icon Save (2.5 MB) flood, risk management
Guide-Fact Sheet 24 Jul 2019 Vehicle related flood deaths - practice brief two July 2019 PDF icon Save (1.11 MB) communication, flood, warnings
Presentation-Audio-Video 30 May 2019 Warnings that save lives File Save (0 bytes)
Presentation-Slideshow 19 Sep 2018 Defining floodwater -expert and public perspectives PDF icon Save (2.1 MB) communication, flood, warnings
Presentation-Slideshow 16 Apr 2018 Building resilience through flood risk communication PDF icon Save (2.13 MB) communication, flood, warnings
Presentation-Slideshow 07 Sep 2017 Sheltering during floods: experiences of residents and businesses in the Northern Rivers region PDF icon Save (760.42 KB) communities, flood, severe weather
Presentation-Slideshow 07 Jul 2017 Lightning presentation: planning and capability requirements for catastrophic and cascading events PDF icon Save (1021.56 KB) capability, emergency management, multi-hazard
Presentation-Slideshow 18 Apr 2017 Planning and Capability Requirements for Catastrophic and Cascading Events PDF icon Save (1005.5 KB) capability, emergency management, multi-hazard
Presentation-Slideshow 18 Apr 2017 Flood Risk Communication PDF icon Save (354.87 KB) communication, flood, warnings
Presentation-Slideshow 18 Apr 2017 An Analysis of Building Losses and Human Fatalities from Natural Disasters PDF icon Save (5.22 MB) economics, multi-hazard, risk analysis
HazardNoteEdition 13 Oct 2016 Where, why and how are Australians dying in floods? PDF icon Save (867.95 KB) decision making, flood, warnings
Presentation-Audio-Video 12 Oct 2016 Overview of flood research findings - An analysis of building losses and human fatalities File Save (0 bytes) decision making, flood, warnings
Presentation-Slideshow 01 Sep 2016 An analysis of human fatalities from flood hazards in Australia,1900-2015 - Katharine Haynes PDF icon Save (1.28 MB) education, flood, policy
Presentation-Slideshow 17 May 2016 An analysis of human fatalities from flood hazards in Australia, 1900-2015 PDF icon Save (1.78 MB) emergency management, flood, risk analysis
HazardNoteEdition 21 Oct 2015 Turning warnings into action PDF icon Save (236.32 KB) communication, tsunami, warnings
Presentation-Slideshow 03 Sep 2015 An analysis of human fatalities from flood hazards in Australia 1900-2014 PDF icon Save (1.39 MB) flood, risk analysis, risk management
HazardNoteEdition 27 Aug 2015 Learning from the past, planning for the future PDF icon Save (166.29 KB) modelling, multi-hazard, risk analysis
Presentation-Slideshow 10 Apr 2015 Human Fatalities and Building Losses 2015 NSW RAF Presentation PDF icon Save (2.3 MB) infrastructure, multi-hazard
Presentation-Slideshow 08 Sep 2014 Measuring the impacts of natural hazards on human fatalities and building losses PDF icon Save (1.66 MB)
Presentation-Slideshow 07 Aug 2014 Measuring the impacts of bushfires on human fatalities and building losses PDF icon Save (3.25 MB) engineering, fire
Presentation-Slideshow 21 Mar 2014 An analysis of human fatalities and building losses from natural disasters PDF icon Save (250.37 KB) economics, infrastructure, risk analysis

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