Research leader

Dr Mel Taylor Research Leader
Dr Katharine Haynes Research Leader

End User representatives

Elspeth Rae End-User
Tamsin Achilles End-User
Susan Davie
Susan Davie End-User
Kate White End-User
Peter Jeffrey End-User
Amanda Leck End-User
Amy Peden End-User
Suellen Flint
Suellen Flint End-User
Jon Carr End-User
Deborah Lamb End-User
Gemma Bellenger End-User
Joshua.McLaren End-User

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
2020 Journal Article Ahmed, M. Arifa, Haynes, K., Tofa, M., Hope, G. & Taylor, M. Duty or safety? Exploring emergency service personnel's perceptions of risk and decision-making when driving through floodwater. Progress in Disaster Science 5, (2020).
2019 Journal Article Fountain, L., Tofa, M., Haynes, K., Taylor, M. & Ferguson, S. Older adults in disaster and emergency management: What are the priority research areas in Australia?. International Journal of Disaster Risk Reduction 39, (2019).
2019 Journal Article Taylor, M. et al. Behaviour around floodwater: challenges for floodwater safety and risk communication . Australian Journal of Emergency Management 34, 40-47 (2019).
2019 Magazine Article Taylor, M. & Haynes, K. What do we really mean by ‘floodwater’ and is it ever ok to enter?. 32, (2019).
2019 Report Taylor, M., Haynes, K. & Tofa, M. Building resilience through flood risk communication annual report 2018-2019. (Bushfire and Natural Hazards CRC, 2019).
2018 Journal Article Taylor, M., Haynes, K. & Ahmed, M. Arifa. Driving into floodwater: A systematic review of risks, behaviour and mitigation. International Journal of Disaster Risk Reduction 31, 10 (2018).
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:Develop a detailed understanding of the motivations, beliefs, decision making processes...
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...
27 Aug 2019
Just under half of all flood-related fatalities in Australia (45%) are attributed to people entering...