Fire and Emergency New Zealand after the 2011 Christchurch earthquake. Photo: John Moombe.

Using our research

Tools and Resources ready for practical application

Online Tools & Resources

These are online tools developed by our research. They have varied uses, from assessing the flammability of vegetation around Australia, to exploring and comparing recommendations from emergency management inquiries, to showing where and when fire has burnt across the tropical savannas. 

Click the dropdowns to find out more and access the tools. 

Disaster inquiries database

Disaster inquiries database

Search over 300 emergency management inquiries and reviews from across Australia between 1886 and 2017.

The data can be sorted via disaster and inquiry type, date and jurisdiction using a simple table display. For more in-depth analysis, CSV files can be downloaded allowing you to run local queries and reports. The database also contains the full recommendations from 55 inquiries and reviews between 2009 and 2015. A facetted exploration interface enables a filter-search of 1,336 recommendations, allowing effective search and comparison through keywords and themes.

This database can be used for a variety of purposes including:

* To compare equivalent recommendations between inquiries, themes and jurisdictions

* To track inquiries across jurisdiction, year and types

* To download and work with all inquiries and listed recommendations for the particular needs of your organisation

ACCESS: http://www.bnhcrc.com.au/utilisation/ddr

Australian Flammability Monitoring System

Australian Flammability Monitoring System

Effectively providing a clearer picture of immediate fire risks, the Australian Flammability Monitoring System uses satellite data to collect information on live moisture content in trees, shrubs and grass. It then displays this information on an interactive map, which will help fire managers in their prescribed burning efforts and prepositioning of firefighting resources.

The first online mapping tool of its kind to be introduced in Australia, the prototype system uses satellite data to provide a clear picture of the landscape where there are high levels of vegetation and soil dryness, which are the perfect conditions for a severe bushfire.

Access: http://anuwald.science/afms

Savanna Monitoring and Evaluation Reporting Framework

Savanna Monitoring and Evaluation Reporting Framework

This online tool evaluates the effects of fire where burnt area mapping is available across the Northern Territory, large parts of Western Australia, and Northern Queensland. It assesses nearly twenty years of data to show where bushfires have burnt, at what time of year (early or late dry season) and when an area was last burnt.

http://www.ntinfonet.org.au/smerf-crc/

Strategic decision-making tools

Strategic decision-making tools

Decision making is a required skill for every type of emergency and every level of emergency management. Decision makers are confronted with emergencies that are often dynamic, complex and uncertain, with several agencies involved. These complex contexts can lead to an increased number of poor decisions and errors being made. It’s important to acknowledge that errors and poor decisions will occur, and to seek and manage them in an informed and systematic way.  

Forming part of the Improving decision making in complex multi-team environments project, these four tools – two team-monitoring tools and two strategic decision-making tools – were developed to improve teamwork and enable strategic decision making in emergency management.  
 
TEAM-MONITORING TOOLS 

Emergency Management Breakdown Aide Memoire  
This tool assists emergency management teams in dealing with breakdowns in communication. It is a checklist that helps to recognise team breakdowns through their outputs (for example, incident action plans) and formal/informal organisational networks. It also offers a five-step practical resolution strategy.  

Download a PDF of this tool here 

Team Process Checklist 
This tool assists emergency management teams in dealing with breakdowns in communication. It is designed to provide a health check for teams and, if there is a problem, to help determine what the problem is. This checklist helps people think through three aspects of effective teamwork: communication, coordination and cooperation.  

Download a PDF of this tool here 
This tool is also available to download in Spanish here 
 
You can also download a how-to guide for the team monitoring tools here 
 
STRATEGIC DECISION-MAKING TOOLS 

Psychological Safety Checklist 
This checklist can be used to create a psychologically safe decision-making environment. The checklist acknowledges that there are simple strategies to use so that people can feel safe while enhancing or establishing trusting relationships very quickly.  

Use the online tool here. 
Download the PDF version here 

Cognitive Bias Aide Memoire 
This tool can be used by teams to identify cognitive biases in the decision-making process. It is best used for key decisions and involves two steps: 1) assessing available information, intelligence and decisions and 2) determining the meaning of the information, intelligence and decisions.   

Use the online tool here 
Download the PDF version here 

Australian Exposure Information Platform

Australian Exposure Information Platform

Understanding what is exposed during hazard events is a highly valuable starting point for a variety of sectors. Using CRC research, the Australian Exposure Information Platform quickly and easily allows users to generate exposure reports needed for decision making before, during and after hazard events. 

The customised reports provide a detailed statistical summary of the number of people, dwellings, structures, businesses, and agricultural and environmental assets in any specified area across Australia. 

The Australian Exposure Information Platform was a key source of information during the 2019/20 bushfire season and is used regularly by more than 50 organisations across government, industry and emergency sectors to produce thousands of reports each month. 

Access the Australian Exposure Information Platform here: aeip.ga.gov.au

Prescribed Burning Atlas

Prescribed Burning Atlas

The Prescribed Burning Atlas is a website designed specifically to assist and inform prescribed burning strategies so that land and fire managers can tailor their burning strategies to outcomes that will best reduce the risk in a target area within available budgets.

Developed through the Bushfire and Natural Hazards CRC in partnership with the University of Wollongong, University of Melbourne and Western Sydney University, the Prescribed Burning Atlas incorporates thousands of fire simulations to compare the level of risk reduction achieved from different combinations of prescribed burning techniques. The Atlas also compares the costs of different mitigation options and their effect on reducing the likelihood of life loss, property loss and landscape damage, as well as the effects of climate change on prescribed burning effectiveness. 

It covers 13 different landscape types across New South Wales, ACT, Victoria, Tasmania, South Australia and Queensland, comprising different types of landscapes such as temperate forests, grasslands, savannas, deserts, woodlands and scrub. 

The Prescribed Burning Atlas is now available free to use at prescribedburnatlas.science 

Australian Disaster Resilience Index

Australian Disaster Resilience Index

The Australian Disaster Resilience Index is a support tool developed by the Bushfire and Natural Hazards CRC in partnership with the University of New England. The website was developed specifically to help communities, government and emergency services take informed and practical steps to improve the disaster resilience of their local communities before, during and after natural hazards.

The Index is an industry-first assessment of the state of disaster resilience across Australia, and provides a clear pathway to improve decision making about planning, development, policy, engagement and risk assessment.

The Index measures overall disaster resilience, as well as coping capacity and adaptive capacity, of each statistical area (SA2) in Australia. It also proposes five disaster resilience profiles in Australia – nationwide collections of communities that share similar resilience strengths and constraints. This provides users with an opportunity to address the resilience of a specific area, form alliances with organisations in similar areas, and develop targeted improvements for their communities.

Explore the Australian Disaster Resilience Index here: adri.bnhcrc.com.au.