Resilience to Hazards

house flooded-VICSES.jpg

Flooded house Victoria
Flooded house Victoria

Project Status:

Community members experiencing natural disasters often do not comply with official government instructions during the response and recovery phases. Consequences of this can include obstructing the emergency response and putting lives at risk. This project is developing and testing emergency warning messages to establish which message framing best achieves compliance.

Research shows that the public often fail to comply with official instructions, particularly in the response and recovery phases of a natural disaster. Official emergency instructions can be ignored in favour of community-generated warnings.

This can significantly impede the emergency response because it may divert resources to compliance enforcement, risking the lives of emergency service workers or confusing the core safety message or instruction.

The project team has completed a social media pilot study on Twitter, covering decision-making and risk communication, and the current approach for official messages during response and recovery of natural disaster. This involved analysing around 50,000 tweets generated during Severe Tropical Cyclone Marcia in February 2015.

The findings suggested a range of opportunities for emergency services organisations to improve messages.

Three peer-reviewed extended abstracts were presented at the World Congress on Disaster and Emergency Medicine in Cape Town, South Africa, in 2015.

Community focus groups were conducted in Queensland, New South Wales and Victoria to examine community comprehension of emergency warning messages, addressing issues raised by the National Review of Warnings and Information.

The project is now developing templates for emergency warning messages, to test what is best to achieve compliance, looking at structure and ordering of content, design style, and other content for instructions or information.

This research is informing emergency warnings for a storms, fires, floods and cyclones. Photo: cksydney, Flickr
2 February, 2017
CRC research is helping emergency services warn communities by actively testing the wording and structure of warning messages to better understand how messages are understood and translated into direct action.
A/Prof Amisha Mehta has been awarded a PRIA Golden Target award for her research.
17 November, 2016
CRC researcher A/Prof Amisha Mehta has been nationally recognised, this week picking up a Public Relations Institute of Australia Golden Target Award for research and teaching.
13 October, 2016
New journal articles and reports on CRC research are available online.
Richard Thornton presenting the Outstanding Achievement award to Prof Vivienne Tippett and Andrew Richards.
8 September, 2016
The Connecting communities and resilience project team and PhD student Billy Haworth have been recognised with CRC awards.
CFA assist flood affected residents
10 June, 2016
Research shows that a prevention-focus can drive positive change for communities if we have the courage to put communities at the start and heart of design.
Lake Mountain landscape post Black Saturday fires
15 October, 2015
What is our research about, and how will our emergency service partners benefit? Hear direct in these short videos
There were plenty of Australian and New Zealand researchers at the workshop.
29 July, 2015
I have just returned from the United States, where I represented the Bushfire and Natural Hazards CRC and the Queensland University of Technology at the 40th annual Natural Hazards Workshop, in Broomfield, Colorado.
Photo by Brenton Edwards, CFS Promotions Unit
11 March, 2015
In December 2014 I attended the annual South Australian Fire and Emergency Services Commission Zone Emergency Management Symposium to discuss market research
Fire Australia cover, summer 2015
9 February, 2015
Four CRC research projects have been profiled in the latest edition of Fire Australia.
Flooded house Victoria
9 February, 2015
This newsletter has been put together by the Communications and warnings cluster to keep end‐users informed about key work across each of the projects.
23 January, 2015
As emergency management becomes increasingly all-hazard focused, community warnings and coordination between agencies becomes more vital. New research by the Bushfire and Natural Hazards CRC will assist partner agencies across Australia and New Zealand communicate more effectively and bounce back from natural disasters.
Community risk
28 February, 2014

A team of researchers is set to find out how people assess the risks of an unfolding natural disaster and use that to decide on their response to events like cyclones and bushfires.

Building resilient communities: Creating effective multi-channel communication during disaster response and recovery
25 Aug 2014

To examine evidence-based strategies that motivate appropriate action and increase informed decision-making during the response and recovery phases of disasters.

Key Topics:
Legal implications of utilising social media for communication during a disaster: An analysis by Responder Group
25 Aug 2014

Social media plays an increasing role as a tool for: information dissemination, situational awareness and co-ordinating community action. 

Key Topics:
Building Resilient Communities: Creating Effective Multi-Channel Communication During Disaster Response and Recovery
18 Aug 2015

Our aim is to examine evidence-based strategies to motivate appropriate action and increase informed decision-making during the response and recovery phases of disasters. We combine expertise in communication, consumer psychology and marketing, disaster and emergency management, and law.

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