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Preparedness for more climate catastrophes requires taking on more risk.

Preparedness for more climate catastrophes requires taking on more risk.

SES volunteers launch rescue boat

As Sydney continues to endure the aforementioned flooding, it is now ready for flash floods or landslides. disastrous downpour, with a month’s worth of rain falling in just 24 hours and evacuation orders issued. Rain is expected to continue throughout the week.

New South Wales has been through many disasters. Residents in Lismore began to clean up after the record-breaking flood of February. Second floodThe city was submerged. Some towns that were inundated this year by flooding were actually in the path of the Black Summer bushfires.

Climate change is increasing the severity and frequency of disasters. So how can we prepare for these inevitable events.

As our latest research shows, a key aspect of pre-disaster preparation is that people accept and understand what risks they face and how they’ll be impacted. Stocking up on toilet paper in preparation for COVID lockdowns is an example of what happens when they don’t.

New challenges

One of the lasting mantras in disaster risk management is “hope for the best, anticipate the worst”. But what happens when the worst-case scenario is realised – or even exceeded?

Shane Fitzsimmons, Rural Fire Service Commissioner, was present during the Black Summer bushfires of 2019. :

We cannot guarantee that a fire truck will arrive at every house. We cannot guarantee that an aircraft will fly overhead whenever a fire threatens your property. We cannot guarantee that someone will knock on the door and give you a warning that there’s fires nearby.

What’s more, the recent NSW floods saw local communities instigate their Operational rescues by your ownWith boat or jet ski owners, pulling survivors from their homes.

SES volunteers launch rescue boat
SES volunteers launch an inflatable rescueboat in Camden, South Western Sydney.
Dean Lewins/AAP

It is crucial to be prepared at the individual, family, and local level. You can also contact emergency management and support agencies like HospitalsThey are overwhelmed by the recent scale of disasters.

Continue reading:
Climate scientists discuss floods and the future risk.

First, this is because many of the emergency workers who responds to storms, earthquakes or cyclones are volunteers. Second, agencies need additional resources for exceptional events, such as the pandemic.

Third, a disaster is, by definition, an event that exceeds the capacity to respond, making “disaster response” a paradox.

It is unreasonable to expect people to cope with all disasters – but it is reasonable to expect people to manage a certain level of risk. So which part of the responsibility should fall on the person and how much must be shared among the agencies, government, and industry?

Tree fallen on top of house
After a tree fell in heavy rains in Sydney, cleanup and recovery work begin at the damaged house.
Dean Lewins/AAP

72 hours is crucial

The 72 hours immediately following the event can prove to be critical for those directly affected. This is the time between the onset of the event and the immediate response that may include rescue, evacuation, or defence.

In the United States, you’re encouraged to be prepared to cope for 72 hours in a disaster. We are beginning to see the positive side of this. AustraliaAlong with a greater acceptance of personal risk.

Local disaster agencies in Australia promote ListsThere are many essential items to have on hand, including first aid kits, medications, and enough water for three days.

People are also encouraged and encouraged to prepare psychologically. Rehearsing survival plans is also encouraged. been foundThey are especially helpful with children. Community groups and emergency management agencies offer assistance for people with disabilities, non English speakers, and those with pets or other domestic animals.

Continue reading:
Floods leave a legacy of mental health problems — and disadvantaged people are often hardest hit

Information does not always mean preparation. Our researchAfter the Black Summer fires, we surveyed East Gippsland’s bushfire-stricken residents. We found that people who had never lived in the area before were less likely to be prepared for or to understand how to deal with risks.

They also had higher expectations of how difficult and long the recovery process would be. Some people of non-English speaking backgrounds felt isolated in their communities, and did not know how to access information.

Burnt road sign & bushland
Black summer bushfires caused more than 1.5million hectares of destruction and more than 300 deaths in Victoria.

Owning your risk

Our Risk Ownership FrameworkThis allows communities, the public and private sectors to understand the intricate connections between shared risk ownership. We explore the questions “who owns a risk?” and “how do they own it?”

We discovered that if one area cannot manage their risk, it can transfer to another person or entity.

A homeowner might be responsible for contents and home insurance, while the community may be responsible to maintain social connectivity. The state governs planning and may also own and maintain flood levees.

See Also
aerial view of brown flood water and built structures

Continue reading:
Homeless and looking for help – why people with disability and their carers fare worse after floods

We also explored the concept of “unowned” risks – where roles and responsibilities in disasters are unallocated or unfulfilled. These can have a negative impact on community values like liveability, local businesses, and natural resources.

Unowned risks raises difficult questions such as:

  • Will the wildlife and forests recover? How long will it take?

  • Will displaced residents be able to return to their communities or will housing affordability and availability force them out?

  • Will Lismore’s communities be able continue to function in the face future disasters caused by climate change?

These questions are often overlooked in favor of more immediate needs.

Child rides bike through floodwater
Flood warnings have been issued across NSW, with heavy rains and thunderstorms expected over the next few days.
Bianca De Marchi/AAP

Communities have barely had enough time to recover from the escalation of disasters over the last two years. We must begin to plan for the unexpected and what comes.

The mantra of community resilience and empowerment is now a central narrative, but recent events show there’s a pivotal role for government that cannot be neglected if we’re to survive future disasters.

We need a national conversation on what risk ownership for disaster means – personally and politically.

Read more:
Then came floods and then domestic violence. We need to be prepared for the next crisis.

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