Volunteering for disaster risk reduction

The 6th Australian and New Zealand Disaster and Emergency Management Conference will be held over the 22 – 23 May at The Star Gold Coast, Queensland.

Mr Darryl Glover

Mr Darryl Glover, Project Manager at the State Emergency Service joins us next month to discuss ‘Volunteering for disaster risk reduction in international development – 12 months in Mongolia’.

Volunteering in emergency response and recovery is a mainstay of emergency management in Australia.  More rarely is it applied in disaster risk reduction or undertaken internationally by Australians.  This presentation will outline the experiences of a 12 month (March 2015 – March 2016), professional volunteer assignment in the Policy Coordination Unit of the National Emergency Management Agency of Mongolia, (NEMA). The principle tasks of the assignment were capacity building, institutional strengthening and skills exchange. The assignment was sponsored through the Australian Volunteers for International Development, (AVID) an Australian Federal Government Initiative administered through the Department of Foreign affairs and Trade and facilitated by the Australian Red Cross.

Conference participants will hear the perspectives of Major Bazarragchaa Duudgai on the capacity building and institutional strengthening outcomes for Mongolia, (by video link) the value of international volunteering to Australia’s interests from the Ambassador to Mongolia John Langtry (by video link) and the professional development and personal growth outcomes from volunteer Darryl Glover.

The experiences highlight the opportunity for emergency service organisations to support a more extensive and coordinated program of professional volunteerism of their staff and internal volunteers, to share the strengths of Australian emergency services, and continue to develop participant’s personal and professional capabilities.

For more information on the 2017 Australian and New Zealand Disaster and Emergency Management Conference and to secure your spot, visit www.anzdmc.com.au.

 

Emerging technologies in flash flood warnings

The 6th Australian and New Zealand Disaster and Emergency Management Conference will be held over the 22 – 23 May at The Star Gold Coast (previously Jupiter’s), Queensland.

Confirmed Keynotes Include:

  • Commissioner Ian Stewart, Queensland Police Service
  • Mr Rod Young, National Emergency Response Manager, Telstra
  • Mr John Yates QPM, Director of Security – Scentre Group, Australia and New Zealand, Westfield Corporation – US, UK & Europe
  • Ms Judy Slatyer, CEO, Australian Red Cross
  • Ms Kate Fitzgerald, Director Relief and Recovery, Emergency Management Victoria
  • Dr Susie Burke, Senior Psychologist, Public Interest, Environment and Disaster Response, Australian Psychological Society
  • Dr Paul Barnes, Head, Risk & Resilience, Australian Strategic Policy Institute
  • Associate Professor Peter Aitken, Senior Director, Health Disaster Management Unit, Queensland Health

Dr Dasarath Jayasuriya, Assistant Director Water Forecasting at the Bureau of Meteorology joins us this May at the conference to discuss ‘FLARE, Supporting local agencies to utilise current and emerging technologies in flash flood warnings’.

Floods are the second-highest cause of natural hazard deaths in Australia, a major source of property damage, and the most expensive type to recover from. Flash floods account for most flooding fatalities in Australia.

While the responsibility for flash flood warning lies with states and territories in partnership with local government (where appropriate), the Bureau of Meteorology has specialist expertise that may assist agencies to utilise technologies in flash flood warning.

This presentation showcases the Bureau’s commitment to assist state and local agencies to manage flash floods.

A web and telephone and email based advisory service, the Flash Flood Advisory Resource (FLARE), was recommended by an independent taskforce set up under the Australian New Zealand Emergency Management Committee to help standardise Bureau hazard services to emergency services. FLARE was implemented in September 2016 to support local agencies to utilise current and emerging technologies to develop, implement and operate sustainable and fit-for-purpose flash flood warning systems. FLARE currently has users from around 45 organisations across Australia.

Available to registered users, FLARE provides a wide range of resources such as case studies, interactive forums, and standards and guidelines. FLARE is not an operational service. The Bureau provides a range of operational products that support flash flood warning, such as Severe Weather Warnings and Severe Thunderstorm Warnings, rainfall predictions, radar and specialist weather products.

The presentation also describes the Bureau’s efforts to improve detection of potential and severity of flash flooding using radar technology, satellite imagery, forecasting and high resolution weather modelling.

For more information on the 2017 Australian & New Zealand Disaster & Emergency Management Conference and to secure your spot, visit www.anzdmc.com.au.

 

Emergency preparedness among the elderly and vulnerable

The 6th Australian and New Zealand Disaster and Emergency Management Conference will be held over the 22 – 23 May at The Star Gold Coast (previously Jupiter’s), Queensland.

Mr Chris Fish, Team Leader, Partnerships, Evaluation and Marketing at Fire and Rescue NSW joins us next month at the conference to discuss ‘The association between home visit programmes and emergency preparedness among elderly vulnerable people in New South Wales, Australia’.

Mr Chris Fish

The purpose of this study was to examine the association between home visit programmes and emergency preparedness among elderly vulnerable people in New South Wales, Australia. The study utilized data acquired from the Home Fire Resilience Project (HFRP), which was a collaborative undertaking by three emergency agencies in NSW.  The study consisted of 370, 255 and 156 older people at registration, during home visit, and during post-home visit respectively.

The seven emergency outcome measures (participants finding out what emergencies might affect their area, participants knowledge of where to find information during major emergencies, participants knowledge of how to pack an emergency bag, whether participants were taught how to arrange for transport during an emergency, whether participants did prepare a list of people to call during an emergency, whether participants swapped contact numbers with their neighbours and whether participants had conversation with someone else about their emergency plans) were examined by adjusting for key demographic factors, using  generalised estimating equations (GEE) model that adjusted for repeated measures in order to examine the association between home visit programmes and emergency preparedness.

After adjusting for key demographic factors, our study revealed that during visits and a post-home visit recorded significant improvements in the seven emergency outcome measures from the home visit programme, compared with registration. The odds of finding out what emergencies might affect one area were significantly lower among older participants who were born outside Australia and those who were female.

Additionally, older females had significantly higher odds of knowing how to pack an emergency bag compared to older males. Findings of the study suggested the introduction of periodic mobile telephone text messages interventions in order to improve emergency preparedness among older people especially among males and those older participants born outside Australia.

For more information on the 2017 Australian & New Zealand Disaster & Emergency Management Conference and to secure your spot, visit www.anzdmc.com.au.

 

Lessons in social media and communication

The 6th Australian and New Zealand Disaster and Emergency Management Conference will be held over the 22 – 23 May at The Star Gold Coast (previously Jupiter’s), Queensland.

Miss Sara Page, GeoNet Public Information Specialist at GNS Science joins us at the conference to discuss ‘The M7.8 Kaikoura Earthquake:  Lessons in social media and communication’.

Sara Page

At 12.02 am February 14 2016 the ground began to shake on the South Island of New Zealand. When the shaking ended, 150 kilometres were ruptured and 12 faults at the surface rose above ground, lifting sea bed off the coast of Kaikoura, and leaving the township cut off by landslides. Wellington, the capital of New Zealand, was also shaken severely with many buildings damaged.

The first communication from a government organisation was from GeoNet (New Zealand’s geological hazard monitoring agency), via Twitter and then Facebook at 12.05 a.m.  Social media was very active, as GeoNet began to access the size and location of the earthquake, and it rapidly became clear that this event was significant in size and impact.  To complicate matters, a localised tsunami was generated off the coast of Kaikoura, and the national emergency management agency called for evacuations of coastal zones as a precaution.

The successful Kaikoura social media response was built on years of dedicated work on social media platforms, beginning in 2010. Following the devastating earthquakes in Canterbury 2010/2011, GeoNet became a household name and we discovered the importance of social media to get information out to large numbers of people quickly. New Zealand’s geological activity has kept pace since the Canterbury earthquakes, including volcanic eruptions on Tongariro (2012/2013), White Island (ongoing), and large earthquakes including Cook Strait (2013) and Eketahuna (2014).

With more than 100,000 people on Facebook and 60,000 people on Twitter, GeoNet has become one of the most followed public agencies in New Zealand.   We have also engaged on other social media forums including Reddit to ensure personalised voice and perspectives.

This presentation will examine at the various forms of social media and how we have used them to get information out during earthquakes, volcano eruptions and tsunamis, and will include lessons we learned along the way.

For more information on the 2017 Australian & New Zealand Disaster & Emergency Management Conference and to secure your spot, visit www.anzdmc.com.au.

 

Queensland Emergency Risk Management Framework

The 6th Australian and New Zealand Disaster and Emergency Management Conference will be held over the 22 – 23 May at The Star Gold Coast (previously Jupiter’s), Queensland.

Dr John Rolfe, Executive Manager, Emergency Management Preparedness at QFES joins us at the conference to discuss ‘Queensland Emergency Risk Management Framework: A Clear Line of Sight to Risk Based Planning’.

The management of risk is one of the cornerstones of modern society and in the context of disaster management, a foundational element in the development of effective mitigation and resilience strategies. Additionally, hazard sources are measurably changing based upon climate science. The climate has warmed including the atmosphere and oceans, sea levels have risen, and the concentrations of greenhouse gases have increased.

The recently developed Queensland Emergency Risk Management Framework (QERMF) is a methodology that informs risk based planning through embracing science, technology, risk methodology and most importantly by taking heed of both global and local knowledge.

The QERMF is derived from underpinnings of AS/NZS ISO 31000 Risk management, the National Emergency Risk Assessment Guidelines 2015 and meets the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction’s “Priorities for Action”. QERMF also reflects international best practice as championed by the United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction and the Global Facility for Disaster Reduction and Recovery.

The aim of QERMF is to provide a consistent approach to the identification and assessment of risk, which can in turn:

  • Link broad area natural hazard risk assessment with disruption related risk assessments of critical infrastructure;
    • Articulate residual risk; and
    • Directly supports risk based planning across the 3 levels of governance that comprise Queensland’s disaster management arrangements.

The risk assessment process within the QERMF methodology enables the literal identification of risk via geospatial analysis of landscape, hazard manifestation, exposure and vulnerability.  Explicitly analysing vulnerability assists planning for mitigation strategies aimed at reducing residual risk.  Application of this approach at all levels of disaster management arrangements can lead to a range of enhancements to community resilience.

For more information on the 2017 Australian & New Zealand Disaster & Emergency Management Conference and to secure your spot, visit www.anzdmc.com.au.

 

Sudden Cardiac Arrest (SCA) can happen to anyone, anywhere, anytime.

Sudden Cardiac Arrest (SCA) can happen to anyone, anywhere, anytime. Every year 33,000 Australians suffer from SCA of which only 5% survive. In fact, SCA is such a serious medical emergency that survival rates decrease by 7-10% for every minute that passes without defibrillation. After 8 minutes there is little chance of survival*.

Fortunately, defibrillation using an automatic external defibrillator (AED) dramatically improves survival rates if applied in minutes. When a person suffers SCA away from the hospital, an AED can make the difference between life and death.

St John Ambulance (Qld) is offering a one-off special package on selected AEDs this April. Please visit www.stjohnqld.com.au/defibssavelives for more information.

 

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