Disaster Resilient: Future Ready
Helping communities better withstand the impacts of natural disasters
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The occurrence of natural disasters is on the rise, with significant consequences: mental health issues, impacts to health and wellbeing, and increased disadvantage.
We believe that communities that are supported to build their capacity will be better able to respond to the impacts of natural disasters.
FRRR, The Prince's Charities Australia and our partners are working on a project to help communities better prepare for disasters, and be more resilient should they eventuate.
Research confirms that communities with higher levels of social capital pre-disaster will respond and recover better than those with lower levels of social capital. The communities that are engaged and understand the emergency management system, and the communities’ role in this, are better equipped at the time of a disaster.
More research is needed.
Despite increased and widespread recognition of this fact, there remain ongoing challenges for communities being better prepared and recovery is costing more and more each year. If communities are not better prepared and more resilient, what will happen? How can communities acquire the necessary capability to ensure they are Disaster Resilient: Future Ready? What makes a community adaptive? What skills, resources, assets and tools do communities need to be able to respond to disaster impacts and adapt to the changed environments? And how do they acquire and sustain these? These are critical questions that need national leadership and a coordinated, collaborative approach to answer.
The Prince's Charities Australia and FRRR have begun working together to help answer these questions because further research is required to understand what it takes for community groups to be better prepared, and critically, practical and evidence-based methods that communities can adapt to be Disaster Resilient: Future Ready.
Leveraging our combined experience in community recovery, bridging disaster recovery and preparedness with community development approaches, we have scoped an applied research project to develop the framework and processes for communities to use to enable disaster resilience.
The expected outcomes of the project include improved coordination and collaboration within and between communities, agencies and governments, improved mental health outcomes post disaster, increased levels of local leadership, and reduced costs to the Australian economy.
Disaster Resilient: Future Ready
The Disaster Resilient: Future Ready project will utilise an action research and co-design methodology, leveraging current research and engaging a broad range of stakeholders, to work with communities to develop and evaluate reality-tested indicators, methods and tools for building resilience.
This will be a five-stage project, over three years:
We estimate that this project requires a minimum of $1.5 million over the next three years, to deliver each of the stages. However, it is scalable and could easily be extended to a $5 million project, by expanding the pilot projects, and the extension activities.
Update: Phase One – Literature Review
FRRR is pleased to announce that Phase One of the project has been launched with the Literature Review commencing with the Torrens Resilience Institute at Flinders University, South Australia.
The objectives of the Literature Review are to assess the research and practice in the field of community-led natural disaster preparedness, with a focus on rural and regional communities in Australia, and other nations, experiencing similar challenges.
The Review aims to:
- Document contemporary research in the field of disaster resilience around strengthening key capacities;
- Document best-practice evidence of community-based or led disaster preparedness approaches; and
- Identify and document the key indicators of social, economic, infrastructure, communication, emergency services, policy, governance, and leadership in community resilience and readiness, and their application.
One of the intentions of the Literature Review stage is to collate and distil the work undertaken in recent years and to share this broadly for collective benefit. FRRR will then utilise the research to inform an action research and co-design methodology in the DR:FR project, to work with communities to develop and reality-test these indicators, methods and tools for building resilience and preparedness.
Collaborate with us
If you share our views about the urgency of this issue and have an interest in working collaboratively to develop systemic, sustainable and community-led, place-based responses, we encourage you to read further and get in touch to explore how you can join the partnership and be part of leveraging a solution.