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At-risk householders' responses to potential and actual bushfire threat: An analysis of findings from seven Australian post-bushfire interview studies 2009-2014

McLennan, Jim, Paton, Douglas and Wright, Lyndsey (2015). At-risk householders' responses to potential and actual bushfire threat: An analysis of findings from seven Australian post-bushfire interview studies 2009-2014. International Journal of Disaster Risk Reduction,12:319-327.

Document type: Journal Article
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IRMA ID 81144320xPUB25
Title At-risk householders' responses to potential and actual bushfire threat: An analysis of findings from seven Australian post-bushfire interview studies 2009-2014
Author McLennan, Jim
Paton, Douglas
Wright, Lyndsey
Journal Name International Journal of Disaster Risk Reduction
Publication Date 2015
Volume Number 12
ISSN 2212-4209   (check CDU catalogue  open catalogue search in new window)
Scopus ID 2-s2.0-84939977338
Start Page 319
End Page 327
Total Pages 9
Place of Publication Netherlands
Publisher Elsevier BV
Field of Research 070503 - Forestry Fire Management
ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES
HERDC Category C1 - Journal Article (DIISR)
Abstract Many populated areas of Australia are at high risk of bushfire. All state and territory rural fire services have community bushfire safety education programs providing information and advice to residents about bushfire danger, household risk assessment, and planning and preparing to leave safely or to defend a property assessed as being defensible. Following disastrous bushfires in Victoria in February 2009 resulting in the deaths of 172 civilians and destruction of more than 2000 homes, a programme of interviews with affected residents was conducted. This first study revealed generally low levels of both pre-bushfire perceptions of risk, and planning and preparation by householders. Between 2011 and 2014, six further post-bushfire householder interview studies were conducted. Despite fire agencies' community education endeavours subsequent to the 2009 fires: (a) appreciable percentages of residents interviewed in these six post-2010 studies did not believe that they were at-risk prior to the fire and had no plan for what to do if threatened; (b) of those with a plan, a minority were well-prepared to implement their plan – especially if that plan was to leave; (c) very few householders self-evacuated before the fire on the basis of fire danger weather warnings. The findings and implications are discussed.
DOI http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ijdrr.2015.02.007   (check subscription with CDU E-Gateway service for CDU Staff and Students  check subscription with CDU E-Gateway in new window)
 
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