Multi-hazard Natural Disaster Risk Management Studies

Multi-hazard Natural Disaster Risk Management StudiesĀ for, Beaudesert Shire, Queensland; Balonne Shire, Queensland; Logan City, Queensland; Caboolture Shire, Queensland; Caloundra City, Queensland; Newcastle and Lake Macquarie Cities, NSW; the Lefevre Peninsular portion of Port Adelaide – Enfield Council, SA; Townsville City, Queensland.

The studies produced a series of strategies for implementation by the local authority to mitigate the risk and reduce the impact of natural disasters within the authority area, including flood, bushfire, landslide, storm and severe wind, earthquake and heatwave.

Building in the exclusion zone

The studies catalogued and mapped private and public assets, facilities and infrastructure at risk and undertook an assessment of the historical hazard impacts within the Shire using national databases such as those maintained by the Bureau of Meteorology and Geoscience Australia (previously known as AGSO). Modelling the likely consequences of hazard impacts across a range of magnitude probabilities was also undertaken, including the extent of inundation and its impact on the community to events with 50 year and 100 year average recurrence intervals (ARI), as well as the probable maximum level.

Community exposure to the modelled events was measured in terms of the expected damage to domestic structures (houses and flats); the exposure of critical facilities (e.g. fuel depots, power substations, water treatment plants, health centres, etc); sensitive facilities (e.g. schools, pre-schools, nursing homes, shopping centres, etc); and major infrastructure elements (e.g. roads, bridges, railways, power-lines, etc). The analysis of community vulnerability included estimates of damage to domestic structures and the road network, estimates of potential casualties, numbers of people likely to require evacuation and/or temporary shelter and sustenance, the likely time required to restore essential services and identified potential sources of secondar hazard exposure, such as the stores of hazardous materials in flood or fire-prone areas. The studies addressed the latest requirements of the Building Code of Australia and included the production of a risk register in map, tabular and narrative form, along the lines laid out in Zamecka and Buchanan (1999).

ERSA personnel have also contributed to a guideline produced for the Australian Local Government Association on land use planning and risk mitigation (in collaboration with SMEC) and the peer review of the publication Natural hazards in Australia: identifying risk analysis requirements published by Geoscience Australia in 2007.

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