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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 20092014

Citation

McLennan, J and Paton, D and Wright, L, 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 pp. 319-327. ISSN 2212-4209 (2015) [Refereed Article]

Copyright Statement

Copyright 2015 Elsevier Ltd.

DOI: doi:10.1016/j.ijdrr.2015.02.007

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.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:wildfire, community safety, risk perception, mitigation, decision making
Research Division:Psychology and Cognitive Sciences
Research Group:Psychology
Research Field:Social and Community Psychology
Objective Division:Expanding Knowledge
Objective Group:Expanding Knowledge
Objective Field:Expanding Knowledge through Studies of Human Society
Author:Paton, D (Professor Douglas Paton)
ID Code:106635
Year Published:2015
Web of Science® Times Cited:9
Deposited By:Medicine (Discipline)
Deposited On:2016-02-17
Last Modified:2016-09-01
Downloads:0

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