WIT Press

Disaster Management And Generational Complacency: Five Crucial Lessons


Free (open access)





Page Range

69 - 78




3,580 kb

Paper DOI



WIT Press


E. G. Bianchi


The World has suffered major disasters in the last 24 months. What have we learnt from natural disasters in the past, and what can we do differently in the management of critical disasters to minimise their impact on life, property and the environment? From a realistic and practical perspective, this paper will challenge conference attendees to consider the relationship between historical events and generational complacency, a learning from history, in measures to manage disasters, from devastating floods (which regularly flood the major Australian state of Queensland and city of Brisbane), to bushfires in 2009 which killed almost 200 hundred people. Australia has a unique history of natural disasters, ranging from extremes in high temperature, to floods and cyclones. The impacts of these are highly destructive, and Australia, like some countries, has partly learnt from the past, and has developed extensive capability and strategic approaches for pre-empting and managing such events, lessons which have world wide application and benefit. Techniques for pre-planning as well as dealing with the aftermath of a disaster are critical in ensuring that the confidence of the public is restored and/or maintained to ensure the effective \“normalisation” of communities post the disaster. A simple risk management philosophy will be proposed to define the 5 lessons to manage such disasters, which all too often are a victim of generational complacency resulting in ineffective emergency management. The paper will provide a summary of mistakes from the past, Australia’s current initiatives and techniques in addressing emergency needs, including prevention, communication, response and recovery. Conference delegates will


risk, fire, disaster, flood, resilience, prevention, Australia, system, generation, complacency