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This content is taken from the The University of Newcastle Australia & UNITAR's online course, Bushfires: Response, Relief and Resilience. Join the course to learn more.
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Physical Coping Strategies

When you think of coping strategies, you may assume we’re going to look at therapy, medications or other mental health coping strategies. In the context of bushfires we look instead at other actions that can be taken by individuals, communities and societies to make sure that if a bushfire were to occur, the impact would be lower and the recovery would be faster.

Protecting private and community property is critical to support the survival of people and their assets, and protecting key elements of community infrastructure (e.g. schools, halls, community buildings, communications etc.) is essential for community wellbeing and recovery.

Effective coping strategies involve changing attitudes and utilising measures to adapt in areas that are at risk of bushfires. It also involves the different ways through which individuals and communities can manage the risks of bushfires.

These include:

  • Communication systems;
  • Water management for fire resilient landscapes;
  • Adopting bushfire resilient housing and garden designs;
  • Vegetation and plant selection;
  • Fuel management;
  • Building or creating barriers.

This video from Homesteading Down Under provides a real life example of property owners putting in place barriers, landscape and fuel management.

This is an additional video, hosted on YouTube.

Let’s discuss

Can you think of something that you could do in your life that would reduce the impact of a disaster if one did happen? Examples might include setting aside emergency funds in a bank account, purchasing a first aid kit etc.

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This article is from the free online course:

Bushfires: Response, Relief and Resilience

The University of Newcastle Australia