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What is Bushfire Resilience?

a man with his head down is wearing a hat that says 'love your neighbour' on it
© CIFAL Newcastle, University of Newcastle, Australia

So, what is Bushfire Resilience?

The United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction defines resilience as the ability of community or society exposed to hazards to resist, absorb, adapt, transform and recover from the effects of hazard in a timely and efficient manner (UNDRR, 2017). Bushfire resilience within the context of this course is therefore the ability of a community exposed to bushfires to resist, absorb, adapt, transform and recover from the effects of bushfires in a timely and efficient manner.

Resilience can be built in many forms, including;

  • Education on bushfires
  • Improving communication methods
  • Equipping households with protective equipment
  • Mental health services

Essentials for Bushfire Resilience

Physical measures of resilience like rebuilding homes with fire resistant materials can significantly reduce the impact of disasters. Community based measures can have vital importance too. Communities need to consider a wide range of approaches to increase the level of resilience to bushfires especially through measures such as conducting community education sessions/town hall meetings on bushfires. Preparing household emergency and evacuation kits can assist individuals and families take proactive measures to deal with bushfires.

A bushfire resilient community can be characterised by the following:

  • Conducts regular assessments and anticipates the likelihood of bushfire
  • Absorbs, responds and recovers from bushfire hazards
  • Allocates resources to reduce risk in bush-fire prone areas
  • improvises and innovates in response to disasters
© CIFAL Newcastle, University of Newcastle, Australia
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Bushfires: Response, Relief and Resilience

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