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Resilience planning for the future

Resilience planning can reduce the impact of future disasters and, support Australia to bounce back. Building resilience in communities, infrastructure and the natural environment requires an ongoing up-to-date and informed understanding of hazards, vulnerability and exposure.

[A map of Australia with a diverse group of people within.]

VOICE-OVER: Australia is a nation of brilliant, creative, determined and resilient people. But when natural disasters strike, they can cost billions of dollars with catastrophic losses.

[The people are replaced with icons for bushfire, pandemic, cyclone and flood. Icons of piling up money and warning symbols appear.]

VOICE-OVER: We are seeing more frequent and more severe natural disasters, and when they overlap this can increase the impacts we feel.

[Flowing amongst coloured waving and overlapping lines, icons appear for heatwave, drought, flood, bushfire and topsoil erosion.]

VOICE-OVER: Our resilience is the key that enables us to resist, absorb and recover from natural disasters, and restore our essential needs quickly.

[A man and a woman stand in front of a model scale city, holding back large falling dominoes with icons of natural disasters on them. A close-up view of hands rebuilding a model bridge and communication tower.]

VOICE-OVER: Impacts of natural disasters are felt differently at global, national and regional scales.

[A map marker icon appears first over a globe of the Earth, then a map of Australia, and a fold out map.]

VOICE-OVER: The evidence shows that natural disaster resilience planning helps communities, environments and infrastructure. Resilience planning improves mental health, job security, protects ecosystems and cultural sites, and secures our vital infrastructure and services.

[Icons for communities, infrastructure and environments surrounding text on screen: “Natural Disaster Resilience Planning”.]

VOICE-OVER: Australia’s investments in planning and preparation, response capacity, recovery and building back better, will help reduce the impact of future natural disasters. But this requires improved scenario planning.

[A split screen of two model wood bridges, both collapsing from heavy rain and flood water. Hands rebuilding the bridges – one the left, to it’s original form, on the right with a sturdier concrete and steel structure. Rain and flood water returns and collapses the wood bridge on the left, leaving the concrete and steel bridge on the right still standing.]

VOICE-OVER: We can improve our scenario planning by developing and adopting standard approaches and common methodologies across all jurisdictions and sectors.

[Checklists labelled “plans” are filed into folders labelled “heatwave”, “pandemic”, “drought” and “bushfire”. Text on screen: “Scenario Planning”.]

VOICE-OVER: This requires agreed emissions scenarios, climate projections, and a clearer picture of the likelihood and severity of hazards, to stress test scenarios.

[A yellow to red gauge, power plants and an orange warning sign.]

VOICE-OVER: Targeted research, science, technology, and community participation are key enablers to build resilient communities, environments and industries.

[An info graphic showing research inputting to resilience and leading to communities, environments and industries.]

VOICE-OVER: Together we can bounce back strong from natural disasters, but only if we grow our resilience together today.

[The diverse group of people return amongst coloured waving and overlapping lines.]

VOICE-OVER: For more information, visit csiro.au

[CSIRO logo and text on screen: “Australia's National Science Agency. For more information, visit: csiro.au”.]

This video describes how resilience planning can reduce the impact of future disasters in Australia

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Read our resilience blogs

Hazard reduction burning - a step towards bushfire resilience

Hazard reduction burning has an important role to play in fire management across Australia. Used alongside other fire management approaches, it can reduce the intensity, hazard, and impact of a bushfire, and the potential for loss of life and property.

CSIRO | Hazard Reduction Burning Transcripts

1st October 2021 DESCRIPTION: An animated video.

A family of three stand huddled together outside their home under a dark, smoky sky. A bushfire burns on a hill in the distance. In the centre of the screen is a fire risk chart, featuring three coloured segments: green, orange and red. An arrow starts in the orange section, then moves into the red.

SPEAKER: How can we reduce the growing severity and increased threat of bushfires?

DESCRIPTION: A diagram appears on screen consisting of three segments – each depicting a colourful, outdoor scene – which together form a triangle. Text at each apex: Terrain, Weather, and Fuel. The terrain and weather segments are greyed out, highlighting the fuel segment. This scene depicts fallen sticks scattered around the base of a tree. A house sits amongst tall grass in the background.

SPEAKER: Of the 3 factors that drive fire behaviour, fuel is the only one we can influence.

DESCRIPTION: As the two other segments disappear, a fire risk chart appears beside the highlighted scene. The arrow on the chart goes from red to green as the dead wood and tall grass all disappear.

SPEAKER: By reducing the availability of the fuel that feeds a bushfire we can reduce its intensity, hazard, and impact.

DESCRIPTION: Text on screen: Hazard Reduction Burning. A series of icons appear in a spinning circle around the text. They depict: a warning sign, a red cross, a green tick, and a question mark.

SPEAKER: That’s where hazard reduction burning can help, but its success is influenced by many factors.

DESCRIPTION: In the bush, two firefighters light small, controlled fires amongst tall dead grass and dried sticks.

SPEAKER: Hazard reduction is deliberate, controlled burning, designed to reduce fuel availability.

DESCRIPTION: A map of Australia. Earth-coloured bands cover the country. Four seasonal charts are arranged over four regions on the map. In both NSW and south Queensland, and Western Australia, summer and spring are marked red, while autumn and winter are marked green. In south-east Australian, winter and spring are marked green while summer and autumn are marked red. In northern Australia, summer and autumn are marked green, while winter and spring are marked red. Green ticks appear above all the seasons marked green.

SPEAKER: To avoid increasing the risk of uncontrolled fire, it can only be done under certain conditions, before or after bushfire season depending on location and conditions.

DESCRIPTION: Four labelled tableaus appear on screen, each depicting a weather condition. A gauge at the bottom of each section shows the prescribed range. From left to right, the depicted conditions are wind speed, temperature, humidity, and rainfall.

SPEAKER: Wind speed, temperature, humidity, and rainfall need to be within certain parameters.

DESCRIPTION: A farmer stands amongst tall grass in a field. A cow grazes beside him, as bees buzz around a nearby apiary. Thick, dark smoke drifts through the sky in the distance as more smoke eventually covers the farm. A gauge on screen indicates diminishing air quality. The farmer frowns as the cow looks up.

SPEAKER: The effects of burning, such as smoke, must not affect local communities, industries, and ecosystems.

DESCRIPTION: Three firefighters stand in a V-formation in front of a fire truck, parked on a road surrounded by bushes. A map is superimposed over the background. Hazard area indicators appear on the map.

SPEAKER: It needs well equipped and experienced professionals with clear local fuel reduction objectives in mind.

DESCRIPTION: The hazard area indicators disappear as the map takes full screen. Fire risk charts appear on the map, all indicating different levels of risk.

SPEAKER: Care must be taken for each local ecosystem’s tolerance for burning.

DESCRIPTION: A fire truck speeds toward a raging fire. On the map, an arrow, indicating the truck, inches toward another marker, indicating the fire.

SPEAKER: Effective hazard reduction burning increases the ability of firefighters to manage bushfires when they do happen.

DESCRIPTION: Three scenes appear on screen. In the first, a fire rapidly spreads along a hill line, viewed from a farm. Text: slower spread. In the second, a fire rages in a heavily wooded forest area, under a dark orange sky.

Text: reduced intensity. In the third, shooting embers from a distant fire rain over trees, grass, and a building, which all catch alight. Text: less fire spotting.

SPEAKER: It slows the spread of new fires, reduces their intensity and the potential for fire spotting.

DESCRIPTION: Two firefighters douse a flame in the bush. A calendar appears, with numerous dates each marked with a tick. A clock, with a portion highlighted in blue, appears beside the calendar. A helicopter dumps water over the fire.

SPEAKER: This increases the window of opportunity and range of conditions in which firefighters can reach and safely suppress new fires before they become uncontrollable.

DESCRIPTION: Fire indicators appear on a map of Australia.

SPEAKER: Bushfires are a natural part of the Australian environment.

DESCRIPTION: Two people in white lab coats appear, as icons depicting data connected to various regions of the map. Two firefighters appear on the other side of the map.

SPEAKER: Better understanding their complex science and impacts, and the effects of hazard reduction burning, including its strengths and its limitations, can significantly reduce the risk of their potentially devastating impacts.

DESCRIPTION: A family of three appears in the centre of the screen. The scene fades away. The CSIRO and AFAC logos appear on a white background, above the text: Learn more at csiro.au.

SPEAKER: Learn more at csiro.au

Hazard reduction burning explained

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