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Risky Bites: Disaster Inquiry Keywords

I’ve been working on analysing recommendations from the list of disaster inquiries I’ve put together. At the moment I’ve come up with a list of keywords.

Here are the top 10 (note the analyser does it on a word root basis, so all plurals and forms are included):

  1. manage/management/manager
  2. fire
  3. emergency
  4. service
  5. government
  6. plan/planning
  7. develop/developing/development
  8. recommend/recommendation
  9. state
  10. ensure

Update on the Climate Change and Emergency Preparedness Senate Inquiry

Well it’s been two months since I posted my last update and the Climate Change and Emergency Preparedness Inquiry is in full swing. As I suspected the reporting date has been extended to the 26th of June (and even that date is still rather ambitious). There are now 338 submissions (most of the new ones being from individuals) and hearings have been held in Melbourne, Brisbane and Perth (the transcripts are available online). Hearings in Sydney and Canberra are scheduled for the next couple of days. I have only skimmed through the content of the hearings and there’s some interesting reading, but I’ll leave it to the inquiry to sum them up in its report.

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Update on the Climate Change and Emergency Preparedness Senate Inquiry

Over 150 submissions have been received for the Recent trends in and preparedness for extreme weather events and they’re still coming. No doubt the recent bushfires and floods have intensified interest in the inquiry. I have doubts that the inquiry will be able to report by its current deadline of 20 March. Likewise I suspect that more hearings might be added to the three that have been currently announced.

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Climate Change, Extreme Weather and Emergency Preparedness Senate Inquiry: Part 6

In this final instalment of my series on the Recent trends in and preparedness for extreme weather events Inquiry I’ll address the remaining terms of reference in a roundabout way. See Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4 and Part 5 here. The remaining terms deal with Australia’s overall response to climate change adaptation and national coordination of risk management. I want to address the impact of climate change on severe weather events being far from the only climate impact relevant to emergency management; climate change adaptation being far from the only emerging challenge in emergency management; and the interconnectedness of many current and emerging threats for Australia and the world.

(f) progress in developing effective national coordination of climate change response and risk management, including legislative and regulatory reform, standards and codes, taxation arrangements and economic instruments;

(g) any gaps in Australia’s Climate Change Adaptation Framework and the steps required for effective national coordination of climate change response and risk management; and

(h) any related matter.

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Climate Change, Extreme Weather and Emergency Preparedness Senate Inquiry: Part 5

Further submissions have come in in the past week or so and I move onto the fifth instalment in my series on the extreme weather trends and emergency preparedness senate inquiry. See part 1, part 2, part 3 and part 4. This term of reference relates to federalism and emergency management:

(e) the current roles and effectiveness of the division of responsibilities between different levels of government (federal, state and local) to manage extreme weather events;

The division of emergency management responsibilities is a product of Australia’s history of federalism. I’m going to try and restrict this discussion to just responsibilities and ignore the role money has to play in federalism and emergency management through vertical fiscal imbalance and horizontal fiscal inequity.

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Climate Change, Extreme Weather and Emergency Preparedness Senate Inquiry: Part 4

As the first submissions come in and dates for public hearings are set I continue my series on the extreme weather and emergency preparedness senate inquiry. See Part 1, Part 2 and Part 3. In this post I move onto the fourth term of reference:

(d) an assessment of the preparedness and the adequacy of resources in the emergency services sector to prevent and respond to extreme weather events;

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Update on the Climate Change and Emergency Preparedness Inquiry

Just a brief update on the Recent trends in and preparedness for extreme weather events inquiry.

The first submission from one of the lead authors on IPCC chapters on extreme weather and climate change, Professor Neville Nicholls, has been published.

Dates for public hearings have also been announced: the 20th 21st and 22nd of February 2013.

I’m working on the 4th instalment of my series, in the meantime check out post one, two and three.

Contemporary Disaster Inquiries in Australia

In my series on the Climate Change Emergency Preparedness Inquiry I’ve discussed past disaster inquiries. This post attempts to index all disaster related inquiries in Australia since 2000. See my newer post here for a list of inquiries prior to 2000.

For the purposes of this list I’ll define an inquiry as any investigation conducted or commissioned by an arm of state or federal government (ie. legislative, executive or judicial) into a specific disaster or a general disaster related topic. I won’t however list reports on disaster related bills or strategies (for example the National Disaster Resilience Strategy), reports that are not publicly available or those commissioned by NGOs, associations and the private sector. I’m including any inquiry that reported after 01/01/2000.

I find that there have been more than 200 disaster related inquiries since 2000. If you’re aware of anything I’ve missed please let me know in the comments.

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Climate Change, Extreme Weather and Emergency Preparedness Senate Inquiry: Part 3

In the previous two posts I have examined current trends and future projections of climate change impacts on natural hazards, the estimated costs of extreme weather and potential insurance impacts. In this instalment I move onto the preparedness terms of reference:

(c) an assessment of the preparedness of key sectors for extreme weather events, including major infrastructure (electricity, water, transport, telecommunications), health, construction and property, and agriculture and forestry;

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Climate Change, Extreme Weather and Emergency Preparedness Senate Inquiry: Part 2

As a new report shows greenhouse gas emissions are putting the globe on a track for 4-6ÂșC of warming by the end of the century I’ll continue my series on the Senate Recent trends in and preparedness for extreme weather events Inquiry. In the last instalment I looked at current and historical trends in extreme weather and attribution of them to climate change. In this post I look forward to the next ToR:

(b) based on global warming scenarios outlined by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation of 1 to 5 degrees by 2070:

(i) projections on the frequency of extreme weather events, including but not limited to drought, bushfires, heatwaves, floods and storm surges,

(ii) the costs of extreme weather events and impacts on natural ecosystems, social and economic infrastructure and human health, and

(iii) the availability and affordability of private insurance, impacts on availability and affordability under different global warming scenarios, and regional social and economic impacts; (more…)