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Type: Journal article
Title: Integrating disaster preparedness and resilience: a complex approach using System of Systems
Author: Cavallo, A.
Citation: The Australian Journal of Emergency Management, 2014; 29(3):46-51
Publisher: Emergency Management Australia
Issue Date: 2014
ISSN: 1324-1540
Department: Faculty of the Professions
Organisation: Entrepreneurship, Commercialisation & Innovation Centre (ECIC)
Statement of
Antonella Cavallo
Abstract: The number of natural and human-made disasters has increased in recent times as a result of many factors, including climate change (IPCC 2014, Climate Council of Australia 2014) and increased interconnectivity of potential risk factors (Helbing 2013). The nature of disaster events has made institutional organisations around the world aware that new disaster prevention strategies are required. In this context, international and national standards have been changed to focus more on community resilience as well as disaster management. In Australia, the National Strategy for Disaster Resilience (COAG 2011) has embraced this change and pushed for ‘shared responsibilities’ between government, emergency services, communities and individuals. The Strategy does not provide a definition of resilience; hence, it gives space to a conceptual exploration of an approach to support communities in building their own resilience. This article contributes to the conceptual conversation around community resilience in Australia by discussing new ways of thinking. Particularly, it focuses on the balance between specified and general resilience, that is, the ability of a community to prepare for known and unknown risks. This distinction is taken further to discuss a complementary conceptual approach to current command-control strategies in support of general community resilience building based on systems thinking. The integration of ad hoc traditional approaches and systemic methods is considered as the key to increased community resilience. It should be noted that this article concentrates on the ‘front-end of disaster management’ emphasising planning and preparation and not on responding to disaster events. Current disaster preparedness strategies could effectively be complemented by incorporating this new approach to general resilience to build community resilience before disasters happen.
Keywords: Complex systems
disaster risk reduction
general resilience
Rights: Copyright status unknown
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Entrepreneurship, Commercialisation, and Innovation Centre publications

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