Disasters such as flood, fire, cyclone, earthquake and tsunami expose human, infrastructure and institutional vulnerabilities, and subject communities to considerable impact and loss. Such events make​​ headlines when they cause injury, de​​​ath and widespread damage. However, their full impacts often remain poorly quantified, but will be felt through long-term consequences for individuals, communities, infrastructure, the landscape and the economy.


​Impact Assessment 

Impact assessments in some form have been carried out in Western Australia for many years. In striving for continuous improvement, agencies have regularly reviewed incidents. A​s with all things in the emergency management field, the reviews are scalable, depending upon the size of the incident. For a minor issue, a debriefing is usually sufficient; however, as the severity of the incident increases, so too does the level of scrutiny placed upon it.  

The purpose of an impact assessment is to learn about what has been affected by an event and understand both the short and long-term consequences of the event. Armed with this information, we can take steps to reduce the negative impacts and improve the community's future resilience to these events.​


Post-incident Analysis​ 

The primary tool used by most Emergency Management Agencies after an incident in Western Australia is the post-incident analysis (PIA). In essence, this is an after-action critique that is conducted regardless of the success or failures encount​​ered during the emergency. This analysis addresses the ‘what, where, when, why, how and who’ of the incident. Incidents requiring a PIA are generally more significant and tend to involve multiple agencies, injuries, loss of life or property or a more complex response. They entail formal review and documentation and should involve the dissemination and implementation of lessons learnt. 



The Bushfire and Natural Hazards Cooperative Researc​​h Centre (Bushfire and Natural Hazards CRC) was launched in December 2013. It was established to build on the work of the previous Bushfir​e CRC and expand research into other natural hazards. It draws together all of Australia and New Zealand’s fire and emergency service authorities with the leading experts across a range of scientific fields to explore the causes, consequences and mitigation of natural disasters (Bushfire and Natural Hazards CRC About Us 2015).

The CRC coordinates research across a range of research ‘clusters’ that examine various elements of the EM environment. These include economics and strategic decisions; governance and institutional knowledge; scenarios and loss analysis; communications and warnings; monitoring and prediction; modelling; and volunteering. Another focus area of research is on measuring impact against a range of the clusters. 

Researchers and students in educational institutions around Australia and New Zealand are conducting the CRC research projects. In addition, government agencies like Geoscience Australia, the Bureau Of Meteorology and CSIRO are actively pursuing research into natural hazards. 

As with the State Risk Project​, this research is intended to build an evidence base that will allow effective decisions to be made.