Risk Frontiers provide insights at the Australian and New Zealand Disaster and Emergency Management Conference.

Risk Frontiers staff Andrew Gissing, Lucinda Coates and Tetsuya Okada will this week provide presentations on recent Risk Frontiers’ research at the Australian and New Zealand Disaster and Emergency Management Conference on the Gold Coast. Presentations will be delivered on disaster recovery following the 2011 Queensland Floods and Japanese Tsunami; the influence of road characteristics on flood fatalities; and natural hazard fatalities.

Risk Frontiers showcase latest research at the 2017 National Floodplain Management Australia Conference.

Risk Frontiers researchers Andrew Gissing and Dr Katharine Haynes will this week present on latest research to inform floodplain risk management policy at the Australian national flood conference in Newcastle. Topics being presented include human behaviour during flood events; undertaking social research post disasters; community involvement in emergency planning; the influence of road characteristics on flood fatalities; and the the influence of flood levees on community risk perception. Contact us to find out more about any of these topics.

Experiences of sheltering during the Black Saturday bushfires: Implications for policy and research

This article by Joshua Whittaker, Raphaele Blanchi, Katharine Haynes, Justin Leonard and Kimberley Opie was published in the International Journal of Disaster Risk Reduction, Volume 23, August 2017, Pages 119-127.

More than half of those who died in the 2009 Black Saturday bushfires in Victoria, Australia, were sheltering inside a house at the time of their death. This marks a shift in bushfire fatality trends, which previously saw most fatalities occurring outside while residents attempted to protect assets or evacuate. This paper presents findings from research that examined people’s experiences of sheltering in and exiting houses, sheds, personal shelters and other structures on Black Saturday. Read more.


Can Graph Theory Techniques Help With Emergency Response

Understanding the impact of lifeline network failure during natural hazard events is key for disaster planning and mitigation. Lifeline networks – such as transportation, communication, power, water and sewage – are the critical infrastructure and essential services heavily relied upon for day-to-day living, the movement of goods, and, in a disaster, response and recovery. Lifelines comprise a large number of interconnected components, often spanning extensive geographic areas. There are also interdependencies between lifelines that can cause network failure to propagate in unforeseen ways. In September 2016, Southern Australian was hit by a severe storm that knocked over 22 transmission poles and damaged a number of generation facilities. This resulted in a statewide power outage, leaving 1.67 million South Australian residents without electricity for nearly 12 hours, disrupting businesses and affecting other lifelines operation such as communications and traffic signals. Here we explore graph theory as a means of studying lifeline disruption using the Tokyo Subway network and a hypothetical hazard scenario.

This article by Emma Singh was published in Asia Pacific Fire April 10, 2017.  Click here to read more.

Risk Frontiers’ Suite of CAT Models to Be Available on AIR Worldwide’s Touchstone Platform

Risk Frontiers’ suite of Probabilistic Catastrophe Loss Models for Australia and New Zealand will be available on AIR Worldwide’s Touchstone® 5.0 platform for licensing from Risk Frontiers in June 2017. The suite of models comprises the following:

  • Tropical Cyclone (Australia) – CyclAUS 3.1
  • Earthquake (Australia and New Zealand, post Christchurch) – QuakeAUS 5.1, QuakeNZ 2.0
  • Bushfire (Australia) – FireAUS 2.1
  • Hail (Australia) – HailAUS 6.2
  • Flood (Australia) – FloodAUS 3.1

During a demo at AIR’s Envision Conference in Las Vegas in April, Risk Frontiers models worked seamlessly on a preview release of the Touchstone 5.0 environment.

Starting in June, clients who license both Touchstone 5.0 and Risk Frontiers for Touchstone will be able to run Risk Frontiers’ models on exposures stored in Touchstone directly from the Touchstone user interface.

Risk Frontiers maintains and continues to develop its own Multi-Peril platform, but this new delivery method provides an easy access option for Touchstone users.

Please contact Risk Frontiers or AIR for further information about licensing Risk Frontiers’ models on Touchstone.


  • Dr Ryan Crompton (ryan.crompton@mq.edu.au)
  • Dr Foster Langbein (foster.langbein@mq.edu.au)
  • Carol Robertson (carol.robertson@mq.edu.au).  Telephone:  (02) 9850 9683
  • Dr Kunal Joarder  (kjoarder@air-worldwide.com).  Telephone:  +1-617-267-6645

Risk Frontiers contributes to World Health Organisation guideline on drowning prevention.

Risk Frontiers, Andrew Gissing has contributed his knowledge about flood risk management in the development of a World Health Organisation (WHO) guideline published early this morning in New York on the prevention of drowning. Drowning takes an estimated 360,000 lives globally each year and is a hidden public health crisis. The WHO guideline aims to help public officials globally by providing them a framework of interventions to consider and implement. The full guideline can be found at http://www.who.int/violence_injury_prevention/drowning/drowning_prevention_guide/en/

Involving communities to enhance community engagement and planning

Risk Frontiers recently partnered with the NSW State Emergency Service (NSW SES) and Molino Stewart Pty Ltd to pilot approaches to improve community involvement in emergency planning. Pilots were conducted across three communities, with their design being informed by a comprehensive review of existing research. The outcome of the project was a list of key principles that NSW SES now utilise to inform their engagement with communities. A full overview of the project and its results has been published in the recent edition of the Australian Journal of Emergency Management, which can be found here https://ajem.infoservices.com.au/items/AJEM-32-02-15.

Disaster risk reduction education in Indonesia: challenges and recommendations for scaling up

This article by Avianto Amri, Deanne K. Bird, Kevin Ronan, Katharine Haynes and Briony Towers published in Natural Hazards and Earth System Sciences investigates the implementation of disaster risk reduction education for children in Indonesia. In the last decade, education programmes related to this subject have been promoted as capable of reducing disaster losses and increasing resilience, based on several studies that have identified positive outcomes. Therefore, it is critical to evaluate and address any potential challenges that might impede their success. The article uses a case study in Jakarta, a rapidly growing megacity that is highly prone to disasters and natural hazards, especially floods and fires, to explore the scaling up and sustainability of disaster risk reduction in Indonesian schools. Based on previous studies, a new approach was developed for evaluating the implementation of education programmes related to these subjects. This study captured the perspectives of children, school personnel, and non-governmental organisations on the challenges of scaling up the implementation of disaster risk reduction education in schools. The study revealed seven key issues and suggests several policy recommendations to move forward. These key issues may also be apparent in many other developing and developed countries, and the suggested recommendations may well be applicable beyond Indonesia.

click here to view complete article.

Communication Demands of Volcanic Ashfall Events

Carol Stewart, Thomas M. Wilson, Victoria Sword-Daniels, Kristi L. WallaceChristina R. Magill Affiliated with Risk Frontiers, Macquarie University, Claire J. Horwell, Graham S. Leonard, Peter J. Baxter.

Volcanic ash is generated in explosive volcanic eruptions, dispersed by prevailing winds and may be deposited onto communities hundreds or even thousands of kilometres away. The wide geographic reach of ashfalls makes them the volcanic hazard most likely to affect the greatest numbers of people.

Read more:  https://link.springer.com/chapter/10.1007/11157_2016_19