Sie sind auf Seite 1von 50

Assessment of

Personal & Community

Resilience & Vulnerability

EMA Project 15/2000

Philip Buckle, Graham Marsh and Sydney Smale

May 2001

INTRODUCTION ____________________________________________________5
Definitions _______________________________________________________5
General considerations _____________________________________________6
METHOD __________________________________________________________14
LIST OF INTERVIEWEES AND AGENCIES________________________________16
OTHER RELEVANT RESEARCH ACTIVITY _______________________________18
FINDINGS AND COMMENTARY ______________________________________21
Themes __________________________________________________________22
The Nature of Community _________________________________________22
Meaning of Disaster: perceptions of hazard, risk and vulnerability ____________23
Capacity of Emergency Service Organisations ___________________________24
Communications _________________________________________________25
Remoteness _____________________________________________________25
Demographic Changes_____________________________________________26
Economic Changes________________________________________________26
Democracy and local representation __________________________________27
Local knowledge _________________________________________________27
Local support ____________________________________________________28
Leadership ______________________________________________________28
Role of Government ______________________________________________28
Individual attributes _______________________________________________29
Thematic Commentary ______________________________________________29
Managing the broad and the local together _____________________________30
City and Country _________________________________________________30
Identifying the unidentified __________________________________________31
Volunteerism ____________________________________________________31
Dominant values, norms and standards ________________________________31
Access Factors ___________________________________________________32
Thresholds ______________________________________________________33
Sense of Place/Sense of Dispossession _________________________________33
Levels of Vulnerability and Resilience __________________________________34
Differential Vulnerability and Resilience ________________________________34
Boundary Issues __________________________________________________36
Compassion, Dignity and Integrity ____________________________________36
Demographic Factors______________________________________________37
Economic factors _________________________________________________38
Communities ____________________________________________________38
Agencies & Enterprises_____________________________________________39
Infrastructure ____________________________________________________39
Systems ________________________________________________________40
Assessing Resilience & Vulnerability: Buckle, Marsh & Smale May 2001
RECOMMENDATIONS AND ISSUES TO PURSUE _________________________41

APPENDIX A: REFERENCES ___________________________________________44

References ______________________________________________________44
Internet References _______________________________________________47

Assessing Resilience & Vulnerability: Buckle, Marsh & Smale May 2001

The need for this study became apparent following a series of events in Victoria,
Australia, where it became progressively clearer that many of the agencies responsible
for disaster management lacked a clear understanding of the communities that had been

The most significant of these events were the January 1997 wildfires in the Shire of
Yarra Ranges, set in the Dandenong Ranges on the outskirts of Melbourne, the June
1998 floods in the Shire of East Gippsland, 300 kilometres to the east of Melbourne and
the September Gas Shortage which affected the greater part of Victoria.

Without a clear understanding of the affected communities and the needs generated by
the events, support to the community was more difficult to manage.

As these events occurred, a range of effective and innovative support measures were
developed through collaboration between Government, agencies and the community.

Had there been a better understanding of community vulnerability and resilience and a
better appreciation of impacts and needs, and of the social, economic and
environmental conditions in which these events happened, then it is likely that support
to the community would have been delivered faster, provided more efficiently and
targeted more precisely.

It became clear as a result of reviewing these events that disaster managers,

governments, agencies and the community need a clearer idea of which people are, or
may be, in need (what vulnerabilities exist), what capacity people have to manage their
own support (what resilience they possess) and how needs and services can be

This research program developed as a step to identify ways in which these issues could
be addressed successfully, efficiently and promptly.

The aims of this project were to:

1. develop a set of guidelines on the ideas and processes of resilience and

vulnerability for application in community risk assessment;
2. review recent events and reports related to this field of research;
3. discover and evaluate the views of service providers; federal, state and local
government agencies, and key community leaders on resilience and
4. test the guidelines in three local government areas that may or may not have
experienced local events but at least all had experienced low-level disruption.
These areas covered an inner Melbourne city, plus one shire on the city’s

Assessing Resilience & Vulnerability: Buckle, Marsh & Smale May 2001
fringe and one in rural Victoria. A fourth area was included and that was a
Shire that had had no major disaster since the Ash Wednesday fires. This
enabled us to test for the level of preparedness and current understanding in
such a region and compare this with those areas that had suffered more
5. present a final set of guidelines and a complementary brochure for use within
the emergency management context.

The body of the report that follows addresses these aims.

This report has been compiled by Philip Buckle, Graham Marsh and Sydney Smale as
part of a research program sponsored by Emergency Management Australia. The
authors have been diligent in making efforts to represent accurately and faithfully the
diverse views and comments that were provided to us. The views expressed in this
report are derived from the interviews and discussions that we held and from the
review of relevant literature and reports. As such recommendations and commentary
represent the authors’ understanding of the issues, our records of interviews and
discussions and our interpretation of the available information. This report, therefore,
does not necessarily represent the views or positions of our agencies, Emergency
Management Australia or of all the views and opinions of all the people with whom we

This report and its recommendations are offered not as a conclusion but as a starting
point for further discussion and consideration of resilience and vulnerability.

This report is complementary to the Guidelines on Resilience and Vulnerability and the
two documents should be read in conjunction for optimum benefit.

Assessing Resilience & Vulnerability: Buckle, Marsh & Smale May 2001

There are many definitions of vulnerability and resilience, and a number of these can be
found in the references given in this report. We found that many of these definitions
required an eye for fine detail to distinguish them from each other. In operational and
management contexts these subtleties are at best unnecessary, at worst confusing.

We have taken “vulnerability”, to refer to the susceptibility of a person or group or

system to loss. Resilience refers to the capacity of a person, group or system to
withstand loss or to recover from loss.

One of our interviewees used the metaphor of a balloon. It is vulnerable to being

pricked and exploding. But it is resilient in that it can shape itself around the intruding
point. When the point is removed then the balloon resumes it’s original shape.
The following definitions are from Emergency Management Australia

Resiliency A measure of how quickly a system recovers from failures.

Vulnerability The degree of susceptibility and resilience of the community and
environment to hazards. * * The degree of loss to a given element at risk or set
of such elements resulting from the occurrence of a phenomenon of a given
magnitude and expressed on a scale of 0 (no damage) to 1 (total loss).
Vulnerability Analysis See hazard analysis.
Vulnerability Assessment See hazard analysis.
Vulnerable Groups Categories of displaced persons with special needs, variously
defined to include: unaccompanied minors, the elderly, the mentally and
physically disabled, victims of physical abuse or violence and pregnant, lactating
or single women.

The United Nations Disaster Relief Organisation provided this definition:

Vulnerability means the degree of loss to a given element at risk or set of such
elements resulting from the occurrence of a natural phenomenon of a given

The Australian Geological Survey Organisation provided de facto definitions by listing

five categories of potential loss:

• Setting
• Shelter
• Sustenance
• Security
• Society

This detailed listing is helpful in a very practical way.

Assessing Resilience & Vulnerability: Buckle, Marsh & Smale May 2001
But we find that each definition has some value and some limitations. We do not
propose our own definition. Simply noting that people use vulnerability in different
ways, and local people and staff of agencies and government are not, in our experience,
too concerned with precise definitions. So, our usage is not especially rigorous, but it
does reflect the complexity and practicalities of everyday life.

It is important to note that most people referred initially and almost by default to
vulnerability and not to resilience.

However, it is critical that resilience be given priority. Achieving resilience is positive.

Reducing vulnerability is reactive.

Throughout this report we would like to emphasise that vulnerability and resilience
cannot be divorced from each other. They are linked in a double helix. While they are
not opposites nor ends of a continuum, there are direct and strong linkages between

General considerations
We think it is important for engagement of the community in disaster management that
vulnerability and resilience be explained in ways that allow the development of methods
and tools to analyse individual and community circumstances and that also encourage
the development of strategies to reduce vulnerability and generate resilience.

For this reason we have devoted relatively little space to the description of structural
determinants (or contextual issues) of vulnerability and resilience. In part this is because
much literature, analysis and critical commentary already exists on broad issues such as
the contribution of poverty, gender, ethnicity and social exclusion to personal, group
and community vulnerability and resilience.

Even broader matters such as power structures within society, normative values,
political structures and economic trends have also not been given excessive attention.

This is not because we think that these matters are unimportant. On the contrary, it
seems to us that these broad conditions and trends are critical in explaining why some
people, some groups and some areas are at greater risk, and may be more vulnerable
and less resilient than others.

A proper understanding of the conditions of peoples’ lives requires knowledge of the

embedded and often unrecognised drivers of contemporary social, economic, political
and environmental existence.

We acknowledge that dealing with these matters directly does not fall within the remit
of emergency management. Although, emergency management agencies can contribute
to broader debate about these broad scale social issues.

Assessing Resilience & Vulnerability: Buckle, Marsh & Smale May 2001
Nor have we given much space to private sector activity or responsibilities. In part this is
because much of what we learnt applies to both public and private sectors. In part also
because the private sector was mentioned less often than the public sector by our
respondents and interviewees. But we think that it is because disaster management is
still seen as a government or not for profit agency activity. The role, whatever that
might be and we make no presumptions about that, of the private sector needs to be
more clearly set out.

As generators of risk, as providers of insurance, as employers, as producers and sources

of ideas, resources and skills the private sector may have a specific set of attributes it can
bring to vulnerability reduction and resilience development.

We have also taken as a starting point the assumption that in a democratic,

technologically advanced country there is a broad agreement about values and
normative behaviour whilst recognising that this does not exclude the possibility of
conflict occurring between groups and individuals over policy and practice. Given this
consensus we note that in part vulnerability is a value judgement. Being based upon
values (the exposure to a hazard, that is probability of impact, is more or less a
statement of fact) the significance of that hazard and how it should be mitigated are
value judgements because they involves choices about how limited resources are
distributed and who should benefit from their use. These choices are based on setting
priorities and managing competition for finite resources. The problems arise when the
values held by one set of actors conflicts with those of others.

In addition the significance of a particular loss is also a value judgement. And the value
we place on an item will determine what resources we devote to protecting it and, if it
is damaged, what resources we provide for restoration.

These sorts of decisions and choices are routinely made and are made every day.
Because they are so frequent and so common and because they occur within this broad
agreement about value and significance, we tend not to see them for what they are.
They are covert and implied within the more pragmatic aspects of choosing and

But it is important to understand that long term or structural social and economic
trends, as well as social norms and values provide a framework - often intangible and
rarely made explicit - within which the more immediate and more specific assessments
of vulnerability and resilience are made.

Too often, in fact very frequently, vulnerability and resilience are talked of as though
they had an independent existence and as though they were tangible, fixed entities.

This is not helpful in conceptualisation or practice. It is always something or someone

that is resilient or vulnerable. And they are resilient or vulnerable in the context of a
particular situation, especially their risk environment.

Assessing Resilience & Vulnerability: Buckle, Marsh & Smale May 2001
Vulnerability and resilience are always attributes of something. They are not entities.

This study has looked particularly at the vulnerability of

• individuals,
• families,
• groups and
• communities

Consistent with the project brief we have spent less time considering the resilience and
vulnerability of ecosystems and environmental systems, economic, commercial or
agricultural systems, infrastructure or organisations.

There is a considerable body of work on ecosystem sensitivity to disturbance, the

exposure of infrastructure and lifelines to damage and there is some work on
organisational response to emergencies and crises. Some of this work is relevant to, or
may inform, resilience and vulnerability assessment.

Much less work has been carried out on the resilience and vulnerability of intangible
systems such as economies (as distinct from economic loss or damage to assets),
production systems (such as agriculture) and value and belief arrays.

All of these may be exposed to hazards and therefore subject to risk and in turn more
or less vulnerable and resilient.

Some of what we say in this report and the associated guidelines is directly relevant to
all these types of systems.

We want to emphasise a number of matters.

1. All systems and levels of social activity are interlinked, interdependent and
interactive. Damage to one may impact on one or all of the others.

2. Damage to physical assets can profoundly affect people, communities and

social systems. Damage to infrastructure or economies is usually only of
significance in so far as it has an impact on people. This may be overstating the
case (for some people at least) where animals and plants (or even
ecosystems) may have rights and interests of their own. But for our purposes
on this occasion we have limited ourselves to impacts on humans and have
recognised that impacts may come through a variety of ways and may be
deferred or delayed.

Agencies and infrastructure do not exist in and for their own right. They exist
to provide a service to people. For example a bridge exists as a means to
travel and communication for people. That is its function and its purpose. So,

Assessing Resilience & Vulnerability: Buckle, Marsh & Smale May 2001
restoration of infrastructure should be concerned not with restoration of an
asset but restoration of a service or facility.

3. Disasters are complex events. This may by be shown by an analogy. Take a

pond as representing a community. If a stone is dropped into the water, the
initial impact of the splash is disruptive but soon passes. As the waves and
disturbance circles outwards, they reverberate and rebound from the bank
causing further disruption and change. These reverberations and disruptions
continue, gradually abating but becoming more complex as the waves
reverberate against the bank and against each other. The initial conditions of
the pond, still or blown by the wind and so on, will also bear upon the
intensity and duration of the disruption. If the pond is linked to flowing water
then the passage of water represents continuing change. The pond can only
look to the future, it cannot go backwards.

So too a community that has experienced a disaster or emergency. The ripple

effects of disruption and disturbance continue long after the initial impact. The
community like the pond will never be the same again no matter how small
the change. And, to continue the analogy, if the pond is linked to a
downstream water system, the changes will continue long beyond the initial
source, So too with a community. For example, the Port Arthur Shootings has
produced changes in society well beyond the precincts of the site.

4. Disasters are not the hazard, they are not the hazard impact. They are the
consequences for individuals, groups, communities, systems and the
environment. The consequences are multifarious, they are interactive and
often compounding and they can be protracted.

5. Vulnerability and resilience are attributes specific to a certain person or

individual body or agency. They do not belong to groups.

Knowing that the elderly, let us say, are more vulnerable to bushfire is helpful
in broadscale planning. But it does not tell us anything about the vulnerability
or resilience of any individual. This has to be determined for each case.

Of course generalisations and extrapolations can be made and these may be

satisfactory for a particular matter or circumstance. But they are not specific

Equally, a large area may demonstrate some particular aspects suggestive of

the vulnerability or resilience of its residents, say remoteness from support
services. But any particular person in that area may have easy access to
services; for example they may own a plane to easily traverse long distances.

Assessing Resilience & Vulnerability: Buckle, Marsh & Smale May 2001
6. Loss and damage is more than loss of physical assets. These are important and
may be crucial to life and safety and well being. But many objects are invested
with emotional and psychological significance. Many losses are more than their
replacement cost. Many losses can never be restored fully. A herd of dairy
cattle may be much more than 100 head of stock. It may represent also years
of invested skill and effort by the farmer. It may represent a hope for the
future. And it may represent months and years spent away from time with his
or her family.

7. Resilience and vulnerability are not necessarily opposite ends of a continuum

for an individual, group or community.

A person, for instance, may be vulnerable to a particular loss, say flooding of

their home, but they may have resilience in terms of being insured, having skills
to repair damage or personal networks that provide them with emotional
support. In this case their resilience is independent of the potential for loss or

8. A constant issue raised by the people we met was that they and their
communities were confronted by change. Change across all sectors of life,
family, community, social, economic and political.

They indicated that change was often threatening and disruptive, because it
often involved movement away from established practices and altered
conditions (unknown and therefore potentially riskier than previous
conditions). This we expected. People are often not comfortable with change,
and maintaining a given level of safety and confidence during periods of change
requires effort and time to modify behaviour and attitudes and systemic

However, the crucial issues seem to be not change per se, which may often
be positive, but the rate of change and whether that change is understood.

If the rate of change is too fast then adaptation is difficult or impossible.

Where change progresses smoothly and predictably and at a slow or
moderate rate it can be adapted to, and in fact improved conditions and
systems and arrangements may result.

Where change is so fast that it cannot be dealt with by modifying existing

systems and arrangements easily and in a considered fashion then it becomes a
problem for local communities. Where change is not understood or cannot
be predicted — the direction of change is not clear or outcomes cannot be
seen — then it becomes a source of anxiety for people.

Assessing Resilience & Vulnerability: Buckle, Marsh & Smale May 2001
Change can also occur as a consequence of decisions made by those with the
power (political, economic) to enforce change. Amalgamations, closure of
banks, schools, withdrawal of essential services such as medical centres, service
stations all have produced changes which the people affected have both felt
powerless and been powerless to oppose.

Key issues for us, which we would like to set out starkly, are these.

All people, groups, communities, agencies and systems are vulnerable and resilient
one way or another and they may be vulnerable to a number of different phenomena.
Vulnerability is not simple. Nor is resilience. This makes understanding of either difficult.
But this complexity is hopeful too. Because it allows multiple options for vulnerability
reduction and resilience development. Diversity allows many different exposures to
hazards. But it also permits and encourages a flexibility and adaptiveness in responding
to those hazards.

We take a functional approach to vulnerability that is focussed on developing practical

management and operational options for enhancing resilience and reducing
vulnerability. We direct our attention to needs and to services to meet those needs.
We are less concerned with the (traditional or common) classifications such as age,
gender and disability as indicators. We acknowledge that these have value in indicating
which classes of people may be vulnerable (far less work has been done on group
indicators of resilience). But they do not tell us which people, in particular may be
vulnerable. They have indicative value at best. More importantly, we cannot address
vulnerability reduction or resilience development on the basis of characteristics such as
age or gender. These may provide strong pointers to how and when and what type of
action should be taken. They may indicate priorities. But, in the end, we cannot change
a person’s age or gender. What we can do is to improve their access to resources, to
improve their health status, to empower them and to give them access to equitable
treatment. However in stating this, we do recognise that empowerment is not an easy
process, particular when the most vulnerable, the least resilient, are often those least
able to cope generally and who may also be isolated from the mainstream resources of
our society.

Finally, this report is submitted as a final report in fulfilment of our agreement with
Emergency Management Australia. However, a draft of this report will be sent to all
those people who assisted us in our research. This allows them the opportunity to
comment upon any issues and to suggest clarifications. This also acknowledges their
contribution and goes a small way to meeting a recurrent message; that a lot of
research is undertaken locally but there is rarely any feedback to the community and
still rarer is any identifiable action following from that research. If people choose to
comment, and we strongly encourage them to do so, then we will prepare a
supplementary report that will include additional comments.

Assessing Resilience & Vulnerability: Buckle, Marsh & Smale May 2001

Local perceptions of risk, hazard and disaster differ strongly from the perceptions and
concerns of emergency management agencies. Local people had a strong predisposition
to seeing any disruptive change as a "disaster". This has its own validity and logic. It
makes sense if disasters are seen as unexpected, uncontrolled and unwanted
consequences. But it also means that emergency management agencies and local people
often did not match in their appraisal of risk, need, vulnerability and resilience and
efforts required to reduce vulnerability and increase resilience. This mismatch has
significant implications for policy development, program implementation and planning.

Vulnerability is not a unitary state. Individuals, families, groups, communities,

organisations, areas, infrastructure and governments may all be vulnerable. They are also
likely to be vulnerable in different ways at different times. Vulnerability may change over
time and space. Individuals may be vulnerable not just in different ways to different
impacts and to different events but also in themselves as individual people as well being
part of a family and of larger groups and enterprises.

A person or social entity may be vulnerable to indirect or consequential impacts as well

as to direct impacts. A person in a bushfire affected area may lose no personal
possessions, they may be uninjured, but they may still experience loss through damage
done to the wider community, the loss of community facilities, the loss of shared
amenities and through damage to intangibles such as informal information exchange
processes and community networks.

To determine vulnerability therefore requires asking specific questions about a particular

social entity, whether that entity is an individual, family, group, enterprise or community
- or some other social aggregation or network.

But this particular vulnerability cannot be fully understood without an appreciation of

the broader context in which it exists and without some understanding of the social and
economic conditions in which day to day life occurs.

Vulnerability and resilience of the individual and other social levels, like a Russian
babushka doll, is nested in wider contexts. This nesting arrangement does not indicate
determinism but a capacity to influence. Vulnerability and resilience are outcomes of the
interaction of many different factors, some of them independent of the entity being
considered, which operate at different levels of social aggregation. As a general
framework for assessing vulnerability we say that the following need to be considered:

• attributes of the person or group in question

• domestic and local conditions
• domestic and local capacities
• domestic and local values and preferences

Assessing Resilience & Vulnerability: Buckle, Marsh & Smale May 2001
• hazards and the risk environment
• broader social, cultural, environmental and economic determinants and
• trends and directions of broad social, economic, political and environmental

Vulnerability and resilience assessment needs to understand contextual issues and

acknowledge linkages and exchanges between, broad social, cultural, economic and
environmental conditions, trends, policies.

Any evaluation framework therefore needs to establish first a set of principles or tenets
relevant to macro level issues and then to identify local interpretations and applications
of these conditions:

• All vulnerability and resilience is local

• All vulnerability and resilience is specific to a person or group or other entity
• Vulnerability is differential — different people are vulnerable in different ways
to the same hazard, and vulnerability for the same person or group may vary
from hazard to hazard
• Vulnerability and resilience should be assessed in the context of general social
and economic circumstances
• Vulnerability is specific to an issue; you must decide the question or matter to
be addressed e.g. gender, area, and activity and then develop a strategy to
deal with the issue.
• There is a need to evaluate information, data sources and opinions to ensure
that they are consistent with other information and other opinions

Everyone is vulnerable to something. This is not helpful in conceptualising the issue or in

developing tools to analyse the issue, yet with some events, such as long-term power
failure, every citizen will eventually be vulnerable.

Vulnerability is in many ways a composite characteristic and not attributable to only one
factor. Individual factors may be disproportionately influential or they may be necessary
for a vulnerable state to exist, but by themselves they will rarely explain vulnerability.

Assessing Resilience & Vulnerability: Buckle, Marsh & Smale May 2001

Many of the following were interviewed either formally or informally on a number of

occasions while others also participated in focus groups as well as being interviewed.

In line with ethical research and the commitment given by researchers to the
participants in our research we do not identify individuals whom we interviewed for the
research project or who participated in the various focus group discussions. However,
in excess of 100 separate individuals were met, some of them on repeated occasions,
representing over 30 agencies or departments. Collectively they represented a
considerable range of demographic characteristics and interests (age, gender,
occupation, profession, experience in emergency management, income level, personal
experience of emergencies) as well as a range of agencies and areas.

It is important to note that our preliminary conclusions and a list of issues, as well as the
Department of Human Services Assessing Vulnerability and Resilience in the Context of
Emergencies Guidelines and other documents were sent out to our first round of
respondents and interviewees for comment and as a basis for a second round of
interviews and discussions.

This has allowed the majority of our interviewees two opportunities to talk to us and an
opportunity to comment directly on our research findings.

We chose a semi-structured interview process as a method for our meetings and focus
groups. This process was chosen because it gave us the opportunity to tease out issues,
to pursue relevant but unanticipated results and to broaden or contract the discussion
as was appropriate to the interviewees.

The utility agency representatives in Melbourne and Horsham were introduced to the
research project and relevant issues and then participated in a desktop scenario based
on disruption to the electricity supply.

We interviewed and discussed issues in depth with a wide range of respondents. These
included public sector agency officers, staff of emergency management agencies,
municipal officers, local clergy, local community workers and resource officers, Royal
District Nursing Staff, community centre staff and individuals from a wide range of
professions and occupations including teaching, farming and business. Males and females
were well represented and there was a span of age groups from those in their early
twenties to people in their seventies.

Respondents and participants were drawn almost equally from both genders,
represented a range of occupations and age groups, include people with various levels
of formal education. In short the people that we met with were a diverse group
allowing an eclectic approach to information gathering.

Assessing Resilience & Vulnerability: Buckle, Marsh & Smale May 2001
While we did not have (or seek to have) a representative sample (this would have
been beyond the resources of the research program) we did meet and discuss in depth
with a wide range of different people with different backgrounds, experience, concerns
and interests.

Assessing Resilience & Vulnerability: Buckle, Marsh & Smale May 2001

Melbourne (scenario and discussion activity)

• Officers of major public utilities
• Department of Justice
• Students - RMIT Social Science risk management course

Horsham (scenario and discussion activity)

• Officers of public utilities
• Officers of Horsham City Council
• Staff of local personal and community support agencies

East Gippsland (interviews and focus group activity)

• Officers, East Gippsland Shire
• Department of Human Services Gippsland region
• Kilmany Family Care
• Community Development Workers
• Local clergy (Anglican and Uniting Church)
• Community Health Centre Swifts Creek
• Royal District Nursing Service
• Residents of Swifts Creek, Omeo, Benambra and surrounding areas.
• East Gippsland Shire Council representatives

Yarra Ranges (interviews and focus group activity)

• Officers, Shire of Yarra Ranges

Maribyrnong (interviews and focus group activity)

• Officers in City of Maribyrnong
• Members City of Maribyrnong Emergency Management Planning Committee

Southern Grampians (interviews and focus group activity)

• RMIT University - (Hamilton)
• Red Cross - Hamilton
• Community leaders Hamilton Area
• Victorian Council of Churches Disaster Outreach Coordinator Hamilton
• Officers of the Shire of Southern Grampians
• Victoria State Emergency Service Hamilton
• Country Fire Authority Hamilton
• Victorian Council of Churches regional coordinators- Grampians Area
• Community members - Woodhouse.

Other people with whom we have discussed this research include staff of:
• Australian Geological Survey Organisation
• Emergency Management Australia

Assessing Resilience & Vulnerability: Buckle, Marsh & Smale May 2001
• Department of Transport and Regional Services, Canberra
• Department of Finance and Administration, Canberra
• Department of Human Services, Melbourne
• Department of Justice, Victoria
• University College London
• Cranfield University
• Greenwich University
• SouthBank University
• Anglia Polytechnic University
• Bath University
• James Cook University
• RMIT University

Assessing Resilience & Vulnerability: Buckle, Marsh & Smale May 2001

As we indicate in Appendix A — References, there is a vast and growing body of

literature and resource material on vulnerability.

Much of the work of Ken Hewitt, Ben Wisner, Terry Cannon, Piers Blaikie, Ian Davis,
Ken Westgate, Elaine Enarson, Maureen Fordham, Peter Winchester and James Lewis is
insightful, creative, rigorous and groundbreaking.

As well there is much material available from the World Bank, the World Health
Organisation, the United Nations Development Program and the International
Monetary Fund that is useful in its information and detail.

David King and Lynda Berry of James Cook University and Douglas Paton from New
Zealand have conducted some interesting and worthwhile work around vulnerability
and resilience.

However we refer particularly to three works. These are not without their
shortcomings but they demonstrate a commitment to rigour and comprehensiveness .
In particular two of them refer directly to Australian circumstances and the third refers
to Toronto, Canada.

A principal value of these studies, all of them having a practical focus and an intention to
be applied, is that they are directly relevant to contemporary Australian society. It is a
curiosity of much of the literature that the authors may be incisively critical of the
structural determinants of vulnerability in countries other than their own. Analysis of the
contribution of social exclusion to vulnerability, of poverty, gender, undemocratic and or
corrupt political practice and institutions is not uncommon. The effects of
environmentally unsound agricultural and industrial practice and biased inter-country
trade relationships are all exposed to critical scrutiny.

It is less common for analysis so critical of structural factors to be applied by authors to

their own countries.

The three studies we particularly refer to do not do this either. But their brief was
limited to specific hazard, risk and vulnerability assessments. They are studies and
assessments of particular locations and we refer to them as examples of detailed,
rigorous research that offers many insights into the causation of vulnerability and
resilience. In particular they demonstrate the complexity of assessing vulnerability and

Assessing Resilience & Vulnerability: Buckle, Marsh & Smale May 2001
These studies are:

Ken Granger, Trevor Jones, Marion Leiba and Greg Scott Community Risk in Cairns: A
Multi Hazard Risk Assessment Australian Geological Survey Organisation Canberra

Ken Granger and Miriam Middelmann, Community Risk in Mackay: A Multi Hazard
Risk Assessment Australian Geological Survey Organisation Canberra 2001

Norman B Ferrier Creating a Safer City: A Comprehensive Risk Assessment for the City
of Toronto Toronto 2000

These studies take different approaches. Ken Granger and his colleagues structure their
study by hazard type, with reference to the smallest available data collection districts.
They make an effort, acknowledging its shortcomings, to develop a risk priority

Ferrier is equally comprehensive but structures his research along the lines of city wards
within which he considers a range of hazards.

Much work that is relevant is being conducted in other areas, such as public safety
(largely focusing on crime prevention), community based emergency response systems
(such as Community Fireguard) and community capability building.

All of these programmes, and numerous others besides, have something to offer in
terms of conceptual clarification, methodology, data evaluation and implementation.

The challenge for the disaster manager and the at-risk community is to identify what is
of value in these approaches and data sets and methods and to apply them to the
specific field of risk reduction.

There are few useful field reports or reviews of recent emergencies and disasters. This
is expected, given the low prominence that resilience and vulnerability considerations
have in emergency management. Even those people who are interested are hampered
by the lack of easily available data and by the absence or suitable research methods and

The research required to assess resilience and vulnerability is considered by many

agencies to be a luxury given the limitations on the time and resources they can devote
to this when their principal activity is policy development and program implementation.

There are various reports available on recent events, including the1998 East Gippsland
Floods, the 1998 Victorian Gas shortage and the 1997 Yarra Ranges Bushfires. These
reports are interesting but of limited value to research of this nature. Their data
collection methods are not systematic, they may be sensitive to “political” and security

Assessing Resilience & Vulnerability: Buckle, Marsh & Smale May 2001
issues, and they are not easily accessed. Often they are internal agency reviews or
reports published as public recognition of an event. Their utility is limited.

Nonetheless there are signs of growing acceptance in the emergency management

community that, in the area of vulnerability and resilience, more research, systematic
data collection, improved analytical methods and a greater understanding of the issues
are needed.

Assessing Resilience & Vulnerability: Buckle, Marsh & Smale May 2001

These findings are arranged thematically. They are not arranged by area or by any
particular demographic group, interest groups or other commonality. Where there was
a significant view held by a particular sector or group of respondents then this is

There was a commonality to the views of the respondents to the extent that their
concerns and the issues they raised and their perceived solutions were shared across
the entire range of respondents.

Some issues were expressed implicitly or obliquely and required some teasing out or
elucidation at the time. Other views have been thrown into relief following subsequent
discussions between members of the research team and between the research team
and other people.

We have been careful to cross check views that apparently were held only by a small
number of people or were expressed with special vigour. At times we found that such
views were generally held or did have a basis in actual individual or institutional
behaviour. At other times we found that such views were based, so it seemed after
verifying facts and issues, on misperceptions or poor information. But they had an
emotional standing for all that.

We found that issues, concerns, apprehensions as well as enthusiasms and positive

outlooks for the future were held in similar form and with similar intensity across the
range of our respondents. Of course there were variations depending on the area. But
overall local issues, defined as those issues arising locally, particular to an area and able
to be dealt with completely by local action or a local institution, were of less significance
than broader issues or common issues.

This is to be expected. Australia is homogenous in its civic concerns. There is little

challenge to prevailing norms of trust, propriety, civic behaviour and community
obligation, honesty, the role of government, the value of democratic institutions and the
value placed on ethical behaviour, personal integrity and compassion for those less well

These themes overlap and cross-reference each other. We have intentionally left the
themes broad and with permeable boundaries. Our respondents did not neatly
categorise their concerns. They expressed them as issues of daily life, with a priority
appropriate to daily needs of earning and income, raising a family and achieving worth,
success and standing in life and in the community.

Assessing Resilience & Vulnerability: Buckle, Marsh & Smale May 2001
Much of what we were told and learnt did not fit tidily under the headings of
vulnerability or resilience. This is because these concepts are diffuse in their practical
expression ( and almost equally diffuse in their theoretical statement).
They also covered a wide span of concerns and issues. But they bore, more or less
directly, on the exposure to risk and the capacity to withstand and the capacity to
recover from impacts.

This is not, we believe, a fault either in the expression of our respondents or of our
methodology. Rather, it highlights the need for clearer understandings of resilience and
vulnerability. And recognition that we may have to move away from definitions that are
so precise (for legal, aesthetic or professional reasons) that they are limiting.

Definitions should reflect the real world, however complex and untidy and inconsistent
that might be. We should avoid trying to fit the real world to our definitions. This, as we
indicate below, is a very real and immediate issue for disaster management, firstly for
what we understand by terms such as “disaster”, “emergency” and “risk”.

Many of the indicators of vulnerability and resilience commonly used mix different states
and conditions. For example, being aged and being very young are often taken to
indicate vulnerability and a lack of resilience, and they are useful group indicators. But
health status, poor water quality and poverty are given as indicators. These too are
useful. But the first set of indicators is simply indicative, the second group, based on
needs, is more descriptive and more useful. Not all aged people are vulnerable and in
fact, due to their life experiences they may be more resilient than many younger
people. All people who have contaminated drinking water are vulnerable (to certain
things). It is important therefore to be clear about the status, classification and meaning
of indicators of vulnerability and resilience.

It needs to be understood that resilience and vulnerability are interactive and linked.

The Nature of Community
It became clear that the areas in which we undertook our research were characterised
- as we expect all areas would be - by diversity. Differences in occupation, values,
income, age, gender, ethnicity, living site (town or country) were just some of the
differences. In itself this was what we expected. Yet it seemed to the research team that
complexity remained at the same level of detail whatever scale was used. As we met
with people from very small townships and localities so the differences in their area
were given the same degree of significance as people with a wider geographic
perspective gave to the detail they perceived.

It was also clear that people living together in a small area, township or locality did not,
necessarily work well together or get on or share similar values.

Assessing Resilience & Vulnerability: Buckle, Marsh & Smale May 2001
Difference was as much in evidence at local levels as at broader scales.
This indicated that:
• The characteristics of community are not fixed but depend on the scale at
which the group or area is investigated
• Community is a poorly defined word used often to gloss over differences

Meaning of Disaster: perceptions of hazard, risk and vulnerability

There was a clear distinction between the perceptions, concerns and priorities of the
local people we met and the perceptions and priorities of emergency service
organisations and government.

Local people recognised the threat of “traditional” hazards such as bushfire and flood. But they
consistently drew the discussion to matters of greater importance to them such as the change in
the economic activity of their community, changed land use activity, local emigration and
immigration and the loss of young people to towns and cities.

These represented greater threats to well-being and security in the assessment of local
people. It is true that there may be other government and agency programmes to deal
with this sort of matter. But if these were mentioned they were seen as inadequate.

It was clear that local people were comfortable grouping hazards such as bushfire with
the risk generated by poor telecommunications.

It was not entirely surprising that local people had varying perceptions of the risks they
faced and the degree to which they were vulnerable/at risk from a particular disaster.

Perceptions varied according to, for example:

• one’s past experience of particular disasters;
• one's current perception of the need to 'be prepared' and of who was
responsible for dealing with emergencies;
• demographic differences including gender, age, education, occupation, ethnic
background (including ability to speak English);
• level of literacy which determined whether they could understand the
messages communicated to them (this goes beyond the situation of NESBs);
• whether people belonged to local organisations and which ones;
• whether residents had a realistic view of their situation (e.g. those living in
flood, fire or landslip prone areas);
• the degree of isolation, from other people, services and communications,
within a local area (which could include people living in the cities).

In many cases it can be said that these perceptions are culturally determined, just as it
can be said of views of risk itself. Vulnerability and risk vary according to the eye of the
beholder. This, accordingly, can lead to conflict between residents who hold one view
of a particular risk and emergency managers who hold another. Through a lack of
understanding of the risk residents can place themselves in a situation of vulnerability,
according to the emergency managers, yet they may also be more resilient because of
Assessing Resilience & Vulnerability: Buckle, Marsh & Smale May 2001
these perceptions. Problems occur for all parties when there is conflict arising out of
these different cultural interpretations of risk.

Emergency Services Organisations and government are constrained by legislation and

political mandate to address particular matters, particular activity sectors and often
specific hazards.

These agencies therefore focussed principally on the traditional natural hazards and
non-natural hazards such as transport accidents and toxic chemical spills. They did not
volunteer the view that they should be addressing other types of risk, hazard and loss.

This disparity between the two sets of views suggests the need for a review of the
scope of emergency management policies and programmes and the need for better
integration of emergency management activity with other social support programmes.

Capacity of Emergency Service Organisations

There was an universal respect and appreciation for emergency service organisations
(ESO) among the people we met. This was to be expected, in one sense, given that so
many local people in country Australia are members of volunteer organisations that
have a role in emergency management.

They did make some specific comments indicating an increasing sense of vulnerability.
Some ESO were remote from the communities we met and so response times could
be very significant, often hours. This meant that the first response fell to local people.

Communication between ESO and local people was sometimes inadequate. Information
about absence from the community while on leave or on jobs was not given.
Information about local emergency arrangements (such as evacuation procedures or
evacuation centres) was not easily available or even understood by some residents
when it was available.

Declining populations through emigration, changing population age structure through

the young leaving and remaining ESO personnel as a group ageing, and immigration of
people with no understanding of local issues or the culture of the organisations, coupled
with the need to join the local ESOs, all contributed to a reduced local ESO capability.

Some ESO had a culture that to appeared to outsiders to be exclusive and highly
specific (essentially, white Anglo Celtic male) and often seemed to intimidate people
from outside this culture from joining the organisation. There was no indication that this
was a deliberate and considered position. But nonetheless, the prevailing culture does
appear to present a hurdle to prospective members from other groups.

On the positive side ESO personnel were enthusiastic (though often we found that
community leaders and community contributors tended to have multiple responsibilities
and to take on a multitude of tasks. Some ESO were also welcoming of members from
non-traditional groups, such as women becoming volunteer firefighters rather than
support personnel.

Assessing Resilience & Vulnerability: Buckle, Marsh & Smale May 2001
Communication was raised frequently in our discussions with local people.

This focussed primarily on the robustness and adequacy of telecommunications —

landline phones, mobile phones, radio station reception and television reception. This
was a repeated concern; that people did not know what was going on during an
emergency, could not receive advice, information and instructions and could not call out
for help. This was principally a concern of remote areas, where the poor
communications exacerbated other aspects of remoteness.

If we define remoteness not as absolute distance but as the effort which is required to
access resources and support then poor communications is a very significant contributor
to worsening the problems of remoteness.

Allied with this was concern by some local people that agency promises to improve
communications had not been met. We could not judge whether this was the case or
not. But it at least signified another community concern that their needs were of a low

Poor communication facilities were a factor between remote areas and farms to small
townships and between those townships and the outside world.

Without adequate communications, to a standard considered normal and acceptable by

the rest of the Australian population, the risk of hazard impacts was increased and the
difficulty in dealing with the consequences was increased.

More positively informal inter-personal communication systems seemed to work well in

small communities. People knew each other and their respective needs and abilities and
could (usually but not always) work together to meet local needs and where possible
use local resources. This is an important aspect of resilience.

This positive feature was less in evidence in urban areas and in areas that had high levels
of newcomers.

Remoteness was seen as a direct measure of vulnerability yet it could also mean that
people were more self-reliant and therefore more resilient, in so far as they had to
develop coping behaviours and strategies.

Services were generally perceived to be harder to access in remote areas, resulting in

lower standards of service use and increased cost in accessing them. This day-to-day
paucity of many services was a direct contributor to vulnerability.
This lower service accessibility for remote areas was seen by local people to apply to
municipal, State and Commonwealth services.

Assessing Resilience & Vulnerability: Buckle, Marsh & Smale May 2001
They recognised the constraints of cost, topography, distance and population numbers
and density. But they also felt disadvantaged.

Remoteness was also a factor in longer response times by agencies, poor

communications and feeling of social, political and geographic isolation.

Demographic Changes
Demographic changes were also frequently mentioned by local people in rural areas.
Net population loss through emigration, an ageing population, loss of young people,
movement of the local population to towns and away from farms and small hamlets,
immigration of people from outside the area. Changes to working patterns, particularly
off farm work, were mentioned as significant.

All these weakened local linkages, networks, local community contribution, local
knowledge and local capacity to be self-reliant and to provide mutual support.

Local people saw these changes as slowly (but increasingly rapidly) changing their
communities and weakening them.

The movement to towns meant that there were fewer people in outlying areas to
support each other. The general social trend to mothers and wives working in paid, off
farm employment meant that during the day many rural areas were almost absent of

Consequent to the above including the loss of leadership in particular, the inevitable
lessening of resilience in the areas will mean the residents are more likely to be
vulnerable to emergencies in the future.

Economic Changes
Many people recognised that there are strong long term trends changing the economic
bases of their lives and communities. Change in itself was felt as disruptive. But
economic changes were seen in many instances as being negative for the community
overall and for local safety. Consolidation of rural properties lead to depopulation,
reduced net income to the area and lead to land use changes. Blue Gum plantations
were mentioned particularly. They changed local fire regimes, altered local risk profiles
(in ways not yet understood), left some people with large amounts of cash (those
landowners that sold to plantation companies), but left the remaining people isolated,
alone and resentful (at not being able to sell or at being “abandoned”) — and at greater
risk as there were fewer residents available to join the ESOs.

Trends of rural decline, falling or unpredictable commodity prices, stock disease all
contributed to population and economic change that impacted negatively on
vulnerability and resilience.

Assessing Resilience & Vulnerability: Buckle, Marsh & Smale May 2001
Democracy and local representation
Local people mentioned on numerous occasions and with vigour that they felt under-
represented, at least compared to people living in the cities. This manifested itself in
their view as lack of consultation by government, a discounting of their needs and
opinions and a lack of information.

It seems clear that municipal amalgamations in Victoria have reduced the number of
municipal councillors per capita. This was resented in local areas, which still clung to the
days of better representation and the old municipal boundaries.

However, it was equally clear that municipalities were often at great pains to provide
information and to ensure proper consultation and to give equal weight to the needs of
local communities.

This disadvantage was therefore, in part, only perceived. But there are real aspects to it
also. Remoteness, poor local representation, loss of local municipal councils all leave
local people with reduced, or more difficult, access to policy input, networks of power
and influence.

Diversity was taken to be a strength when it was not excessive. Having a range of skills
and abilities, having different groups in a community all contributed to a feeling of well-
being and confidence and capability.

Diversity became excessive when a community had so many different groups that they
did not gel as a whole. When , particularly with different language and ethnic groups,
communication difficulties became problematic. Or when traditional rivalries and
conflicts were exported and replicated in Australian circumstances.

Diversity was therefore both a potential source of vulnerability through reduced

community capacity (because managing diversity and differences between groups
required large amounts of resources) and a source of resilience.

This indicates to us that diversity needs to be managed in the sense that group strengths
need to be identified and built on.

Local knowledge
Knowledge of individuals at risk, hazards and hazard history, local needs and local
resources was seen as an important source of resilience.

However this local and traditional knowledge is under threat due to population
movement, changing economic and environmental systems.

In this area vulnerability is increasing across communities.

Assessing Resilience & Vulnerability: Buckle, Marsh & Smale May 2001
Local support
People were generally very willing to support each other. Apart from values of altruism
they recognised that each locality and community may have to depend on its own
internal resources at some time. Self-interest as well as altruism indicated a strong need
for mutual help. And this help was forthcoming and is a strong source of resilience.

But in the context of major social and economic changes local capacity to provide
mutual support is becoming problematic, and vulnerability is increasing.

Local values are changing, moving from the local to the broader ‘globalised’, and this
may discourage some support to neighbours and other community members
(neighbours are more likely to be unknown, there is no guarantee or even confidence
that the support will be reciprocated).

Related to local knowledge and local capacity is the ability of a community to provide
leadership within its own ranks and as a face to the outside world. A recurrent theme
expressed to us was that with emigration, loss of services and facilities, such as schools
and banks, (and this applies within major cities as well as in the smaller towns) local
communities were facing a crisis of leadership capacity.

Those people with professional, managerial or organisational skills (as distinct from
ability) were slowly moving away from local areas as agencies and other places of
employment closed down. The closure of a bank or school meant not just the loss of a
facility but also the loss of the skilled people who managed and ran those enterprises.

Those people who remained were often very willing and competent and diligent. But
increasingly fewer people were sharing the burden. In small communities different
advocacy, social, sporting and community groups would be managed by the same few
people, who progressively found this tiring and a drain on their own time and resources.

This loss of leadership capacity, and future leadership potential, is a source of significant

Role of Government
Consistent with local self-reliance and values of mutual support, Government (as distinct
from ESO) was often viewed sceptically, which makes it difficult for governments and
other authorities to establish effective communication..

This is traditionally taken as an aspect of Australian civic culture.

The basis for scepticism in this area revolved around government remoteness and
inappropriate regulation, yet often this was based upon a lack of real understanding of
what, for example, the local council and state government had actually been doing and
what the legislation required.

Assessing Resilience & Vulnerability: Buckle, Marsh & Smale May 2001
Government was often taken to be remote from local people, needs and circumstances
and to have a poor understanding of local circumstances. Government, whether
municipal, State or Commonwealth, was felt to be almost equally remote.

This was often expressed through resentment of what were taken to be poorly
designed government regulations. Local people complained that long standing practices,
such as the use of chain saws or brigade and unit catering support or local fund raising
activities, were now stringently regulated by health and safety, legal liability and tax
regulations. All these were strongly resented, seen as a great disincentive to volunteer
activity, and as an impediment to effective local emergency management. They were
seen as intrusive and heavy handed.

If these perceptions are inaccurate (and discussions with some state officials suggest that
some may be) they still have force as perceptions that can guide behaviour. If inaccurate
they require better explanation at local level.

If they are accurate then they may indeed be a strong imposition on local initiative, local
flexibility and response capacity; such that they reduce local resilience and increase local

Although there may be a net benefit to the State as a whole, there are likely to be
disadvantages in particular localities or in particular social sectors.

Individual attributes
In country areas particularly, many people commented on the resilience of the
Australian character, on individual self-reliance, initiative, innovation, resourcefulness,
endurance, and humour.

These characteristics are all indicators of resilience and local capability.

No particular groups were singled out as being at particular risk. The elderly and the ill,
young children were the groups most often mentioned in this regard.

The discussion — perhaps partly because of the natural reticence of the people we met
with — focussed most often on community or group attributes and did not often refer
to individual characteristics.

Thematic Commentary
In this section we want to briefly discuss some of the broad issues that arose from our
meetings and discussions. While there may be some overlap with the recommendations
section we feel that these are contextual matters into which particular issues and our
recommendations will fit.

Assessing Resilience & Vulnerability: Buckle, Marsh & Smale May 2001
Managing the broad and the local together
Vulnerability and resilience contributed to a number of different factors that operate at
different levels from the individual’s own attributes to the ways in which economic
systems (which may be themselves depend on supra-national or global conditions) and
systems of belief and values impinge on the individual.

Vulnerability and resilience may also be attributes on individuals, groups, agencies and

Given this Governments in particular have to manage issues at broad and local levels.

They have to manage interactions between the various levels. They have to ensure that
equity is applied equally across levels.

This range of levels and interactions makes managing the multifarious interactions
difficult. But it also allows multiple points of entry and multiple options for intervention.

The first steps, we think, are to acknowledge that vulnerability and resilience have to be
managed simultaneously across different levels. It also has to be acknowledged by local
people and by Governments that action can take place on one level and that, while its
outcomes may not be obvious, it may have direct or indirect bearing on other levels.

This range also suggests to us that any concerted and purposeful actions have to be on
explicit partnerships between the local and the broad. Between local people and their
Municipal, State and National governments. Some activities will be appropriate for
individuals, some for local communities and some for Government.

City and Country

We found few qualitative differences between city and country, although there were
important quantitative differences. There were clear lines of convergence between the
two, say in the availability generally of new information technology, but there were also
divergences, particularly around rural emigration, demographic change and changes to
land use. These changes could become qualitative differences if local capacity was
reduced significantly in country areas, and there are indications that this is possible.

A particularly important difference between city and country, which has consequences
for the future, was in people's perceptions in the area of the delivery of emergency
services. The expectation in the city was that emergencies would generally be dealt with
by full time professionals with little thought being given to the role of volunteers. In the
country, it was assumed that people would be more self-reliant and that volunteers
would play a major role in the operation of services. The future consequences lie in the
fact that many city residents are now living in rural Australia and their expectations are
still the same. Someone else is responsible. Also, as 'newcomers' they may be excluded
(or may feel excluded) from participating in the local community. The 'culture' of the
emergency services we were told was another factor for many people not seeking to

Assessing Resilience & Vulnerability: Buckle, Marsh & Smale May 2001
join up. The end result of all this when coupled with the decline in the population along
with leadership in many regions is that rural areas become less resilient and the
residents more vulnerable.

Identifying the unidentified

In discussing vulnerability and resilience, we were often confronted by the accepted
concepts that vulnerable groups consisted of discrete demographic entities such as the
aged, the disabled and others. There is no doubt that some of these groups may have
significant needs.

It seemed to us, however, that there was potentially one class of people at particular
risk. People receiving home care or on life support systems are known to responsible
authorities. But there are some people who are not known and who are effectively
hidden. These may be people who, by choice, live a private or reclusive life. Or people
who do not have social and support networks but would otherwise welcome them. Or
there may be people who can just deal with day to day life, but whose coping capacity
is at its limit and, when an emergency occurs, are directly at risk. All these individuals are
difficult to identify.

Supporting them probably requires more sophisticated event impact and needs
assessment methods than we now use. Effective support will be dependent on thorough
and rigorous consequence surveys and assessments.

There is a continuing debate about whether volunteerism is in decline and as this is the
basis of much disaster management in Australia this is an important question. We
suspect that it is declining in some areas, increasing in others, and declining in some
sectors of the population and increasing in others. The issue may not be one of decline
or growth but of the changing nature of volunteer behaviour in Australia. It is important
that some progress be made to resolving this as so much of the management of 'risk' is
dependant on a volunteer force.

In particular, Governments and their agencies should examine the potential impacts of
their behaviour and regulations on local and volunteer activity.

Dominant values, norms and standards

The values of different organisations were at least perceived, and may actually, have had
a direct bearing on their activity and their capacity to support their communities. This
does not just apply to ESO but also to government agencies and, perhaps especially, to
not for profit welfare agencies.

Disaster management policy makers and practitioners rarely try to stand outside their
system to view it critically as a whole. We suggest that this needs to be done if relevant
agencies are to properly understand how they behave and how effective they are (and
might be).

Assessing Resilience & Vulnerability: Buckle, Marsh & Smale May 2001
It is clear from what we were told that values and norms and standards play a significant
role in binding people together in communities and can play a destructive role in
separating people or in keeping them apart. In this case we have to acknowledge the
strong role played by factors that are not tangible.

Exclusion by one factor can lead to more general exclusion; exclusion from other areas
of support and services, exclusion from decision-making processes. Exclusion on the
basis of ethnicity from information (because for instance the information is printed only
in English, or even that it is only printed, which excludes the illiterate) cascades to
making it more difficult for them to access all services — if they do not know about them
in the first place how can they use them.

Access Factors
Access is usually taken to refer to distance, and while this is one element it is not the
only feature that has to be considered.

Access is better conceived as the ease with which services or support can be obtained.

Distance is sometimes taken to be a measure of access to services, whether these

services are for prevention, protection or recovery and support. However, our
investigation has shown that distance is only one of the aspects of physical access.

Distance itself may be translated into travel time and travel cost; the further the distance
the more likely it is that the journey will take longer, be more expensive in fuel and
maintenance costs. However, travel time, ease and safety of travel, costs and wear and
tear are influenced by other factors. The condition of the roads, time of day and time of
year, terrain and topography, road surface and other factors all influence the ease or
difficulty of travel and access. One hundred kilometres on a dry freeway on a dry day is
quite different to one hundred kilometres along dirt roads, in the mountains during

Access may also refer to telecommunications. In remote areas communications may be

disrupted or even be not normally available. This is a cause of significant concern to
many communities. Much information and many services are now available through the
telephone system or the Internet.

Equally boundary issues must be considered. People living close to the borders of their
State or Territory may be on an exchange or phone code system that belongs to
another State. In this case certain information and access services, such as 1800
numbers, may have to be carefully planned and developed if they are State or
jurisdiction specific.

Assessing Resilience & Vulnerability: Buckle, Marsh & Smale May 2001
It is our view from what we learnt that vulnerability and resilience might not develop
(positively or negatively) in a smooth linear fashion but by distinct steps. This suggests
that there may be critical thresholds that have to be identified.
A small but real example is this. A sporting club may be a useful node of social networks
and a useful source of organised volunteer labour. You can have a soccer club of 1000
members or of 100 members or of 11 members. But you cannot have one of 10
members — it is too small to field a team. So a club can move from being small to not
existing, with no transition.

Equally you cannot have half a community. Service capacity is dependent on size of the
group, as government services are dependent on population size. As population
decreases so services do not decline progressively and proportionately. You either have
a local bank or you do not.

This is an important issue in areas of population decline and attendant service decline
and withdrawal.

Sense of Place/Sense of Dispossession

Many of the people we met had a very strong sense of, and emotional attachment to,
their community and their locality. Some had specifically chosen to live there for lifestyle
reasons. Others were there for historical and traditional reasons. Many established
families have a profound emotional commitment to their property and feel often that
they in the line of a family tradition.

This is a source of resilience in terms of local knowledge and local commitment to

community. But it also means that people will remain in areas that are in decline, and
where the future of the community is, at best bleak. Nonetheless, despite progressive
decline and increasing vulnerability and diminishing resilience, there is still a need for
broader community support to provide services.

Change, positive or negative, short or long term, was mentioned often by the people
we interviewed.

Any change of any magnitude was seen as potentially if not actually disruptive. It is part
of the way in which we see the world that we assume that previously we had greater
stability and we minimise the nature of change as a constant process.

Nonetheless, change — as difference — has to be managed. There are strategies for this
ranging from involving local people in decision making, to deliberately choosing and
working towards desired futures.

Assessing Resilience & Vulnerability: Buckle, Marsh & Smale May 2001
Given what was expressed to us we believe that managing change, or better explaining
it, is an important factor in enhancing resilience in particular but also in minimising

Levels of Vulnerability and Resilience

It is clear that all social elements, systems (such as economies), production systems and
processes (such as agriculture), the environment, infrastructure and even intangible
systems such as norms and beliefs can be exposed to risk. As such they may be
vulnerable to damage. At the same time they can be resilient and a source of strength
to people and the community.

All can be developed and enhanced so that they become more resilient and less

These levels include:

• The individual
• The family
• The group (such as sporting clubs and church congregations)
• The community (as an aggregation of individuals and groups)
• Agencies
• Administrative Units (such as municipal areas)
• Economic systems (they can be damaged by their elements being impacted,
trends can be accelerated or limited)
• Production systems (including agricultural systems)
• Natural systems
• Beliefs, values and norms

The link and interrelations between these can be complex. All can be affected, and
therefore may be vulnerable. All can resist, or be developed to resist, impacts and can
be more or less resilient.

All can be investigated and dealt with individually. Yet we have to recognize that all may
have an effect on each other.

It is important, therefore, when considering resilience and vulnerability that two

questions are clearly specified:

1. Which element or elements are being considered?

2. Which hazard or set of risks are they being considered against?

Differential Vulnerability and Resilience

As we have said earlier vulnerability and resilience are not unitary states. They vary from
individual person to person, area to area and agency to agency. There are different

Assessing Resilience & Vulnerability: Buckle, Marsh & Smale May 2001
responses of these to different hazards. Resilience and vulnerability vary periodically
(time of year, recurrent environmental events such as the El Nino Southern Oscillation
phenomenon.) and over time; they can grow or diminish.

Resilience and vulnerability respond to and can be indicated by certain generic states
but have to be assessed for a particular time and set of circumstances.

The levels we identify as significant in the assessment process include:

• Individual
• Family
• Group
• Locality
• Community
• Administrative Area
• Agency
• Region
• Whole of area (where an entire administrative or political unit is affected.)

A kaleidoscope provides a good analogy of complexity, detail and change.

An important outcome of this perspective is that agencies need to:

• Be better able to deal with complexity and uncertainty in planning

• Need to develop effective strategies for entry into systems and communities
• Need to specify the target population for any program or activity (service,
proposal for action, request for participation)
• Local people need to be direct participants in program development.

Acknowledging this we also recognise that public policy, program implementation and
effective resource use cannot proceed on the basis of an almost unlimited capacity for
social differentiation. Excessive particularity will lead to resource dissipation. It is
important therefore that tools for effective aggregation of social commonalities be
developed and applied by agencies to ensure that resources are used effectively.

Some tools include:

• A better appreciation of commonalities, linkages and synergies between

different demographic groups and different areas
• Developing programs on the basis of need and functionality rather than
demographic group
• Developing flexible programmes, with flexible delivery methods, that permit
different outcomes depending on the particular details of the recipient
• Developing broad programmes that target general needs (such as shelter or
health care) and which are not limited or tied to very specific results.

Assessing Resilience & Vulnerability: Buckle, Marsh & Smale May 2001
Boundary Issues
Services are generally provided or administered on the basis of administrative unit;
municipality, government region, State. Perhaps the exception to this is recovery
services in Victoria that are provided generally on the basis of the affected area. In this
case collaboration and cooperation between jurisdictions is necessary; it may also
require one agency or jurisdiction to take a lead role. If these arrangements are well
managed they can be very effective in ensuring efficiency and equity of services across
the whole of the affected population.

However, most people regard themselves as belonging to a small community or locality

and identify with this more strongly than with a broader, formal management area.
Services may therefore be more efficacious if tailored to local conditions and managed

Compassion, Dignity and Integrity

We see these as being key drivers of the disaster management process. Having
compassion for others, respecting the dignity of other people, communities and cultures
and working with integrity are key, albeit implicit, elements of disaster management in

They are also principal values of Australian society and do much to bind us together a
community that cares for and supports its members.

We found these values to be held strongly by the people we interviewed. Many of our
interviewees held a passionate commitment to their communities. They felt very
strongly about issues of risk, safety and vulnerability as well as being profoundly
committed to supporting their friends, relatives and neighbours. They also assumed that
their neighbours would offer the same support to them.

They also cared about their locality and their community and were concerned for the
future, even the long-term future in which they personally would not be involved.
Yet even though this was generally the case, we also heard from a number of
interviewees of the 'outsiders' who did not really participate in the affairs of the local
community. Single parents who were being supplied cheap government housing in their
region was one example. These people - those who may be living on the fringes of the
community - may be those in the end who are least resilient as they lack the local
networks which are so necessary in the time of a disaster and this in turn makes them
more likely to be vulnerable. We have no evidence of whether these residents feel
"very strongly about issues of risk, safety and vulnerability as well as being profoundly
committed to supporting their friends, relatives and neighbours." Nor can we assume
that their neighbours would offer the same support to them.

We therefore think it is important that these values be brought to the fore and made
explicit without unnecessary emphasis. It is helpful if we frequently remind ourselves that

Assessing Resilience & Vulnerability: Buckle, Marsh & Smale May 2001
these values provide the ethical foundation for our work and they provide standards
against which we can judge success and achievement.

More pragmatically, we know that disaster management, whether it is prevention,

response or recovery is much less effective (and may even be ineffective or counter
productive) where plans, programmes and services are not guided by to these values of
compassion, dignity and integrity.

Demographic Factors
We have indicated that vulnerability and resilience are phenomena that vary according
to the particular circumstances, and that we favour an assessment process that focuses
on needs and services.

Nonetheless there are certain groups that are indicated as having higher potential levels
of vulnerability.

The people we discussed these issues with generally referred to the community as a
whole and did not frequently refer to special groups. The groups they mentioned most
often included:

• The frail aged

• People in remote areas
• People in poor or declining financial circumstances
• People exposed to particularly significant hazards
• The illiterate

A review of the literature shows that this list can be extended, to include:

• The entire population (everyone is vulnerable to something)

• The aged (particularly the frail)
• Babies, infants and young children
• The disabled (intellectual, psychiatric, and physical)
• People with sensory impairments
• People with limited resources to meet essential daily needs
• Non-English Speakers (NESB)
• People with literacy difficulties ( in English or in their native language)
• The socially isolated
• The physically isolated
• The seriously ill
• People dependent on technology-based life support systems
• Large families
• Single parent families
• Workers at risk from machinery or equipment failure
• People with limited coping capacity
• People with marginal coping capacity

Assessing Resilience & Vulnerability: Buckle, Marsh & Smale May 2001
• People with limited management and decision making skills
• People with inadequate accommodation.
• Those on holiday and travelling (particularly those in tent and caravan resorts)
• New arrivals to the country
• People exposed to particular or extreme hazards
• People affected by an emergency

Resilience is not just the absence of these characteristics. It a positive attribute and can

• Resources
• Management skills
• Knowledge and information
• Access to services
• Involvement in decision making and planning processes
• Equitable social arrangements
• Support and supportive networks
• Personal coping capacity
• Shared community values
• Shared community aspirations and plans
• Local engagement in social, community and local government activity

Economic factors
Economic factors can be important in determining the vulnerability and resilience of
individuals, groups and communities and economic systems themselves.

Generally a stable or growing economy supports resilience and a declining economy

indicates growing vulnerability.

Relevant factors in indicating the state of resilience and vulnerability include:

• Percentage of people in employment

• Rates of growth or decline in employment and income
• Average incomes as measured against local needs and regional, State or
national averages
• Sectoral growth or decline (including agriculture, manufacturing, service

Communities as extended groups of people can also be vulnerable. Communities do
not have an existence of their own separate from their members. But they are more
than the sum of individuals and families. Communities manifest their existence in
common networks, exchange systems, common values, plans for the future, shared
methods for resolving problems, agreements to work together for the future.

Assessing Resilience & Vulnerability: Buckle, Marsh & Smale May 2001
These aspects can be damaged and therefore may be vulnerable. There are numerous
instances where disasters have resulted in demographic changes, conflicts between
community members, system and network deterioration, so that the community
becomes a group of people who no longer work together as effectively as before the

Relevant factors in indicating the state of resilience and vulnerability for communities

• Population growth or decline

• Appropriate leadership skills
• People with the willingness to take on leadership and community worker roles
• Rates of change (where rapid change is likely to be negative)
• Adequate infrastructure and resources
• Active community and social groups
• Active and effective social networks and information exchange
• Sound economies
• Shared values and agreed visions of the future
• Skills and effective skill exchange and sharing
• Involvement in decision making
• Inclusiveness
• Understanding of change, context and appropriate management strategies

Agencies & Enterprises

Agencies and enterprises may also be vulnerable either through direct impact where
their assets are damaged and their management and operational systems put under
stress, or through impact on their catchments. Agencies may not be directly affected by
an event. But they may be vulnerable to supply dislocation, damage to distribution
systems and damage to customer and client bases.

Relevant factors in indicating the state of resilience and vulnerability include:

• Effective resourcing (government commitment, capital and stock assets)

• Effective and appropriate management and leadership skills
• Effective communication and information exchange arrangements
• A sound understanding of the business context
• Skilled and committed workforce
• Equitable employee relationships and arrangements
• Suitable risk management strategies

Infrastructure is vulnerable in so far as it is susceptible to damage, and resilient in so far
as it can withstand destructive forces. These capacities are not attributes per se of the
asset but a consequence of a human assessment of the standard to which the asset
should be built.

Assessing Resilience & Vulnerability: Buckle, Marsh & Smale May 2001
In addition infrastructure has value in supporting humans and their society. Loss of
infrastructure is likely therefore to impact on people quite directly.

Relevant factors in indicating the state of resilience and vulnerability include:

• Minimised exposure to risk

• Built and maintained to proper standards
• Equitable availability to all people
• Appropriate to community needs

Systems we take to be any process or set of arrangements that can influence activity or
behaviour. So value systems and economic systems and production systems exist as
partial determinants of individual and group circumstances.

These systems can be vulnerable and resilient. Where disasters cause changed
circumstances people may respond in ways which directly challenge values, ethics and
norms. For example, there are clear examples of farmers fighting over whether to
remove or strengthen levee banks, depending on whether the levees would exacerbate
or minimise flooding on their properties. As a consequence their self-directed and
aggressive behaviour weakened community links, damaged the fabric of local
associations such as football clubs and reduced community capacity to manage recovery.

Relevant factors in indicating the state of resilience and vulnerability include:

• Effective internal networks

• Effective linkages to external systems
• Appropriate information exchange
• Capacity for regulation and maintenance

Assessing Resilience & Vulnerability: Buckle, Marsh & Smale May 2001
Numerous respondents told us that they were rarely given the results of research
activity to which they contributed and that both researchers and agencies often did not
follow up their promises to undertake activities or provide information.

Recognising this as a legitimate complaint and a useful observation we will distribute this
report, as a draft, to the people who gave their time to discuss these matters with us. If
they care to provide additional comments then we will consider including this additional
material and information in a revised report.

It may not be appropriate for us to indicate agency responsibilities or timelines in our

recommendations since many of the recommendations apply to many agencies and to
different jurisdictions.

However, we strongly recommend that these matters be identified and raised in

relevant forums and conferences and other venues that allow for information exchange
and critical review.

Forums that come to mind include workshops and developmental activities conducted
by Emergency Management Australia, conference and training activities conducted or
supported by Emergency Management Australia and the States and Territories and peak
bodies covering private sector activities, professional associations, local government
associations and networks of non-government organisations and appropriate advocacy

Exposure of these issues to appraisal that is wide-ranging and diverse will result in
dissemination of an enhanced consideration and review of the matters raised in this

1. Critical terms should be better defined and considered in the context of

social priorities and the practicalities of individual and community needs
Greater clarity, consistency and agreement should be actively worked towards
on key terms such as emergency and disaster to better define the area of

2. The importance and relevance of resilience and vulnerability should be

Emergency Service Organisations and other agencies should acknowledge the
centrality of the concepts of vulnerability and resilience to effective
management of emergencies and disasters.

3. Complexity, uncertainty and change should be acknowledged as key features

of disaster management
Emergency Service Organisations and other agencies should recognise that
complexity and uncertainty are central features of social activity and of disaster
Assessing Resilience & Vulnerability: Buckle, Marsh & Smale May 2001
management. In turn, this suggests that current management, planning and
assessment methods be critically examined to ensure that they can
incorporate these real world elements.

4. Indicators and data should be developed to assist planning and management

Indicators of resilience and vulnerability and appropriate data sets need to be
identified and developed as crucial elements of improved understanding and
better management.

5. Planning methods should be reviewed to ensure their appropriateness to

local circumstances
Risk assessment, social auditing and disaster management planning methods
and processes need to be critically reviewed to ensure that their outcomes
are relevant to local communities and to local circumstances.

6. Arrangements for cross boundary support need to be developed

Arrangements for communities to be supported from appropriate sources
need to be developed that are not constrained by administrative boundaries
that are not, for the immediate purpose, optimum.

7. Agencies and communities need to understand social and economic

Agencies and communities need to have a better understanding of the
context in which they operate. This includes an improved appreciation of
social and economic trends and it requires the capacity to reflect on one’s
own position in a wider context and to assess the influence of trends and

8. Local communities should be directly engaged in disaster management

Local communities should be active participants in disaster planning and
management. This may require consultation, participation and management at
levels lower than municipal government.

9. Community capacity building should be an integral part of emergency

Ensuring local capacity to contribute effectively to disaster management
through community capacity building should be an integral part of the disaster
management process.

10. Resilience and vulnerability audits should be undertaken as part of the

disaster management planning process
Assessment of people and communities at risk should be undertaken
comprehensively for each jurisdiction and administrative area. This should be
an immediate activity and should be continuing.

11. Programmes and activities should be developed to enhance resilience and

reduce vulnerability
Assessing Resilience & Vulnerability: Buckle, Marsh & Smale May 2001
Programmes targeted at strengthening resilience and minimising vulnerability
should be developed and implemented as part of the disaster management
process. These programmes should be considered for individuals, groups,
communities and agencies.

12. The disaster management community should develop reciprocal linkages

with other programme areas
To avoid duplication of effort, for better information exchange, to ensure
comprehensive coverage of issues and needs and for reciprocal benefit
stronger linkages should be developed between disaster management and
other programme areas including social planning, land use planning, health
promotion, training and education, community development and livelihood

13. Research should be actively encouraged and research methods should be

To achieve a better understanding of social needs and capacities, to ensure
relevance of planning and management and to audit programme efficacy,
research and critical analysis need to be strongly and actively encouraged in
the emergency management community.

Assessing Resilience & Vulnerability: Buckle, Marsh & Smale May 2001

What follows is a selected bibliography that addresses issues of resilience and

vulnerability and issues relating to appropriate research methods. This listing is not
exhaustive. The full range of available literature is vast. We leave it to the reader to
search out more detail given a starting point here.

Blaikie, P, Cannon, T, Davis, I & Wisner, B 1994 At Risk: natural hazards, people’s
vulnerability and disasters Routledge London 1994

Bond l, Thomas l, Toumbourou J, Catalano R, Improving the Lives of Young Victorians in

Our Community: a survey of risk and protective factors Melbourne Centre for Adolescent
Health 2000

Boughton, G The Community: central to emergency risk management Australian Journal of

Emergency Management Winter 1998 pp 2 — 5

Buckle, P Assessing Community Resilience and Vulnerability: Guidelines Department of

Human Services 1999

Buckle, P Defining Community and Vulnerability: A New Approach James Cook University
Conference on Disaster Management: Crisis and Opportunity Cairns November 1998

Buckle, P Defining Community and Vulnerability — Current Issues in Risk Management The
Australian Journal of Emergency Management Australian Emergency Management
Institute 1998

Buckle, P, Marsh, G and Smale, S New Approaches to Assessing Vulnerability and Resilience
Disaster Prevention for the 21st Century: Proceedings of the Australian Disaster
Conference 1999 Canberra 1-3 November Emergency Management Australian
Canberra pp 123 — 128 1999

Bunbury B Cyclone Tracy: Picking up the Pieces - talking history Fremantle Arts Centre
Press 1994

Coakes S Consulting Communities: A policymaker's guide to consulting with communities

and interest groups Bureau of Rural Sciences Canberra 1999

Coakes S Social Impact Assessment: A policy maker's guide to developing Social Impact
Assessment programs Bureau of Rural Sciences Canberra 2000

Davis M Ecology of Fear: Los Angeles and the Imagination of Disaster Metropolitan Books
New York 1998

East Gippsland Shire, Department of Human Services, Department of Natural

Resources and Environment Report on the 1998 East Gippsland Floods East Gippsland
Assessing Resilience & Vulnerability: Buckle, Marsh & Smale May 2001
Shire, Department of Human Services, Department of Natural Resources and
Environment 2000

East Gippsland Shire and Others Reports of the Community Development Officers - East
Gippsland Floods East Gippsland Shire and Others 2000

Emergency Management Australia 1998 Australian Emergency

Management Glossary Canberra

Erikson, K T A New Species of Trouble: Explorations in Disaster, Trauma and Community W

W Norton & Company New York 1994

Erikson, K T Everything in its Path: Destruction of Community in the Buffalo Creek Flood
Simon and Schuster New York 1976

European Union Report on Risk Assessment Procedures used in the field of civil protection
and rescue services in different European Union Countries and in Norway European Union

Eyre A In Remembrance: Post Disaster Rituals and Symbols Australian Journal of

Emergency Management Spring 1999 pp23 — 29

Federal Emergency Management Agency Multi Hazard Identification and Risk Assessment
FEMA Washington 1997

Ferrier, N Demographics and Emergency Management: Knowing Your Stakeholders

Australian Journal of Emergency Management Summer 1999 - 2000 pp 2 — 4

Flood Hazard Research Centre - Middlesex University The Health effects of Floods: the
Easter 1998 Floods in England Flood Hazard Research Centre 3/99 9 pages

Flood Hazard Research Centre - Middlesex University Assessing vulnerability to flooding:

draft Flood Hazard Research Centre Sep 2000

Florida Department Of Community Affairs The Local Mitigation Strategy: A Guidebook for
Florida Cities and Counties Vulnerability Assessment Supplement, Part 1 & Part 2 nd

Fordham M Participatory planning for flood mitigation: models and approaches Australian
Journal of Emergency Management Summer 1998/99 pp 27 — 34

Fukuyama F Trust: The Social Virtues & the Creation of Prosperity The Free Press New
York 1995

Gabriela Y. Solis with Henry C. Hightower June Kawaguchi Guidelines on Cultural

Diversity and Disaster Management The Disaster Preparedness Resources Centre The
University of British Columbia for Emergency Preparedness Canada 1997

Gilbert, R & Kreimer, A Learning from the World Bank's Experience of Natural Disaster
Related Assistance World Bank Washington 1999

Assessing Resilience & Vulnerability: Buckle, Marsh & Smale May 2001
Granger K, Jones T, Leiba M and Scott G Community Risk in Cairns: A Multi Hazard Risk
Assessment Australian Geological Survey Organisation Canberra 1999

Granger K, Middelmann, M Community Risk in Mackay: A Multi Hazard Risk Assessment

Australian Geological Survey Organisation Canberra 2001

Gregg, E, Toumbourou, G, Bond, l & Patton, G Improving the Lives of Young Victorians in
Our Community: a menu of services Centre for Adolescent Health 2000

Hames R & Callanan G Burying the 20th Century: New Paths for New Futures Business
and Professional Publishing Warriewood NSW 1997

Hardi, P & Atkisson, A The Dashboard of Sustainability: Design Specifications Document

Draft 1 International Institute for Sustainable Development Winnipeg 2000

Hardi, P & Zdan, T Assessing Sustainable Development: Principles in Practices International

Institute for Sustainable Development Winnipeg 1999

Hewitt K Regions of Risk: A Geographical Introduction to Disasters Longman Harlow 1997

Hewitt, K. (ed.) (1983) Interpretations of Calamity Allen and Unwin Boston

Hinton P (ed.) Disasters; image and context Sydney Studies Sydney 1992

King, D and MacGregor, C Using Social indicators to measure community vulnerability

to natural hazards Australian Journal of Emergency Management Spring 2000 pp 52 - 57

McEwin M Towards a Statistical Road Map for Social Capital: Issues Paper Australian
Bureau of Statistics 2000

Monmonier M Cartographies of Danger; Mapping Hazards in America University of

Chicago Press Chicago 1997

Putnam R D Making Democracy Work: Civic Traditions in Modern Italy Princeton U P

Princeton 1993

Rubin, C Emergency Management in the 21st Century: Coping with Bill Gates Osama bin-
Laden and Hurricane Mitch Natural Hazards Research and Applications Information
Center University of Colorado Natural Hazards Research Working Paper #104 2000

Samson P & Crow A Dunblane: Our Year of Tears Mainstream Publishing Edinburgh 1997

Sen A Poverty and Famines: An Essay on Entitlement and Deprivation Clarendon Oxford

Shire of Yarra Ranges Report of the 1997 Dandenong Ranges Bushfires Shire of Yarra
Ranges 2000

Stephen O. Bender The Vulnerability Context of Disasters UN-IDNDR and QUIPUNET

Internet Conference. 14-25 June 1999
Assessing Resilience & Vulnerability: Buckle, Marsh & Smale May 2001
Twigg, J The Age of Accountability: Future Community Involvement in Disaster Reduction
Australian Journal of Emergency Management Summer 1999 - 200 pp 51 — 58

Winchester, P. 1992 Power, Choice and Vulnerability: A Case Study in Disaster

Mismanagement in South India James & James London

World Bank World Bank Development Report: 2000/2001 Attacking Poverty World Bank
OUP 2001

World Bank New Paths to Social Development Community and Global Networks in Action
World Bank, Geneva 2000

World Bank Managing the Social Dimensions of Crises: Good Practices in Social Policy
World Bank, Geneva 1999

World Health Organization World Health Report 2000 WHO 2000

Internet References
Searching on the basis of general social issues relevant to vulnerability and resilience we
provide the following list.

Centre of Excellence for Sustainable Development
Bureau of Rural Sciences
Community Development Society
Communities that Care Tools for communities to promote positive development
Environmental and Societal Impacts Group
Glenorchy City - Where ideas happen
Hart Environmental Data - Indicators of Sustainability
Ontario Community Health Mapping Project
Oregon Progress Board
Social Capital for Development
Sustainable Communities Network
Social Indicators Site
World Bank
Community 2020
Assessing Resilience & Vulnerability: Buckle, Marsh & Smale May 2001
Resilient Communities Project
Sustainable Development Home Page

Searching on the basis of emergency management issues we list the following sites.
Emergency Management Sites include:

American Red Cross
Home Office Emergency Planning Division
Australasian Disaster and Hazard Research Directory
Australian Geological Survey Organisation
Australasian Journal of Disaster and Trauma Studies
Australasian Society for Traumatic Stress Studies
Department of Human Services - Emergency Management
Centre for Development Studies - The University of Bath
CDMP Resources for Hazard Mitigation Planning
Civil Protection - Legislation - Civil Protection and Environmental Emergencies -
European Commission
Community Based Approaches to Disaster Management (CBDM - 3)
Disaster Research Centre
East Gippsland Shire Council
Country Fire Authority
FEMA Disaster Mitigation, Preparedness, Response & Recovery
GDIN Home Page -- Global Disaster Information Network
Grand Forks outreach
The Natural Hazards Center
Natural Hazards Research Centre
Natural Disaster Management
Assessing Resilience & Vulnerability: Buckle, Marsh & Smale May 2001
Natural Hazards Project - Proyecto de Peligros Naturales
Prince William Sound Regional Citizens' Advisory Council
Phoenix Disaster Recovery Planning
Relief Web Homepage
Risk Analysis Center
The Sphere Project
The World Bank Group Development Topics and Sectors

Assessing Resilience & Vulnerability: Buckle, Marsh & Smale May 2001