Community-based preparedness programmes and the 2009 Australian bushfires: policy implications derived from applying theory

Colin MacDougall, L Gibbs, Rachel Clark

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    18 Citations (Scopus)

    Abstract

    The Victorian Country Fire Authority in Australia runs the Community Fireguard (CFG) programme to assist individuals and communities in preparing for fire. The objective of this qualitative research was to understand the impact of CFG groups on their members' fire preparedness and response during the 2009 Australian bushfires. Social connectedness emerged as a strong theme, leading to an analysis of data using social capital theory. The main strength of the CFG programme was that it was driven by innovative community members; however, concerns arose regarding the extent to which the programme covered all vulnerable areas, which led the research team to explore the theory of diffusion of innovation. The article concludes by stepping back from the evaluation and using both applied theories to reflect on broad options for community fire preparedness programmes in general. The exercise produced two contrasting options for principles underlying community fire preparedness programmes.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)249-266
    Number of pages18
    JournalDISASTERS
    Volume38
    Issue number2
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - Apr 2014

    Keywords

    • Bushfires
    • Diffusion of innovation
    • Forest fires
    • Social capital
    • Wild fires
    • Wildland fires

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