Disaster Preparedness: community preparedness & impact: 2013–2014 tropical cyclone season

West, C., Woods, C., Casella, Evan, and Usher, K. (2015) Disaster Preparedness: community preparedness & impact: 2013–2014 tropical cyclone season. Report. James Cook University, Cairns, QLD, Australia.

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Abstract

The North Queensland coastline and inland communities are subjected to cyclone or threat of cyclone on a yearly basis. Although there is often ample warning of cyclones, even at lower rated categories they cause disruption and damage to local communities.

Across the region there are a number of groups on local and state levels involved in prevention, preparedness, and response and recovery strategies relating to natural disasters. Overriding, the aim is to ensure residents of Northern and Far Northern Queensland are well educated and well prepared, that effective and speedy response efforts are made and that security and normalcy is returned as soon and as safely possible.

This project, funded by a Far North Queensland Hospital Foundation grant, focused firstly on the preparedness of community members for the 2013/2014 cyclone season. Of the 301 respondents, four (4) were non-North Queensland residents and 94% (n= 278) respondents had previously experienced a cyclone. It was these experiences and tacit knowledge gained from being raised in a cyclone prone region that provided the most valuable form of preparedness education for residents.

Secondly this project looked at the impact of experiencing a stressful life event such as a cyclone. Cyclones can cause widespread and extensive damage to homes, infrastructure, crops and vegetation. The impact is not purely financial as residents can suffer from acute psychological stress and in some cases ongoing post-traumatic stress events that require further support and help. Although the majority of participants (63%; n=188) reported no ongoing adverse effects, just over one quarter of participants reported some form of ongoing effect from having experienced a cyclone in the last 10 years. This knowledge creates valuable insight into populations subjected to frequent natural disasters and provides a platform for community assistance and recovery programs.

Item ID: 38016
Item Type: Report (Report)
ISBN: 978-0-9941500-9-7
Keywords: disaster preparedness; community preparedness, tropical cyclones; community impact
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© Caryn West, Cindy Woods, Evan Casella, Kim Usher. 2015. This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License. To view a copy of this license, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/

Funders: Far North Queensland Hospital Foundation
Projects and Grants: Far North Queensland Hospital Foundation Research Award
Date Deposited: 03 Jun 2015 04:39
FoR Codes: 11 MEDICAL AND HEALTH SCIENCES > 1110 Nursing > 111099 Nursing not elsewhere classified @ 100%
SEO Codes: 92 HEALTH > 9202 Health and Support Services > 920210 Nursing @ 100%
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