Lifestyle 'at risk' ? The case of Ingham

Helen Boon, Brenton Clark, Alison Cottrell, Bob Stevenson, Joanne Millar, David King

Research output: Book chapter/Published conference paperConference paperpeer-review

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Abstract

Although the economic fabric of thecommunity was severely impacted by the floods and subsequent mismanagement ofsome relief efforts, locals were adamant th at the desirable lifestyle offered by thecommunity was a strong motivating force to sustain their recovery and support theiradaptation. Implications of the findings for disaster management and recovery highlight the needto ensure that local organisations and the council have clear and up to dateemergency plans in place, including a range of local individuals able to lead theresponse and recovery phase in consultation with state emergency services andfederal government organisations. Community networks need to be developed andexisting ones need to be maintained and strengthened since they play a key role incommunity cohesion, which in turn is critical for the effective communication andresponse to all phases of a disaster, including preparedness and recovery. Effective community disaster response takes place when all agencies, governmentand private, all individuals and households are engaged in awareness education andpreparedness, and respond collaboratively.This report presents findings about community responses to the 2009 floods experienced in Ingham, North Queensland. Two consecutive floods occurred inIngham in 2009 which were both predominantly riverine and exacerbated byprolonged rainfall. Emergency Management Queensland estimated that 65% of theHinchinbrook Shire or around 2,900 residences and businesses were affected by theFebruary 2009 floodwaters with fifty homes experiencing inundation. TheQueensland Premier estimated infrastructure damage at $120 million and theInsurance Council of Australia recorded a total cost of $19 million in insurance claimsfollowing the event.The aim of the case study was to explore factors which sustained the community andhelped community members adapt after the floods. Data was collected through aseries of interviews conducted during 2010. A total of 77 participants representing arange of organisations, interest groups and demographics were interviewed in aseries of focus group and individual interviews. Interviewees were asked about theirexperiences of the flood, including who and what helped them, who was most orleast affected and why they chose to continue to live in the community.Bronfenbrenner's conceptual framework of influences was used as the theoreticallens with which to analyse participant responses.Results suggest that residents and organisational units such as the hospital andlocal council quickly responded with strong, effective leadership to ensureappropriate help was available to community members. Strong cohesive socialnetworks, prior experiences with floods, a sense of place and commitment to thecommunity underpinned the response phase of the disaster and maintained thecommunity efforts during the recovery period.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationEarth, Fire and Rain
EditorsCathryn Gertzos
Place of PublicationQueensland
PublisherAST Management Pty Ltd
Pages59-74
Number of pages16
ISBN (Electronic)9780980814743
Publication statusPublished - 2012
EventAustralian & New Zealand Disaster and Emergency Management Conference - Brisbane Exhibition & Convention Centre, Brisbane, Australia
Duration: 16 Apr 201218 Apr 2012
https://anzdmc.com.au/proceedings.pdf (Proceedings)

Conference

ConferenceAustralian & New Zealand Disaster and Emergency Management Conference
Abbreviated titleEarth: Fire and Rain
Country/TerritoryAustralia
CityBrisbane
Period16/04/1218/04/12
Internet address

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