This report presents key findings, analysis and recommendations from a review of community preparedness and responses to bushfires in New South Wales, Australia, in 2017. The research team was tasked with reviewing the following themes:
Theme 1: Information and warnings
- The effectiveness of warnings delivered to the community during fire events and the resulting actions taken
- Did the warnings and information provided assist people to reduce the risk to agricultural assets?
- The delivery of Catastrophic fire danger messages to areas which were not impacted by fire, to investigate whether this may have an effect on future responses during fire events
- How people sought out information relating to the fires
- What were the drivers and motivators for those people who sought to reenter fire grounds? What was their perception of the risks associated with doing so?
Theme 2: Planning and preparedness measures
- An understanding of the perception of risk, particularly in the farming communities affected by fires
- Responses by the community and how people prioritised their protective responses (such as livestock, machinery and housing)
- The perception of risk to and value of agricultural assets vs homes
- What influence previous fire history had on their planning, preparedness and decisions
- Identified intervention strategies
- What information or advice people sought out in the lead up to the specific fire event