Info - Project AFW


= Project outline =

The project aims to develop criteria for the usefulness of websites on disaster preparedness, to apply them in a critical assessment of websites provided by fire authorities, and to identify needs for the future enhancement of fire website use. Both housefire issues and bushfire (wildfire, forest fire) issues are considered.

Research plan, phase 1 (mid-2000 to 2001): After scanning a large number of pertinent internet resources, six websites were selected, 4 Australian and 2 North American ones. They were assessed by experienced raters according to a set of substantive and procedural criteria, including comprehensibility, substantive completeness, meeting information needs, visual appeal, navigability of the site. To guide the assessments, a standardized instrument containing appraisal scales and open-ended questions was developed. Participant set-up: 4 fire experts, 4 residents of bushfire-prone areas, 4 risk communication researchers, 4 cognitive psychologists experienced with websites.
For a report about the main results click afw-report.

In phase 2 of this project (2002), exploratory interviews with residents in fire-prone areas were conducted. All findings gathered were then discussed in an expert workshop, and conclusions about the current utility and future potential of internet-based approaches to enhancing fire safety of residents are to be developed.

= Publications =

Some results are published in:
ROHRMANN, B. (2003). The utility of the Wold-Wide-Web in fire preparedness of residents. Australian Journal of Emergency Management, 18, 20-28.
ROHRMANN, B. (2003). Bushfire preparedness of residents: Insights from socio-psychological research. In: CARY, G., DOVERS, S., LINDENMAYER, D. (Eds.), Australia burning: fire ecology, policy and management issues, Canberra: CSIRO.

= Contact =

Prof. Bernd ROHRMANN,  via
Roman Research Road venture, Melbourne, Victoria 3054, AUSTRALIA
E-Mail: mail {at}

BR 11-02-03