Info - Project EBP

Evaluation of community-based approaches to bushfire preparedness

Bernd ROHRMANN (University of Melbourne)

= Project summary =

The research project conducted in 1996-1998 dealt with a new approach to bushfire preparedness which focuses on community participation and encourages people to take responsibility for fire safety and survival strategies. It was conducted in collaboration with the Country Fire Authority of Victoria, CFA.

The objectives of this evaluation study were: A critical analysis of the content and design of pertinent programs, based on a socio-psychological perspective; surveying the reception, understanding, acceptance and implementation of measures by both residents and officials from authorities; and a comprehensive evaluation of program outcomes on which enhancements of Australian fire safety initiatives can be based.

The research design included theoretical work, surveys with residents exposed to programs such as "Community Fireguard" (as well as comparison groups not involved in bushfire preparedness campaigns), interviews with people who have experienced a major fire and focus groups with experts. It was developed in close co-operation with CFA scientific officers. All empirical parts have been completed.

This project was financed by grants from the Australian Research Council for Collaborative Research, by the University of Melbourne and by the CFA Fire Management Department. The results available so far are very encouraging for community-based disaster preparedness campaign: most participants are satisfied with the Fireguard program and are likely to implement preparatory measures.

ROHRMANN, B.: Community-based fire preparedness programs: An empirical evaluation. Australasian Journal of Disaster Studies, 99-1.
ROHRMANN, B. Assessing the Impact of fire risk communication; in: MFB (Ed.), InFire'98 Proceedings, Melbourne: Metropolitan Fire Brigade 1998.
ROHRMANN, B.: Effective risk communication for fire preparedness: A conceptual framework, The Australian J of Emergency Management, 10, 42-46, 1995.

= Contact address =

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

BR 11-12-00