By Amanda Lamont, Australian Institute for Disaster Resilience
The importance of working together, sharing collective knowledge and expertise and building capability in communities and emergency management agencies is central to building the nation’s resilience. As disasters increase in occurrence and complexity in Australia and overseas the imperative to work together is more important than ever.
The Australian Institute for Disaster Resilience (AIDR) is bringing together experts in the humanitarian, operational and research areas of emergency management to revitalise the national disaster resilience Body of Knowledge (BOK).
The BOK encompasses disaster, resilience, and emergency information, and resources from national and international sources and is available to the public, professionals and organisations. It comprises resources, information, research, data, capability-building tools and professional development opportunities related to disaster resilience.
Sitting within the BOK is the Australian Disaster Resilience Knowledge Hub, a central platform with information relating to disasters and disaster resilience.
The Knowledge Hub is the first place to go to access resources including the Emergency Management Library, the Australian Journal of Emergency Management (containing over three decades of published articles and research) and the national collection of disaster resilience handbooks.
The Knowledge Hub is being upgraded to make sure its collections are current and available to emergency services agencies, the public, community groups and anyone else interested in disaster resilience. The Knowledge Hub will be relaunched at the end of 2016 with a new look and updated information and resources.
The Knowledge Hub can be accessed at www.emknowledge.org.au.
The national disaster resilience handbooks are a collection of emergency management principles and practice references. Information in the handbooks is important to the understanding, management and delivery of services in disasters. The collection has been developed over time with the support of national committees representing a range of state and territory agencies and disaster management experts. The handbook collection covers themes including evacuation planning, community recovery, disaster health, the national strategy for disaster resilience - community engagement framework and national emergency risk assessment.
Alongside the handbooks is a suite of documents, guidelines, events, professional development programs, communities-of-practice and research that helps users integrate the information into practical application.
As a collection of national reference documents the handbooks can be used by anyone involved in managing disasters; before, during and after. The information in the handbooks is general enough to be used nationally across a multitude of emergency events, yet specific enough to guide development of plans, procedures and programs for specific contexts.
The handbook collection is undergoing a major review to ensure the content is current, relevant and accessible. Working groups from government agencies, community groups and public and private sector organisations will provide their expertise in this process.
The current manual series will also be reviewed and will form part of the suite of materials supporting the handbooks.
AIDR welcomes contributions and feedback regarding the review of the handbook and manual collections. Contributions can be submitted via the AIDR website at www.aidr.org.au or email firstname.lastname@example.org.