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Scenario: bush fires in Melbourne 2017

Imagine you are the emergency manager in a community that has recently suffered a major bushfire/flood or earthquake (choose one. You may chose an alternative scenario but check with the coordinator first). You have been asked to provide the Disaster Management Committee with a brief on the recovery phase to guide their on-going management of the event.

Prepare a brief outlining:

1. The principles that should guide management of the recovery phase.

2. The key strategies required to ensure effective management of the recovery phase.

3. How you would evaluate the effectiveness of the recovery phase management.

Background

With more than 18 homes and 40 sheds being destroyed in the recent Victoria’s worst fires even reported which ripped the state’s South West during the weekend leaving houses, property and livestock destroyed is a clear indication of how Melbourne is prone to fire hazards.

The bushfires happened under extreme weather conditions that led to Australia recording the highest number in the loss of lives from bushfires with more than 180 fatalities and 400 injured. There were more than 400 different fires reported and it after and during the aftermath that the day became known as the Black Saturday.

The purpose of this report is to provide recommendations on how to facilitate the recovery of victims involved in the bushfires. The communities affected should be trained in how to rescue people trapped in houses following the outbreak of such fires. This should be accompanied by giving people on such communities the resuscitation skills to be used to help those already affected by smoke. Fire assembly zones should also be established where people assemble and take headcounts to ascertain missing persons that need to be rescued before it is too late.

However, warnings entailing watch and act are still useful in regions prone to grass fires such as Terang, Garvoc and near Gazette and the firefighters have been able to combat the flames due to favorable conditions during the night. The watch and act warning that entailed a grass fire at Camperdown were downgraded to a message of advice following containment of the fire. More than 200 fire crew remain on the fire scenes as the blazes burn within containment zones. The fires in Melbourne according to authorities believe were as a result of lightning strikes during the night and saw more than 14,000 hectares consumed. Residents of places such as Terang thought to be one of the worst-hit regions have reported that most of these fires arrive fast even before warning flaming up to more than seven meters in height.

The process of Melbourne community recovering from the bushfires can be a sophisticated and a lengthy procedure where different communities have different rates of recovery. The recovery component of the comprehensive mechanism for the management of disaster such as prevention, preparedness and recovery can be deemed as the most sophisticated. The best results are achieved be facilitating that recovery interventions are in concession with community need and are informed by the affected community. As such this commands collaborative, adaptable and a coordinated approach where the task for managing disaster recovery is shared among all stakeholders of the community entailing families, businesses and all levels of state.

The concept of mass casualty incident arises when the medical wants of many victims such as from those of Melbourne bush fire outweigh the medical resources available. Such events span from car crashes to large-scale calamities such as the Melbourne bushfires where many get injured. It is because of resource constraints during an MCI that medical practitioners tasked with providing health care should change their approach from giving maximum care for one victim to delivering the optimum attention for a large multitude involved in the catastrophe. Thus, systems of mass casualty triage exist for purposes of helping providers medical care in prioritizing MCI patients to be treated and get transported such that the limited resources can be utilized appropriately (Lerner, et al., 2015). Accurate triaging of MCI victims can help improve survival and results.

Injuries

Many works of literature address the responses of the health system to mass burn catastrophes that arise from wildfires. A good illustration is the Black Saturday catastrophe in that occurred in the state of Victoria. The disaster is the worst recorded in the state of Victoria and one of the worst in the world’s history as it claimed more than 170 lives and cost AUD 4 billion.

In the case of bushfire such as the Black Saturday, more than 400 people got injured. As a consequence of the speed and intensity of the fires, many casualties of bushfires succumbed to death or survived with minor injuries. Fewer major burns were reported compared to other bushfires, for instance, the Ash Wednesday. Some of the individuals that were subjected to medical treatment in hospitals,20 had severe burns, and more than 350 had minor burns and other injuries associated with bushfire incidences. Disaster plans that were nationwide and state-oriented were affected across Australia. More than twenty patients that had severe burns were admitted to referral hospitals where eighteen were reported to be adults. One of the patients that had been admitted to Royal Children’s Hospital and two from Alfred Hospital succumbed to their injuries leading to death. Most patients were characterized by severe burns referred to as triage were managed at referral hospitals with burns wings. Throughout the catastrophe, burns wings at referral hospitals experienced large surge capacity.

The following identified principles help facilitate the recovery planning and operations in Australia.

Understanding the context.

It is crucial to recognize and give credit to the available strengths and capacity providing a reference to the experiences of the past. It is such strengths that help the community to understand the resources at their disposal to combat any natural disasters that may occur (UM SYSTEM, 2017). The strengths are also vital in the fact that the community has leverage at all times as they are prepared at all times and when the occurrence of any havoc takes place they are not found by surprise, and the community can mitigate and control the situation.

Facilitates understanding the risks and limitations experienced by the community. Taking note of the potential risks is helpful in planning for the outcomes associated with the actual event taking place. For instance, if a bushfire occurs there should be a plan on how to handle and control such an event.

Streamlining the process associated with disaster risk reduction in the recovery phase

The recovery phase should be utilized as an opportunity to facilitate safety standards and incorporate risk reduction in the development to ensure elimination of chances of rebuilding the risk. 

With regards to the bushfires, it is essential to have firemen services readily available within the communities that are considered to be at risk. This includes having state of the art technology that maps and gives the probability of bushfires occurring sending signals to the communities involved. The use of a community-based approach that promotes the restoration of services considered vital to the wellbeing of an individual and provides an opportunity to develop resilience while improving community scenarios and preparedness beyond their status prior to pre-disaster. Some of the immediate responses to the bushfires such as the Black Saturday entailed quick community response, international aid, and donations.

Principles that guide the management of recovery phase

Measures in this process should entail promoting that all proposals regarding recovery are backed by evaluations that are a multi-hazard risk in nature and also having relevant measures that control and reduce risks (Queensland Government, 2017). Having relevant information regarding bushfires made available and being given priority in the process of decision making is crucial in this process.

Developing and maintaining a criterion or a framework that outlines the acceptable levels of risk should be encouraged. Lastly, it is essential to strengthen disaster management abilities ate both the provincial and national levels in sectors such as facilitating capacity building at the local levels and conducting training personnel for handling bushfires in Melbourne and this entails formulating plans for disaster preparedness while promoting and giving moral support to capacities at the level of municipal (Queensland Government, 2018). It is also necessary to develop initial warning abilities with regards to Melbourne bushfires specifically at the local level with the incorporation of both the national and regional monitoring systems.

Proper evaluation is a must in ensuring a successful recovery system

A recovery programming should be developed and established from a sound and an involving examination of needs, abilities and the causes among other issues. Thus, the causes and the magnitude of vulnerability are comprehended, and the local intervention, resources, and skills of the victims are used to full capacity during the recovery and reconstruction phases. This could entail giving fire lessons to the victims of bushfires in Melbourne on how to minimize the occurrence of bushfires as some are due to carelessness for instance smoking and throwing a matchstick in dry bushes could lead to massive fires.

Contribute to revitalizing the economy of the victims

The activities at the recovery phase should be aimed at contributing to the process of revitalizing the economy of the communities affected by reviving the production and created income generation opportunities for such people. The goals and objectives should transcend the restoration of the pre-disaster magnitude of economic activities. However, it should aim to create livelihoods that are sustainable for the affected population (OECD, 2015). Constructing local and national abilities for increased resilience, management of risks and enhancing sustainable development.

The recovery phase should serve as a platform for strengthening structures of governance specifically at the regional level. It taps on the vast social and the human abilities necessary for ensuring recovery from disasters, ensuring that there is the restoration of livelihoods and the regional infrastructure following a disaster. It is through strengthening and constructing capacities at both the regional and national levels that recovery becomes resource efficient enabling small external and global inputs to have a substantial impact (Saha, 2011). Attaining the goals of developing local and national capacities portrays that technical existence from external sources should only supplement the existing abilities and be perceived as supportive rather than directive. Such assistance should include technological transfers, knowledge, and capacities for increased resilience, mitigation of risk and ensure sustainable development.

Take advantage of progressive initiatives

The process of recovery is a platform for reviewing development in progress initiatives and restructure as vital and viable to contribute to developing resilience and abilities in the communities affected. Thus, as a threshold, initiatives in progress should be revised to ensure that they are not an addition to further risks.

Understanding the context

Gender sensitivity

Attention ought to be paid regarding evaluation, and planning phases of recovery of the crucial role women play a member of the community and leaders and the hurdles they encounter for instance property rights and being the sole breadwinners in specific trying times (Kima, et al., 2012). Thus, such an initiative leads to recognizing gender-sensitive programs necessary for the recovery and facilitating development.

In response to bushfires, new regulations in buildings in some of the areas considered bushfire-prone in Victoria got fast-tracked by having proper standards in place. The building commission in Victoria released a variety of publications that could help people to return to their properties by first moving into temporary dwellings, retrofitting current homes and building new structures in bushfire-prone regions. The new standards dictate that all properties irrespective of whether not found in bushfire regions will be mandatory to be subjected to bushfire attack assessment and then given a rating based on Bushfire Attack Level that offers the specification on the kind of construction to be adopted. The government is also considering banning construction of houses in areas deemed of highest risk which happen to be some of the most dangerous globally

Rehabilitation of built structures and regional infrastructure

In a disaster such as the Melbourne bushfire, the built environment becomes the primary target of destructive processes at play. The destruction of structures hinders the regular operations of the social and economic context. Simultaneously the existence of associations with other sectors, the housing and infrastructure segment portrays an excellent opportunity in the recovery process of any disaster. It is a crucial element in helping bridge the gap between emergency relief and recovery that is sustainable in achieving the long-term development through its ability to take part in a catalytic role in any incorporated and multi-faceted to the process of development.

Reconstruction of damaged components should be conceived as an opportunity to reduce deficits experienced during development and to meet the unmet needs (Dwyer & Horney, 2014). This approach transcends the simple replacement of damaged structures to achieve the development goals in reducing vulnerabilities. Some of the identified recovery activities may entail reconstructing local water systems and educational facilities.

Employment and livelihoods

The recovery programmes of the affected people in Melbourne due to bush fires should focus on improving the conditions of the affected communities. Particular matters need to be addressed such as the production of agriculture and livestock by providing seeds, equipment, and micro-credit among other means. Recovering and improving social infrastructure, for example, the roads and markets that promote economic activities. The reconstruction of the housing segment by employing regional technologies, construction materials and the local knowledge in ensuring that construction operations have a direct positive impact on the regional economy.

Primary infrastructure and lifeline facilities

The constant rehabilitation of basic infrastructures such as main roads, bridges, main power supply, and distribution facilities can lead to a rapid restoration and progress of the affected area (United Nations, 2005). The essential component for an effective rehabilitation programme is having a precise and a complete damage assessment which generates information on the reasons behind the damaging of the infrastructure and this determines the framework incorporating risk reduction during the rehabilitation and reconstruction phase.

Streamlining the process associated with disaster risk reduction in the recovery phase

Resettlement of families

Following the aftermath of bush fires in Melbourne, there is the need for experts and state officials to have a safer location where people at risk can be resettled. However, based on previous experiences, relocating a population to new places has become a sophisticated matter and has many hurdles (Stefanelli & Williams, 2011). However, for resettlement to work the following issues need to be looked at. One is that resettlement should transcend the housing provisions and cater for other needs of the victims such as their livelihoods and economic activities. The program has to go further and extend its scope by taking into consideration the significant issues. With regards to management of disaster and risk reduction. This in-depth command analysis of contemporary sites by analyzing potential risks and hazards associated with such places. Risk mapping should be given a priority and be prepared in advance before the construction of a new site to eliminate risks associated with rebuilding (Martin, 2017). People have been associated with having robust economic, social and cultural motives that impact their choice of settlement; it is thus crucial that decisions involving relocation and selection of sites to be used for resettlement be made in a consultative way allowing full participation of the communities affected. The victims of Melbourne bush fires are entitled to be informed and prepared psychologically before the accept being relocated voluntarily.

Establish relevant institutional arrangements

The primary hurdle in formulating an institutional arrangement to be used for recovery is to incorporate an implementation structure that does not overlook the prevailing institutional mechanisms (Argyrous, 2016). Though experience reveals that it is always prudent to base the recovery phase on institutional frameworks if a structure is to be established and have a significant objective in achieving cohesion and understanding among the different stakeholders.

Planning

The appropriate items during the evaluating planning and implementation entail identifying the feasibility of the evaluation, recognizing stakeholders and giving particulars with regards to short and long terms (Gilissen, et al., 2016). For instance, it is essential for the management to be clear and transparent as to the methods used during the evaluation and the criteria employed in determining the need for a particular program with regards to bush fires in Melbourne.

Priority programs always emerge weeks after a disaster. For instance, following the bushfires in Melbourne, strategic programs such as property cleanup, Temporary accommodation, and donations program were established.

Community engagement

For the individuals that were affected, they always look for clear guidance and evidence that the recovery planning is on the way. After the bushfires in Melbourne such as the Black Saturday Bushfires, there were multiple weekly communal meetings held in many locations across Victoria that aimed at disseminating information and receive concerns of the people. There was also the creation of committees of community recovery that were involved in dealing with planning and nominating people to work with the local government in helping identify the needs and wants of the Melbourne affected families (Lebowitz, 2015). The primary function of the Authority was to ensure that needs have been prioritized to deliver expectations of the community.

Formative and process evaluation

When the evaluation is conducted during implementation of a program may evaluate the success of a program in recruiting its participants by utilizing the training materials that attain the standards with regards to accuracy and transparency while meeting the projected deadlines. Such an evaluation should also coordinate perfectly with other programs in progress and passing some legal measures (Janis, et al., 2010). An evaluation conducted during the implementation of a program could serve to inform mid-corrections before execution of a program or shed some light on the implementation of a project during the recovery phase.

With regards to initiatives involving community engagements, formative and process evaluations can entail an assessment of the process where partnerships are developed and sustained.

Completion

After completion of a program, the evaluation may evaluate its immediate results or the long-term effect or may summarize its general performance taking into consideration efficiency and sustainability aspects of the program. The outcome of a program can be defined as the social condition that a program is anticipated to have impacted. The number of people who have received a program service may not be considered a program outcome unless there is a change in behavior or attitude. For instance, the elderly people receiving food would not be classified as program outcome unless the nutritional aspects of the meals translate to better health outcomes with regards to their health leading to better quality life and that is when it can be regarded as a program outcome.

The evaluation of a program can define the scope to which a changed outcome can be associated with a particular program (Stenfanelli & Williams, 2011). In the case of a partnership being evaluated, the contributions out of that partnership with regards to the program results and may be part of the evaluation process.

Once the positive outcome has been achieved, consequent program evaluation may evaluate the long-term effect the program aims to attain.

Scholars in the disaster paradigm have examined the nature of institutional based resilience; however, the existing research has not investigated the many network interventions in both the hierarchical and horizontal cooperation structures (Jung & Song, 2015). The big question of how the structural frameworks for collaboration in the context of emergency management networks impact disaster resilience goes unanswered. The study starts with filling the lacuna by examining a bonding and bridging technique for interinstitutional cooperation to identify how such patterns of organizational associations might facilitate the level of institutional resilience for each hierarchical and horizontal emergency web of management. Bonding techniques outline the importance of trust and information redundancy with regards to emergency preparedness and response (OECD, 2015). The bridging strategies play a crucial role in enabling local actors to find partners who can help provide vital information and resources in areas deemed prone to disasters such as Melbourne that is affected by bushfires. The outcomes of such studies back the study hypothesis by asserting that bridging strategies in emergency management that entail hierarchical networks have had a positive impact on the level of organizational resilience.

Conclusion

The management of a disaster is one hefty process that requires identifying the relevant principles that govern and revolve around the particular disaster. However, some policies may not apply to manage certain disasters. The use of key strategies in effectuating the management of emergencies is also essential as the strategies provide a framework to manage the aforementioned disaster. Evaluating the effectiveness of the strategy is also crucial as it allows for a clear picture of whether the desired outcomes have been met and achieved. If they have not been completed, then there is room for consideration and making amendments to ensure that the program reaches its desired purpose. Preparing in advance on how to combat bushfires in a place such as Melbourne is always helpful as it enables people ready at all times and has all the resources needed to handle such disasters. The planning process thus becomes handy in mitigating and combating the disaster.

References

Argyrous, G., 2016. A Monitoring and Evaluation Framework for Disaster Recovery Programs. [Online]
Available at: https://knowledge.aidr.org.au/media/4783/ausnz-school-of-govt_mpluse-framework-for-disaster-recovery-programs.pdf
[Accessed 27 September 2018].

Gilissen, H. K. et al., 2016. A framework for evaluating the effectiveness of flood emergency management systems in Europe. Ecology and Society, 21(4), pp. 27-32.

Martin, B., 2017. Disaster Recovery Plan Strategies and Processes. [Online]
Available at: https://www.sans.org/reading-room/whitepapers/recovery/paper/564
[Accessed 27 September 2018].

OECD, 2015. Development Co-operation by Countries Beyond the DAC. [Online]
Available at: https://www.oecd.org/dac/dac-global-relations/Development%20Co-operation%20by%20Countries%20beyond%20the%20DAC.pdf
[Accessed 27 September 2018].

Queensland Government, 2017. Prevention Preparedness, Response and Recovery Disaster Management Guideline. [Online]
Available at: https://www.disaster.qld.gov.au/dmg/Pages/DM-Guideline.aspx
[Accessed 27 September 2018].

Queensland Government, 2018. Disaster Management Guideline. [Online]
Available at: https://www.disaster.qld.gov.au/dmg/Pages/DM-Guideline-2.aspx#6
[Accessed 27 September 2018].

Saha, S. R., 2011. Working Through Ambiguity:International NGOs in Myanmar. [Online]
Available at: https://www.themimu.info/sites/themimu.info/files/documents/Report_Working_Through_Ambiguity_-_INGOs_in_Myanmar_Harvard_2011.pdf
[Accessed 27 September 2018].

Stefanelli, J. N. & Williams, S., 2011. Disaster Strikes: Regulatory Barriers to the Effective Delivery of International Disaster Assistance within the EU. Journal of International Humanitarian Legal Studies, 2(1), pp. 53-83.

UM SYSTEM, 2017. How to Prepare and Implement a Disaster Recovery Plan. [Online]
Available at: https://www.umsystem.edu/ums/fa/management/records/disaster-prepare
[Accessed 27 September 2018].

United Nations, 2005. Post-Disaster Recovery:Guidelines and Good Practices. [Online]
Available at: https://www.un.org/en/ecosoc/meetings/2005/docs/RECOVERY%20guidlines.pdf
[Accessed 27 September 2018].

Cite This Work

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My Assignment Help. (2020). Managing Recovery Phase After Bushfires In Melbourne 2017. Retrieved from https://myassignmenthelp.com/free-samples/pun453-disaster-response-and-recovery/recovery-of-victims.html.

"Managing Recovery Phase After Bushfires In Melbourne 2017." My Assignment Help, 2020, https://myassignmenthelp.com/free-samples/pun453-disaster-response-and-recovery/recovery-of-victims.html.

My Assignment Help (2020) Managing Recovery Phase After Bushfires In Melbourne 2017 [Online]. Available from: https://myassignmenthelp.com/free-samples/pun453-disaster-response-and-recovery/recovery-of-victims.html
[Accessed 25 June 2024].

My Assignment Help. 'Managing Recovery Phase After Bushfires In Melbourne 2017' (My Assignment Help, 2020) <https://myassignmenthelp.com/free-samples/pun453-disaster-response-and-recovery/recovery-of-victims.html> accessed 25 June 2024.

My Assignment Help. Managing Recovery Phase After Bushfires In Melbourne 2017 [Internet]. My Assignment Help. 2020 [cited 25 June 2024]. Available from: https://myassignmenthelp.com/free-samples/pun453-disaster-response-and-recovery/recovery-of-victims.html.

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