Recovery from disaster: Resilience, adaptability and perceptions of climate change


Focused on four disaster-impacted communities: Beechworth and Bendigo (VIC) and Ingham and Innisfail (QLD) this report makes recommendations for emergency management and local government policies.

Disasters disrupt multiple levels of socio-cultural systems in which lives are embedded. The study used Bronfenbrenner’s bioecological systems theory to analyse individual and, by proxy, community resilience. The theory provided a comprehensive framework to evaluate the interacting factors that support resilience across different disaster sites and communities. While Bronfenbrenner’s theory has been used extensively, the authors believe that this is the first time it has been used to model disaster resilience.

The project aimed to:
1) Identify private and public sector groups’ beliefs, behaviours and policies that have supported community resilience to a disaster event;
2) Examine the commonalities of the experience for the four types of disaster and the possible impact of their respective intensities, duration and perceived frequency, as well as how well communities cope with the unexpected;
3) Assess the degree of community resilience in each of four study sites in disaster affected areas; and
4) Construct a model with findings to help implement appropriate and equitable emergency management policies and mitigation strategies for climate change events.

A key hypothesis underpinning the research was that individuals remaining in the disaster impacted communities were likely to be resilient to disaster.

Please cite this report as:
Boon, HJ, Millar, J, Lake, D, Cottrell, A & King, D 2012, Recovery from disaster: Resilience, adaptability and perceptions of climate change. Its effect on perceptions of climate change risk and on adaptive behaviours to prevent, prepare, and respond to future climate contingencies, National Climate Change Adaptation Research Facility, Gold Coast, 467 pp.

Visit the project page 
View a fact sheet that summarises the report 

This image is copyright © 2011 Matthew Mason


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Detailed Descriptions
Geographic and Temporal Extents
Start Start text End End text
Attributions and Constraints
Helen Boon,Joanne Millar,David Lake,Alison Cottrell,David King