Disaster fatigue: the implications of Black Summer + COVID 19 for Australia

An image of a burnt area of forest, with the trees completely black with charcoal and bare of leaves.

The purpose of this presentation is to raise the issue of disaster fatigue. The implications of the combined and prolonged effects of the Black Summer bushfires and the COVID 19 pandemic in Australia are predicted to be far-reaching. After a brief literature survey the discussion is designed to raise researcher awareness of a possible next ‘disaster’ as individuals, communities and a nation grapple with a disaster fatigue crisis. The potential implications of not planning ahead for disaster fatigue are a less than desirable ‘new normal’.

Associate Professor Valerie Ingham is from the Australian Graduate School of Policing and Security, Charles Sturt University. She lecturers in Emergency Management and is discipline lead for the Doctor of Public Safety and Fire Investigation courses. She has extensive experience in the design and delivery of tertiary level programs in emergency management, fire services, adult education, and community services. She leads the Disaster and Community Resilience Research Group and her research interests include perceptions of risk and resilience in Bangladeshi and Australian communities, building community resilience and disaster recovery, time-pressured decision making, and the tertiary education of emergency managers and fire investigators.

This event is being organised and run by the Disaster Risk Science Institute.