Saving lives from floods

Baker, Shayne D. and Mayhew, Adrian (2020) Saving lives from floods. In: 2020 Digital Floodplain Management Australia, 20-21 May 2020, Virtual Conference.

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There are 360000 drownings every year as listed by World Health Organisation (WHO) and this number is non-disaster related. Though all indicators suggest that the impact of increased and more intense weather events provides increased threat in the future. Another contributing development is that with over 600 million people living less than 10 metres above sea level the expectation is that this number will increase dramatically with extreme storms. As such, the likelihood of aquatic disasters impacting communities and individuals will increase as will the potential for increased drownings.

There is no doubt that the capacity of multi-agency response is strong in Higher Income Countries (HIC) as evidenced by the collaborative arrangements with other agencies in the UK, USA and Europe. Locally we have the potential to call on and use the capability that exists with the thousands of Australians involved in lifesaving that is still yet to be developed fully.

At the recent World Conference on Drowning Prevention 2019 in Durban South Africa the presenters facilitated a pre-conference workshop for participants from several countries to learn and explore the four phases of flooding of planning and preparation, flash flooding, flood expansion and flood recovery.

The outcomes supported the need for working collaboratively with other agencies to enhance understanding and effective communication in an aquatic emergency. Lifesavers bring competencies in first aid and emergency care, aquatic rescue, use of rescue boats, radio communication and a genuine desire to prevent drowning, rescue and recovery.

There is an opportunity to develop strategies from Durban that can help inform and educate the wider community through lifesaving organisations and to develop lifesaver awareness as well as prepare active lifesavers to be able to respond in a flood emergency.

Irrespective of the amount of rescue services available, there will always be a requirement for more.

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Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Commonwealth Reporting Category E) (Paper)
Refereed: No
Item Status: Live Archive
Additional Information: Abstract only published. No evidence of copyright restrictions preventing deposit.
Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: Current - Faculty of Business, Education, Law and Arts - School of Education (1 Jul 2019 -)
Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: Current - Faculty of Business, Education, Law and Arts - School of Education (1 Jul 2019 -)
Date Deposited: 01 Oct 2020 04:43
Last Modified: 13 Jan 2021 05:36
Uncontrolled Keywords: lifesaving; drowning; drowning prevention
Fields of Research (2008): 11 Medical and Health Sciences > 1117 Public Health and Health Services > 111708 Health and Community Services
Fields of Research (2020): 42 HEALTH SCIENCES > 4203 Health services and systems > 420305 Health and community services
Socio-Economic Objectives (2008): C Society > 92 Health > 9204 Public Health (excl. Specific Population Health) > 920407 Health Protection and/or Disaster Response

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