As I reflected in last month’s editorial, there are many parallels between community education and response for pandemic resilience and flood resilience. This month we report on an interesting article from a US practitioner who has made similar observations and breaks down the psychology behind that. We also report on how the pandemic is impacting on flood preparedness and response in countries which are about to enter their monsoon season.
We have certainly been fortunate in Australia in terms of the health impacts of COVID-19 which is probably a reflection of a fortuitous combination of our geography, quick action by all levels of government and co-operation by the majority of the population. Hopefully, we are past the peak of it and the economic impacts will not be as severe as had been anticipated. Our recent experience with severe drought and bushfires and not too distance experience with extreme and extensive flooding probably also assisted governments and communities to respond quickly and decisively.
I think this demonstrates the significant cross overs between various natural hazards and I was therefore pleased that when the Australian Government announced a Royal Commission following the recent bushfire season its terms of reference was to cover all hazards and not to focus solely on bushfires. This is sensible and it is hoped that lessons learned from the recent fires will translate into increased resilience to all natural hazards, biological included.
I trust that you are all keeping safe in this strange new world and those of you whom I would normally see face-to-face at the annual FMA conference in May I will get to catch up with briefly online during this year’s online conference.