Project Resilience

Disaster Relief Australia prepares Australian communities for disaster

The expectation that disasters will become both more frequent and more intense represents a significant challenge to the nation. 

Community driven plans designed to reduce exposure to hazards, lessen the vulnerability of people and property and improve preparedness for adverse events have proven to help communities become more resilient to natural disasters. 

Disaster Relief Australia seeks to address a significant disconnect between the desire to have community led approaches to disaster resilience and the provision of simple, actionable information and the manpower to deliver them.

Project Resilience is Disaster Relief Australia’s contribution to the Minderoo Foundation’s broader Resilient Communities initiative. Resilient Communities aims to lift Australia’s 50 most vulnerable communities to be on par with Australia’s most resilient communities by 2025. 

Benefits of a strong community resilience plan

Social & infrastructure

Prioritise the social and infrastructure assets that are most important, including understanding and managing the local natural environment. 

Mitigate disaster

Mitigate the impact of emergencies and disasters and enable more rapid recovery. 

Community connections

Foster community connection to improve social and mental health outcomes and community cohesion in times of need. 

Resilience plan

Take ‘ownership’ of the community resilience plan. 

Supporting local communities

DRA operates seven Disaster Relief Teams (DRTs):

  • DRT Queensland North 
  • DRT Queensland South 
  • DRT New South Wales
  • DRT Australian Capital Territory
  • DRT Victoria
  • DRT South Australia
  • DRT Western Australia

Each DRT has the capability to conduct disaster relief and community support operations with scaled capacity dependent on the skills and deployment readiness of volunteers as well as the location, size and complexity of the disaster.

disaster relief teams across australia

Under Project Resilience, each DRT will adopt a community and work through a nationally led program to help that community build its resilience to natural disasters.

Mogo - NSW - Flood Analysis using Digital Elevation Model
Drone flood analysis in Mogo, NSW

Raising community resilience 

Project Resilience aims to help communities understand how they can be more prepared for disasters through cost-effective efforts like improved warnings, community engagement, training, volunteering and the prioritisation of protection of assets and community led planning. 

‘Disaster Wise’ assessment 

Disaster Relief Australia is a lead agency for the provision of localised pre and post disaster aerial imagery and mapping data. 

In the first phase of the project Aerial Damage Assessment Teams (ADAT) deploy to map infrastructure, community assets and topography. 

community disaster resilience briefing
DRA’s Adam Moss, facilitating a community-led resilience activity in Gympie, QLD.

Risk mitigation planning

Data gathered from the Disaster Wise assessment is overlayed with community knowledge to generate a contextualised picture of what is important to the community. 

Community scenario modeling

Under Project Resilience, DRA offers communities the opportunity to conduct scenario modeling based on an all-hazards model. Scenario modeling helps communities identify and understand their risks, as well as how to mitigate them. This includes identifying areas where volunteers can have a meaningful impact.

Disaster Resilience Volunteering

Once the actionable tasks are identified, it’s time to mobilise a community volunteer workforce. Each disaster relief team manages the induction and training of motivated community volunteers.

A series of working weekends are planned where DRA volunteers work side by side with community volunteers on disaster resilience activities. These types of activities vary depending on the risk, but can include tree-felling, clearing debris and relocating small structures.

project resilience