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    Hi Folks,

    I reviewed the first ‘meet ‘n’ greet’ Zoom meeting. Great to see you all. I regret that I will probably be skipping a few of the actual meeting times, not that I want to, but it is 3:00 AM here in British Columbia and my apartment setting is such that I have no doubt that I would receive a complaint or two from neighbours!! In the mean-time, hello there! I look forward to exchanging information with you as the course goes on>

    Regards, Roger


    Hi Chris,

    A couple of questions on the DRMC:

    1. Where would you consider technological interventions fitting into the recovery stage? In our studies we have previously learnt that situations like disasters often create ideal situations for technology to break through. If you’re building back better i’m thinking technological advances will be critical.

    2. Restoration of built environment – could this be restoration and optimisation of the built environment or something that refers to the ‘build back better’ aspect? Referring to the above question technological and planning or maybe even fundamental economic interventions would be critical to building back better.

    One on humanitarian response (coming from my work background) – What role can employers play, or should be expected to play in disaster response, particularly in the psychosocial hazard response? Are there any good responses provided by business/corporations you’re aware of ?



    Hi Mitchell,
    Thanks for your questions, and I’m answering them in a round-about, but hopefully useful, way.
    1. Effective humanitarians, in my view, combine a good mixture of technological, project management, and ”soft’ (such as relationships building, understand background context etc) skills. Check out the DRR diagram (we cover in Mod. 3) – see, where the 12 key DRM initiatives include both Understanding Traditional Knowledge & Beliefs, and also Scientific Research (& Information Management)
    2. In the post, there is a bushfire-related agency directory, and bibliography.
    – In the directory, this includes both the Bushfires & Natural Hazards Cooperative Research CXentre (BNHRC) & CSIRO (page 2)
    both of which carry out cutting edge bushfire-related research & technological innovations
    – The bibliography includes two articles by the Rural Australia Institute (RAI) – p.3, one of which highlights the importance of
    businesses for recovery. This should be read together with the Aldrich video & two references (P.1) which highlight the importance of
    Social Capital. So,in practice it’s complicated, and not a case of either/or (but both)
    3. I recommend you also look at the, particularly the key article there which includes (on page 3):
    – The May Situation Report from the Inter-Sector Coordination Group (ISCG). This gives a great overview of what is a complex and
    sophistacted humanitarian program working in trying circumstances. In reading through various sector reports, you will see how
    modern technology (such as sophisticated mapping) has been well used
    – This should be read alongside the page.(also on p.3) This summarises the work at
    grassroots level as reported in the Shongjog (what Matters?) humanitarian bvulletine. This highlights required nuanced ‘soft skills’
    and understanding
    4. You asked what role employeres can play in disaster risk management (DRM). I think the answer is to understand that any of their involved staff need this mix of technoloigical/project management/’soft’ skills. Also it helps to understand all the key components carried out in both the DRMC (Emergency Response & Recovery Stages), and DRR diagrams. In working through non-conflict scenarios (such as the Australian bushfires or the Rohingya situation in Bangladesh), it’s complicated enough, but this in only exacerbated in conflict affected scenarios such as Lebanon (following this recent terrible port explosion), Syria & Yemen.

    i hope this helps. Cheers, Chris


    I’m registered in to ACAPS – They produce globally the best analyes of major natural disasters and complex emergencies (latter covered in Mod.4). You will see from our main bibliography – found on that we include a lot of ACAPS documents. I received their weekly pick/update today, which included the situation (particularly following the chemical explosion) in Lebanon – see Check it out as a comprehensive analysis of a complex situation.


    Thanks Chris, those points on technology are great and I’ll check out the specific references.
    Noting my absolute lack of experience in humanitarian work and with my experience being in corporate responsibility, I see most of the work in DRM is from not for profits or foreign aid programs so I guess im trying to get my head around how corporations can and should be working on DRR in particular as both a corporate social responsibility, but also business risk reduction strategy. I see corporations having a role to play in disaster preparedess in developing countries, even if it’s purely to not increase the hazards for local communities by how and where they undertake their operations, but hopefully more so that they understand DRR can assist the bottom line by improving lives of the people who they rely on.
    I hope this makes sense, i am trying to apply the material to my employment so i can use it to teach our business better csr and disaster response performance. I will post about my limited experience with the pandemic later but I can tell you most businesses were completely reactive in their response.


    Hi Mitchell, Check out the, partricularly pages 14-20 which covers risk. We will be covering this, as well as the DRR diagram, in Module 3.


    Thanks for your questions Mitchell, they have been helpful for me to try and think about this material in a practical sense from a different (business/corporate) perspective.


    Hope everyone received the Module 2 Notes and power-points yesterday. Looking forward to chatting with you on Zoom tomorrow (Wednesday) evening at normal time (8pm). I’ll send out a Zoom invite and agenda earlier in the day. Feel free in the meantime to comment on this Blog or Mod 1 or 2 Tasks at any time. Whilst we are moving quite fast through the program (one Module every 3 weeks), there’s always time to dip back into any of the modules for comments or queries. It will 9for example) be good to hear from Kelly tonmorrow on her impressions from her bushfire related field visit to NSW yesterday and today. .


    Hi all,
    I thought this article might be useful in the context of disaster risk reduction and bushfire resilience for the current Module 3:



    I’d be interested in your comments, PDRM participants, on this ‘Fire Shield Plan’ as being promoted by WA’s Andrew Forrest. Interesting that the DRR diagram (DRM Initiatives – particularly scientific research) highlights and encorages new technology such as this. Personally, I think there’s a danger of over-relying on technology to solve issues such as these – whilst they’re important, they need to be complemented by other actions (such as the other 11 DRM initiatives in the DRR diagram). Rys, your perspective as a Mayor over there in WA?


    There are three really useful articles which have appeared on the BBC website this past 24 hours, these relating to Climate Change (which we’re covering in Mod 5), the US West Coast bushfires (and possible link to climate change), and hurricanes in the Carribean. all these can be accessed in the Sept-Oct bibliography in the TorqAid Toolkit –

    BBC. Zurcher, A. (2020). US West Coast Fires: trump fans flames of climate row in California. Retrieved from

    BBC. King, S. (2020) The busy hurricane season about to go ‘Greek’. Retrieved from

    BBC. McGrath, M. (2020). What is Climate Change ? A really simple guide. Retrieved from

    • This reply was modified 1 week, 5 days ago by Chris Piper.
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