What does being "well-prepared" for wildfire mean?



Publication Details

Prior, T. & Eriksen, C. (2012). What does being "well-prepared" for wildfire mean?. In D. Paton & F. Tedim (Eds.), Wildfire and Community: Facilitating Preparedness and Resilience (pp. 190-206). Springfield: Charles C. Thomas Publisher.


The ability of landowners to respond to and recover from a wildfire event depends to a large degree on their preparation. Despite the attention and resources directed to this goal many people generally remain underprepared (AFAC, 2010; Eriksen & Gill, 2010; Prior, 2010). This information-to-action gap is by no means Australia-specific, having been recognised as an important public policy issue internationally (Jakes, 2002; McCaffrey, 2006; Stetler, Venn & Calkin, 2010). If being "well prepared" is a key objective of wildfire risk communication, then this begs the question: what is "well prepared"? The term "well prepared" is widely used but poorly defined. Pursuing this objective thus requires examining what well prepared actually means to risk communicators and at-risk residents respectively. This analysis is based on the distinct, but complementary aspects of preparation: practical and psychological preparedness.

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