Coping with fire in East Gippsland: rural resilience and the 2003 Victorian bushfires

Resilience is a measure of human welfare and capacity; it is a quality of human systems that enable people – as groups and individuals – to cope with and respond positively to change. It is a condition that shifts over space and time and, in effect, determines the impact that a particular hazard will have. Viewed in this way, disasters occur only when people who lack resilience are confronted with hazards.

What, then, constitutes bushfire resilience? What are the links between human welfare and capacity, and the ability to adequately prepare for, respond to and recover from major bushfires?

This research will develop an understanding of the factors that make communities resilient to fire. In doing so, it aims to increase community self-sufficiency for fire safety.

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