From bushfires to terrorism: How communities become resilient | 1/22/2020 | Staff
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The world has watched in sympathy as Australia has come to terms with the ravages of the worst bush fires on record. Communities have been devastated by this crisis, but many have shown incredible resilience in banding together to support one another through the harrowing experience. In New South Wales alone, for example, there are more than 70,000 unpaid rural fire service volunteers. And thousands of Australian citizens have rallied, demanding political, social and environmental change.

Challenges to communities come in many guises—social, political, economic, climatic, technological and cultural. In the UK communities up and down the country in recent years have faced extreme weather, severe flooding, terrorist attacks, austerity and an uncertain political climate. All these events have been significant for those involved. But each has provided the chance for communities to come together.

Community - Resilience - Self-reliance - Managing - Risk

Community resilience promotes self-reliance and places the managing of risk in the hands of communities, empowering people to have more control over their lives. However, this can risk reducing the state's responsibility and accountability to communities, as seen recently in Australian prime minister Scott Morrison's calls for resilience, rather than tackling the causes of climate change.

Our study, which looks at ways of building community resilience in response to extreme events, held interactive workshops with communities, academics, local organizations, emergency services and local and national government to examine their understanding of resilience and their ideas for ways of developing it in communities.

Participants - Things - Weather - Accidents - Terror

Participants identified things like bad weather, accidents, terror attacks, shortages of power, heat and water, political events and job losses as serious challenges to communities. The group agreed that the top two are major weather events and political developments that affect everyone. It is important to understand though, that for a community to be truly resilient, it needs to be able to able to deal with a...
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