AIDR amplifies the Big Weather message

ABC TV’s Big Weather (and how to survive it) aired its first episode on 13 October, promoting the need to understand our changing climate, intensifying hazard events, and building preparedness.

AIDR is supporting this important national conversation by sharing Big Weather resources for practitioners, educators and the community from its extensive online collection.

In episode one, Big Weather presenter Craig Reucassel challenges families in bushfire-risk areas to practise their bushfire plan.

‘More of us than ever before are in the firing line… What would you pack if you only had 10 minutes to get out?’

Understanding hazards and preparing for them enhances community resilience. More information can be found in the recently updated Understanding Hazards Collection on the Knowledge Hub. Likewise, the climate drivers and exacerbating effects of climate change are unpacked in the Climate and Disaster Collection.

As extreme weather risks evolve, so too must the emergency warnings and public information that is provided to at-risk communities. Advice is shifting from ‘Leave or Defend’ to ‘Leave Early’ and episode one of Big Weather showed the danger of becoming trapped in a car if evacuation is delayed too long. Good practice public information and warnings can be found in the Warnings Collection on the Knowledge Hub.  

‘Being in a car in a bushfire is worst case scenario. It really is your last resort.’

The issue of rising heat levels in Australian schools featured in the first episode, driving impacted students to engage in disaster resilience education to seek solutions. AIDR’s Education for Young People Program is supporting educators to explore Big Weather in the classroom by providing ABC Education with discussion notes that align to the Australian curriculum for geography and science across multiple year levels.

With classrooms too hot to learn in, the students at the Western Sydney school featured on Big Weather are pushing for greater action on climate change. Their comments echo the passionate responses in the Our World Our Say survey of Australian children and youth on climate and disaster risk.

‘They don’t just want cooler classrooms, they want action on climate change.’

Big Weather is filmed over 2019-20 extreme weather season, with the backdrop of the dramatic ‘Black Summer’ bushfires and other hazards that impacted Australian communities over this period. Many of these events and their related emergency management observations can be explored on AIDR’s Disaster Mapper and in the 2019-20 Major Incidents Report.

Big Weather (and how to survive it) airs on Tuesday nights on ABC TV until 27 October. Each episode will also be made available on ABC iView.