Handbook 2021-22 program of work update

AIDR has been progressing through its handbook program of work, with a number of key advancements.

The Evacuation Planning Handbook working group convened in February 2022 to further refine and come to an agreement on the scope of the Handbook. Additionally the group started the conversations to work towards national consistency of terminology in relation to evacuation shelters. This was a recommendation from the 2020 Royal Commission into National Natural Disaster Arrangements, noting that this is a necessary process and ‘must not take years’.

Recommendation 12.4 Sheltering terminology should be made nationally consistent

State and territory governments should, as a priority, adopt nationally consistent terminology and functions for the different sheltering facilities, including evacuation centres, Neighbourhood Safer Places, places of last resort and natural disaster shelters.

Scoping research to provide the evidence and conceptual foundation of a revised National Emergency Risk Assessment Guidelines Handbook (NERAG) has begun. This Phase 1 scoping research will identify opportunities to align guidance with contemporary policies and practice. Over the coming months a stakeholder survey will be developed and subsequent focus groups facilitated to further scope and understand how NERAG is used across the jurisdictions.

AIDR has engaged emergency management law expert Dr Michael Eburn to review the Australian Emergency Management Arrangements Handbook. The Handbook will be reviewed in light of recent legislative and roles and responsibility changes resulting from the 2020 Royal Commission into National Natural Disaster Arrangements.