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Putting the community into Total Flood Warning Systems
2018 Floodplain Management Australia National Conference (2018)
  • Neil Dufty

The lead guiding document for the development of the Total Flood Warning System (TFWS) in Australia is ‘Manual 21 – Flood Warning’ (Attorney-General’s Department, 2009). According to Manual 21, the TFWS consists of six components: Prediction; Interpretation; Message Construction; Communication; Response; and, Review.
In a review of these TFWS components in relation to the findings of previous social research and government inquiries into flood warning in Australia, Molino et al. (2011) identified a further six components of a TFWS: Understanding the Flood Risk; Emergency Management Planning; Community Flood Education; Data Collection; Community Participation in the TFWS; and, Integration of the TFWS Components.
The twelve components have since been tested in the assessment of existing warning systems and the development of TFWSs for several communities across Australia.
This paper provides a summary of the findings from these projects with a particular emphasis on the successes and challenges involving the more community-related TFWS components such as Understanding the Flood Risk, Community Flood Education and Community Participation. For example, the TFWS assessments found that:
  • Up to 20% of people living in floodplains were unaware of their flood risk
  • Community flood education tended to rely on the provision of information
  • There was little community participation in flood warning systems.
The findings demonstrated the need to engage with communities about all twelve TFWS components and this paper concludes by explaining how this could be best done using tailored techniques.

  • flood,
  • warning,
  • community,
  • engagement,
  • risk,
  • education
Publication Date
May, 2018
Gold Coast, Australia
Citation Information
Neil Dufty. "Putting the community into Total Flood Warning Systems" 2018 Floodplain Management Australia National Conference (2018)
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