Researchers Ask for Flood Impact Experiences

March 20, 2024 8:37 am in by
Credit: BeyondImages via Getty Images.

A new research project is asking Central Victorians to recount recent floods to gather vital insights and learn from the experiences of local communities.

Natural Hazards Research Australia scientists want to hear from anyone affected by the sudden-onset flooding experienced by the region.

By sharing stories through an online survey, the experiences of anyone affected will help emergency agencies to better understand the short, mid and long-term effects of these floods, as well as help inform how information about future floods is communicated. 

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Communities and townships affected include Ballarat, Bendigo, Echuca, Kerang, Mildura, Mooroopna, Rochester, Seymour, Shepparton and Swan Hill, and residents and visitors to these areas at the time are encouraged to complete the survey.   

Macquarie University’s Lead researcher and occupational psychologist, Prof Mel Taylor, says the views of anyone affected by the floods are important to build a detailed picture of flooding impact.  

“Your experience is unique and can help make a difference during future floods. By contributing your personal experience to this research, you can help improve community safety strategies and influence future policy. This can help reduce flood risk in the future,” Prof Taylor says.  

“You may have chosen to spend the night away due to flood concerns, or perhaps your access roads were cut off by floodwaters and you were isolated for a period of time – all of these experiences are relevant.

“The severe weather experienced by Victoria between 12 and 14 October 2022 led to sudden onset and longer lead time riverine flooding for more than six months, until and even beyond March 2023.  

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Dr Blythe McLennan, Node Research Manager from Natural Hazards Research Australia encourages residents and shack owners of affected areas to participate in the research to help safeguard their communities from future floods.  

“By sharing your story and experiences, you’re providing valuable information that will arm organisations involved in emergency management with new insights about the best way to plan and respond to flooding in your area,” Dr McLennan says.   

“Communities’ experiences from the January to July 2022 floods in Queensland and New South Wales are already being used by these types of agencies to inform planning, operational and recovery improvements.”