What is a disaster?
"A disaster is a serious disruption in a community, caused by the impact of an event, that requires a significant coordinated response by the State and other entities to help the community recover from the disruption." - Queensland's Disaster Management Act, s.13(1)
But what does that mean?
To break it down a little further:
A serious disruption is:
- Loss of human life, illness or injury to humans
- Widespread or severe property loss or damage
- Widespread or severe damange to the environment
An event is:
- Cyclone, earthquake, flood, storm, storm tide, tornado, tsunami, volcanic eruption or other natural happening
- An explosion or fire, a chemical, fuel or oil spill, or a gas leak
- An infestation, plague or epidemic
- A failure of, or disruption to, an essential service or infrastructure
- An attack against the state
- Any event similar to those already mentioned
The State and other entities are:
The Queensland disaster management system is a multi-tiered system of committees and coordination centres at state, district and local levels. The peak body for policy and decision-making is the State Disaster Management Group and they formulate Queensland's disaster management strategic policy framework. The lead government agency coordinating disaster prevention, preparation, response and recovery is Emergency Management Queensland.
If you want to know more about the legislation, the key players and what their roles are, some great resources are:
- Queensland's State Disaster Management Plan
- Disaster Management Act 2003
- LGAQ has a great resource about the Queensland Disaster Management System
- Disasters: Know Your Role resource
Image source: Ana Rodriguez Carrington