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Emergency Resources

The National Emergency Management Agency supports a number of valuable emergency management resources across the country.

COVID-19 Interstate (Fire, Emergency and other Essential Services) Deployment Protocol

Emergency Management Australia has updated the COVID-19 Interstate (Fire, Emergency and other Essential Services) Deployment Protocol

This update supports not only the interstate movements for fire, emergency and other essential services, in a COVID-19 environment but also facilitate under certain specific circumstances interstate deployment of personnel who provide essential services such as insurance assessors and recovery personnel in response to any disaster/emergency during the higher risk weather season.

Crisis Appreciation and Strategic Planning Guidebook

Given the increased complexity, intensity and frequency of disasters and crises in Australia, Emergency Management Australia whilst part of the Department of Home Affairs developed a repeatable strategic planning tool called Crisis Appreciation and Strategic Planning (CASP) Guidebook (PDF 6595KB). This guidebook was produced to make sense of complex issues related to crises and disasters using a national perspective.

The CASP employs a structured, systematic methodology to analyse complex scenarios. CASP is a set of tools that allows timely integration of information from multiple sources and the exploration of how government, not-for-profit and private sector efforts can integrate to provide a unified response to a crisis.

This guide is an introduction and overview of the CASP methodology. It provides a detailed illustration of the purpose, inputs, outputs and outcomes for each phase. CASP draws on approaches used by the military, human-design thinking and the Australasian Integrated Inter-service Management System (AIIMS).

Thai Cave Symposium Report

The rescue of 12 boys and their soccer coach from a flooded cave in Thailand was an extraordinary story of human endurance that captivated hearts and minds around the world.

The Australian Government, through Emergency Management Australia hosted the Thai Cave Symposium, bringing together over 100 representatives from government, the emergency management sector and the diving community.

Attendees were fortunate to have speakers share their personal observations, reflecting on the coordination, leadership, decision-making and complexity of the rescue operation.

The Symposium Report outlines observations and insights to ensure Australia is best positioned to respond to a similar complex event; by repeating what we do well and learning from others and ourselves.

Australian Medical Assistance Teams

The National Emergency Management Agency supports the work of Australian Medical Assistance Teams, which are multi-disciplinary health teams who respond to disaster zones.

Emergency Alert

State and territory governments issue emergency warnings to the community with the Emergency Alert system. We support the system, and this is how emergency services send warning messages to landlines and mobile phones in defined areas during emergencies.

Emergency Management - LINK

Emergency Management LINK (EM-LINK) is an Australian online catalogue that gives registered users a quick, comprehensive and up-to-date listing of emergency management related geospatial web services for a chosen hazard and/or region.

EM-LINK is used by staff in Australian, state and territory government agencies as well as those employed in the recovery, humanitarian and critical infrastructure sectors to assist with sharing information about the extent of current and potential disasters in Australia.

If you are employed within the crisis management sector and would like to access EM-LINK, submit an Access request.

National Aerial Firefighting Centre

Aerial firefighting is a critical capability for Australian fire services.

The National Aerial Firefighting Centre (NAFC) was formed in 2003 by the Australian states and territories, with the support of the Australian Government, to provide a cooperative national arrangement for the provision of aerial firefighting resources.

Sharing highly specialised aircraft between the northern and southern hemisphere fire seasons makes good sense, ensuring maximum use of the aircraft and reducing costs. It is logical and cost effective to lease rather than purchase the larger firefighting aircraft that are shared between hemispheres. Leasing also offers greater flexibility to adjust resourcing levels to the forecast risk and to introduce technological advancements.

NAFC facilitates the sharing of these aerial firefighting resources between states and territories during the fire season. This ensures the optimum use of scarce, specialised resources and provides firefighters with valuable access to surge capacity.

The Australian Government provides $26 million annually to the NAFC, who then work closely with state and territory experts to manage operations, including decisions on aircraft, leases and deployments. NAFC capability complements a range of other firefighting aircraft that states and territories acquire and manage independently.

On 5 September 2021, the Australian Government announced the addition of a Large Air Tanker to Australia’s existing firefighting capability, through an additional annual $4 million boost to the National Aerial Firefighting Centre.

NAFC is an excellent example of cooperation between state and territory governments and the Australian Government to achieve the best outcome for the community and provide the best possible support for firefighters. This successful and proven model has resulted in a significant increase in aerial firefighting capacity to support firefighters across the country.

The collaborative arrangements for the national aerial firefighting fleet have been instrumental in saving lives and property over past bushfire seasons.

National Disaster Risk Reduction Framework

The Australian Government has developed the National Disaster Risk Reduction Framework (3MB PDF) in partnership with government and non-government stakeholders, endorsed at the Council of Australian Governments meeting held on 13 March 2020.

The National Disaster Risk Reduction Framework sets out the foundational work required nationally, across all sectors, to reduce disaster risk, minimise new disaster risk, and deliver better climate and disaster risk information. 

The Framework encourages us to rethink how we reduce disaster risk and address issues such as where and how we live, how our money is invested and the resilience of essential services like food, telecommunications and power. 

It will help to ensure our decision makers are equipped with the right tools and information to understand the risks and make better decisions.

The Australian Government will continue to work closely with industry, communities, and state and territory governments to implement the Framework.

The First National Action Plan (6MB PDF) to implement the Framework was endorsed by Emergency Management Ministers on 22 May 2020.

The Australian Government has also developed tailored flyers for decision makers in the business and emergency management sectors to reduce climate and disaster risks in line with the Framework. The flyers point to helpful sections of the more comprehensive Guidance for Strategic Decisions on Climate and Disaster Risk.

For further information see:

Triple Zero

The National Emergency Management Agency supports the work of Triple Zero.

Urban Search and Rescue

Urban Search and Rescue (USAR) is a specialist capability that helps locate, care and extract people trapped or affected by a structural collapse.

USAR teams consist of highly trained firefighters supported by specialists like paramedics, doctors, engineers, hazardous materials experts, police and search dog handlers.

All states and territories maintain USAR capabilities and arrangements. Australia maintains two internationally accredited USAR capabilities in New South Wales and Queensland, which are on standby to assist other countries.

During disasters that involve structural collapses, the National Emergency Management Agency works closely with the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade to deploy Urban Search and Rescue.

Australian Disaster Preparedness Framework

The Australian Disaster Preparedness Framework (1082KB PDF) developed by the Australian Government in consultation with all jurisdictions, identifies 21 national capabilities which provide a foundation to progress the collective understanding of what we need for our nation to be better prepared to deal with severe to catastrophic disasters.

The Australian Disaster Preparedness Framework has four goals:

  • Provide Australia with a mechanism to effectively articulate its preparedness and capability requirements to prevent, plan for, respond to and recover from severe to catastrophic disasters.
  • Use the current work undertaken in Australia and incorporate international best practice approaches to build an appropriate level of capability across Australia to manage severe to catastrophic disasters.
  • Provide a method by which all jurisdictions across Australia can understand, assess and begin to develop the capabilities required to deal with a severe to catastrophic disaster.
  • Provide a mechanism to determine what capabilities meet national priorities and thresholds, and how they may be enhanced, developed, accessed and sustained to deal with severe to catastrophic disasters.