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Assessing urban disaster waste management requirements after volcanic eruptions

Assessing urban disaster waste management requirements after volcanic eruptions

Josh L Hayes, Thomas M Wilson, Charlotte Brown, Natalia I Deligne, Graham Leonard, Jim Cole

International Journal of Disaster Risk Reduction   https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ijdrr.2020.101935

Abstract

Disasters can generate substantial quantities of disaster waste that must be managed for effective response and recovery. Modelling the potential quantities and types of waste expected after disasters has been widely applied for a variety of hazards (e.g., earthquake, hurricane, flood, tsunami). However, there has been limited consideration of modelling disaster waste as a result of volcanic eruptions, which can generate considerable disaster waste volumes and management issues.

In this work we develop a modelling framework for assessing disaster waste types and quantities after volcanic eruptions affecting urban environments. The framework facilitates quantification of different waste types resulting from damaged buildings and classification of different clean-up zones. The framework is based on vulnerability models and heuristic analysis of the likely waste generated at different damage states from volcanic hazards and is designed to be applied as part of a standard risk modelling procedure. Clean-up zone classifications are developed by identifying key management requirements for different urban land use types. We apply the framework to a case study, using eight eruption scenarios for the Auckland Volcanic Field, New Zealand. Modelling outputs indicate that building debris waste generated under each of these scenarios is likely to be on the order of hundreds of thousands to tens of millions of tonnes. Waste is also likely to be highly mixed in some areas where buildings are heavily damaged and contaminated with volcanic products such as tephra and/or lava, which will complicate disaster waste management activities.

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What did we learn from our scenario testing?

What did we learn from our scenario testing?

If you want to test whether your organisation is prepared for a crisis, just ask “What did we learn from scenario testing our crisis response plans?” If you can’t answer, you are not prepared.

This post was sparked by two recent conversations. One was a request for a business continuity planning template that would satisfy the client’s auditor. The other was an IT auditor saying how most firms fail their IT audits as they have not tested or practiced their business continuity plans. Both these conversations – which were unrelated – highlighted that many businesses view crisis preparedness as a one-off exercise: get a template, fill it out, tick the box, done. Unfortunately, crisis response doesn’t work like that, no matter how good the template.

A risk register or the existence of a plan is not enough. Being prepared requires response capability across the organisation and the ability to adapt, whatever the crisis. It is the ongoing process of planning, practicing, and updating your crisis plans that achieves this.  Practice is critical for everyone involved in the response, including senior leaders and the back-up staff for when key people are unavailable. It helps everyone learn the plan, grows adaptive capability, and will identify unseen weaknesses, giving you the opportunity to address them before a crisis.

Being ready to respond to a crisis need not be hard, but it does require some thought and a commitment to ongoing practice and learning before an event. If you are unsure where to start, want fresh perspectives to make existing plans even better, or want someone to script and run scenario practices to test your plans, then by all means ask for help. But until you can say what you have learned from practicing your plan, no auditor, board, or shareholder should be assured that you have prepared for a crisis, regardless of how good the plan looks.

Get in touch

Give us a call or email us for a free no-obligation chat about your needs and what we can offer.

Tracy Hatton, Resilient Organisations
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Have you captured your lessons learned from COVID-19?

Have you captured the lessons from your organisation’s response to COVID-19?

Our team has been busy working with organisations in a range of sectors to conduct COVID-19 response debriefs.  We are so impressed by the initiative, adaptability, and overall care for wellbeing shown by those we have been working with.

Our facilitated debrief process compiles data from interviews and/or workshops, surveys, and any other data sources. It provides you with recommendations to ensure all the lessons you learned on the fly are embedded in your response processes and any weaker or more challenging response areas are improved.

Capturing lessons is not about identifying failures or enacting blame.  It is about learning through battle and sharpening our tactics and strategy for the next encounter. Capturing lessons learned, before they are lost to memories, is a key part of building crisis response capability.

Get in touch

Give us a call or email us for a free no-obligation chat about your needs and what we can offer.

Tracy Hatton, Resilient Organisations
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STARTING TIPS FOR DEBRIEFS

  • Choose a facilitator

    It is better if it is someone not directly involved in the response.

    An external facilitator can help your team navigate any sensitive issues, critically assess their response actions, and challenge group think. Alternatively use a senior manager who is not heavily involved in the response or stretched with other responsibilities.

  • Remember it’s not a blame game

    Capturing lessons is not about identifying failures or enacting blame. It is about learning through experience and sharpening your tactics and strategy for the next encounter.

  • Time it before losing it to memory

    Time the debrief sooner rather than later, while the events are still fresh in everyone’s minds.

  • Ask the right questions

    • What is working?
    • What isn’t working?
    • What do we need to do differently?
             Now?         In the future?
    • How can we ensure we do it differently?
             Now?         In the future?
    • Who will drive the implementation of the changes identified

Live webinars to help Auckland small business owners navigate through crisis

Live webinars to help Auckland small business owners navigate through crisis

Auckland Emergency Management is offering two 30-minute business resilience webinars to be held on Thursday 15 October at 6pm and on Monday 19 October at 10am.

This series of two webinars will be facilitated by Resilient Organisations’ Joint Managing Director, Tracy Hatton. The webinars will include practical advice on managing the ongoing impacts of COVID-19 on small businesses. Participants will be encouraged to ask questions and share their experiences and ideas.

To register, visit resorgs.org.nz/aem-webinars or for further information visit aucklandemergencymanagement.org.nz/work-ready.

Building risk management strategies into the vertical construction sector

Building risk management strategies into the vertical construction sector

The construction sector has been a perennial underperformer in the New Zealand economy. The sector’s low productivity reflects very challenging operating characteristics: bespoke complex projects requiring unique approaches.

Alongside this, poor risk management can also play a part in low productivity through increased delays and errors, time-wasting, and ineffective problem-solving. Ongoing construction quality issues and high enterprise failure rates are signs that the sector is currently not managing risk as effectively as it could. We surveyed 131 construction contractors to understand how the sector manages risk, and how this impacts productivity. Our findings highlight the focus of the sector on external risks (client changing their minds and design flaws), provide insight into how contractors adjust their margins for different types of risks, and provide evidence that having good risk management practices improves productivity.

Read our full report for details and see our project page for more information about this research.

Key findings from a survey of the construction sector on risk and resilience practices

Measuring the performance of the construction sector

Measuring the performance of the construction sector

New Zealand’s construction sector is a major contributor to the country’s health, economic stability, security, and social cohesion. Identifying how to better measure the performance of the sector can make a vital contribution to driving improvements in the sector.

Through our BRANZ-funded project we have identified 12 key principles by examining performance measurement systems in international construction sectors and other industry sectors. The principles demonstrate the importance of a shared purpose and that sector members feel a sense of ownership of the measurement system. It is also important to facilitate and build capacity for sub-sector groups to design and manage measurement systems that align to their drivers. Construction businesses need to be able to see cause and effect linkages between the data they collect, the actions they take, and the performance (profitability and long-term viability) outcomes for their business.

Read the full report for details or the guide to construction sector performance measurement.
Find out more on our project page.
Key construction sector performance measurement principles
(click the image to view)

Seismic hazards on your premises?

Seismic hazards on your premises?

As we approach the 10th anniversary of the Canterbury earthquakes, we can not only reflect on the strides we have made as a nation over the past 10 years to become more resilient to seismic risk but also use this time as an opportunity for organisations to look at seismic hazards on their premises that are not related to the strength of the building itself.

Resilient Organisations and the University of Canterbury are currently funded by the Earthquake Commision (EQC) to evaluate what earthquake risk reduction activities are taking place within New Zealand organisations, and what helps and hinders their risk reduction efforts.

We are running a nationwide survey to collect information about what New Zealand organisations are doing to keep people safe at work and invite you to take part. Whether you feel like you have or have not taken enough steps to deal with seismic risk, we need your input to help us build a picture of how well prepared New Zealand is across the board. It will also tell us what is helping or getting in the way of organisations implementing earthquake risk reduction and where improvements can be made.

As part of our research all survey participants will have access to our Earthquake Risk Reduction Best Practice document which will be developed as part of our research and will be available at the end of our project.

IOD webcast: The board’s role in a crisis

Upcoming webcast: The board's role in a crisis

Date: Wednesday 9 September, 6.00 - 7.00pm

The Institute of Directors (IoD) are hosting a webcast where Erica Seville and Richard Ball will discuss the recently released report, The Board’s Role in a Crisis. They will be joined by a panel of directors, including David Meates and Dr. Rod Carr, who will provide their individual insights on being a board member during a crisis.

This event is free for IoD members, and $40 for non-members.

Job Vacancy: Business Continuity Professional

Job Vacancy: Business continuity professional

We have a client looking for an outcome-focused Business Continuity professional for a 9-month fixed term position (or part-time equivalent).

If you have strong relationship building skills, the ability to adapt BC principles to fit a complex context and an interest in working in Christchurch, please get in touch with Tracy Hatton [email protected] for an informal discussion.

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