National pre-disaster season briefings start

Emergency Management Australia (EMA) has today begun national preparedness briefings with police, fire authorities and other emergency services in each State and Territory in preparation for the upcoming bushfire and disaster season.

Minister for Emergency Management Senator the Hon Bridget McKenzie said the virtual briefings – starting this morning with Queensland – will be held with authorities around the country throughout September and October, and include information from EMA, the National Recovery and Resilience Agency, the Bureau of Meteorology, the Australian Defence Force (ADF) and Services Australia.

“It seems we are enduring an unending sequence of natural disasters-in short, it has been the toughest of times, virtually unprecedented in our lifetime,” Minister McKenzie said.

“The Black Summer bushfires represented one of Australia’s worst disasters, and many Australian Government agencies provided support, including over 8,000 Defence personnel.

“Since the bushfires, new Australian Government agencies have been created, and enhancements made to others, based on hard experience and expert knowledge.

“This will allow the Government to better work with communities to prevent, prepare, respond and recover from disasters-from disaster mitigation initiatives, and community awareness and warning measures, through to disaster relief and recovery support.

“COVID-19 has reminded us of just how fragile life can be in the face of nature, and it against this backdrop that Australian Government agencies will provide a comprehensive overview of the support and services available to states and territories during disasters and emergencies,” she said.

The briefings will include:

  • information on the availability and capability of Australian Government assets, including the ADF
  • natural disaster support arrangements
  • cooperative response procedures under the Australian Emergency Management Arrangements, such as the Commonwealth Disaster Response Plan
  • seasonal outlooks from the Bureau of Meteorology (BoM) in relation to severe fire weather and cyclone activity
  • bushfire detection and mapping capabilities.​

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