Defining Sufficient Household Preparedness for Active Wildfire Defense: Toward an Australian Baseline

Cathy Yinghui Cao, Bryan J. Boruff, I.M. McNeill

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)


© 2015 American Society of Civil Engineers. This study begins to offer a tangible definition and operationalization of the required level of preparedness for safely staying and defending a property by householders in Australian wildfires. A consultative workshop was conducted with a taskforce of national experts from Australia seeking to obtain consensus on the critical nature of a wide-ranging list of preparatory actions. An innovative methodology was employed to account for the potential relationship between the desired levels of preparedness and Fire Danger Ratings (FDRs), the indicator of fire weather intensity, as was long suggested by Australian fire agencies. The resultant model includes a checklist of critical preparatory actions for each FDR that portrays a minimum and essential preparatory condition to guide an individual's decision to stay and defend under the given fire condition. While the definition presented here does not provide a unique solution to ensure the safety of active defense under all household scenarios, it delivers a robust and comprehensive model to be applied to an average Australian residence while providing a baseline for further development of local-specific and household-specific preparedness standards. The model may also serve as a useful starting point for agencies in other countries to undertake a similar exercise.
Original languageEnglish
Article number04015021
JournalNatural Hazards Review
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2016


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