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Research papers, University of Canterbury Library

Depending on their nature and severity, disasters can create large volumes of debris and waste. Waste volumes from a single event can be the equivalent of many times the annual waste generation rate of the affected community. These volumes can overwhelm existing solid waste management facilities and personnel. Mismanagement of disaster waste can affect both the response and long term recovery of a disaster affected area. Previous research into disaster waste management has been either context specific or event specific, making it difficult to transfer lessons from one disaster event to another. The aim of this research is to develop a systems understanding of disaster waste management and in turn develop context- and disaster-transferrable decision-making guidance for emergency and waste managers. To research this complex and multi-disciplinary problem, a multi-hazard, multi-context, multi-case study approach was adopted. The research focussed on five major disaster events: 2011 Christchurch earthquake, 2009 Victorian Bushfires, 2009 Samoan tsunami, 2009 L’Aquila earthquake and 2005 Hurricane Katrina. The first stage of the analysis involved the development of a set of ‘disaster & disaster waste’ impact indicators. The indicators demonstrate a method by which disaster managers, planners and researchers can simplify the very large spectra of possible disaster impacts, into some key decision-drivers which will likely influence post-disaster management requirements. The second stage of the research was to develop a set of criteria to represent the desirable environmental, economic, social and recovery effects of a successful disaster waste management system. These criteria were used to assess the effectiveness of the disaster waste management approaches for the case studies. The third stage of the research was the cross-case analysis. Six main elements of disaster waste management systems were identified and analysed. These were: strategic management, funding mechanisms, operational management, environmental and human health risk management, and legislation and regulation. Within each of these system elements, key decision-making guidance (linked to the ‘disaster & disaster waste’ indicators) and management principles were developed. The ‘disaster & disaster waste’ impact indicators, the effects assessment criteria and management principles have all been developed so that they can be practically applied to disaster waste management planning and response in the future.

Videos, UC QuakeStudies

A video of a presentation by Elizabeth McNaughton during the fourth plenary of the 2016 People in Disasters Conference. McNaughton is the Director of the Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Learning and Legacy programme at the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet. The presentation is titled, "Leading in Disaster Recovery: A companion through the chaos".The abstract for this presentation reads as follows: Leading in disaster recovery is a deeply human event - it requires us to reach deep inside of ourselves and bring to others the best of who we can be. It's painful, tiring, rewarding and meaningful. The responsibility can be heavy and at times leaders feel alone. The experienced realities of recovery leadership promoted research involving over 100 people around the globe who have worked in disaster recovery. The result is distilled wisdom from those who have walked in similar shoes to serve as a companion and guide for recovery leaders. The leadership themes in Leading in Disaster Recovery: A companion through the chaos include hard-won, honest, personal, brave insights and practical strategies to serve and support other recovery leaders. This guidance is one attempt amongst many others to change the historic tendency to lurch from disaster to disaster without embedding learning and knowledge - something we cannot afford to do if we are to honour those whose lives have been lost or irreversibly changed by disaster. If we are to honour the courageous efforts of those who have previously served disaster-impacted communities we would be better abled to serve those impacted by future disasters.

Audio, Radio New Zealand

University of Canterbury's John Hopkins and Toni Collins explain disaster law and shortcomings in NZ's legal system highlighted by the Canterbury earthquakes.

Videos, UC QuakeStudies

A video of the keynote presentation by Alexander C. McFarlane during the third plenary of the 2016 People in Disasters Conference. McFarlane is a Professor of Psychiatry at the University of Adelaide and the Heady of the Centre for Traumatic Stress Studies. The presentation is titled, "Holding onto the Lessons Disasters Teach".The abstract for this presentation reads as follows: Disasters are sentinel points in the life of the communities affected. They bring an unusual focus to community mental health. In so doing, they provide unique opportunities for better understanding and caring for communities. However, one of the difficulties in the disaster field is that many of the lessons from previous disasters are frequently lost. If anything, Norris (in 2006) identified that the quality of disaster research had declined over the previous 25 years. What is critical is that a longitudinal perspective is taken of representative cohorts. Equally, the impact of a disaster should always be judged against the background mental health of the communities affected, including emergency service personnel. Understandably, many of those who are particularly distressed in the aftermath of a disaster are people who have previously experienced a psychiatric disorder. It is important that disaster services are framed against knowledge of this background morbidity and have a broad range of expertise to deal with the emerging symptoms. Equally, it is critical that a long-term perspective is considered rather than short-term support that attempts to ameliorate distress. Future improvement of disaster management depends upon sustaining a body of expertise dealing with the consequences of other forms of traumatic stress such as accidents. This expertise can be redirected to co-ordinate and manage the impact of larger scale events when disasters strike communities. This presentation will highlight the relevance of these issues to the disaster planning in a country such as New Zealand that is prone to earthquakes.

Research papers, University of Canterbury Library

Disasters that significantly affect people typically result in the production of documents detailing disaster lessons. This was the case in the 2010 and 2011 Canterbury earthquakes, as government and emergency response agencies, community organisations, and the media, engaged in the practice of producing and reporting disaster lessons. This thesis examines the disaster lessons that were developed by emergent groups following the Canterbury earthquakes (4 September 2010 and 22 February 2011). It adopts a Foucauldian analysis approach to investigate both the construction of disaster lessons and to document how this practice has come to dominate postdisaster activity following the Canterbury earthquakes. The study involved an analysis of academic literature, public documents and websites and interviews with key members of a range of Canterbury based emergent community groups. This material was used to generate a genealogy of disaster lessons, which was given in order to generate an account of how disaster lessons emerged and have come to dominate as a practice of disaster management. The thesis then examines the genealogy through the concept of governmentality so as to demonstrate how this discourse of disaster lessons has come to be used as a governing rationale that shapes and guides the emergent groups conduct in postdisaster New Zealand.

Research papers, University of Canterbury Library

This literature review uses research informed by disasters including the Christchurch Earthquakes, Hurricane Katrina, Red River floods, War in Israel and natural disasters in Indonesia to identify key aspects within teacher-student relationships which result in an increase in the emotional stability of our students. These aspects include prior knowledge of students and their development, psycho-social interventions and incorporation of the disaster into the curriculum. Teacher-student relationships are highlighted as vital to a child’s healing and resilience after experiencing disaster trauma.

Research papers, Lincoln University

Disasters are a critical topic for practitioners of landscape architecture. A fundamental role of the profession is disaster prevention or mitigation through practitioners having a thorough understanding of known threats. Once we reach the ‘other side’ of a disaster – the aftermath – landscape architecture plays a central response in dealing with its consequences, rebuilding of settlements and infrastructure and gaining an enhanced understanding of the causes of any failures. Landscape architecture must respond not only to the physical dimensions of disaster landscapes but also to the social, psychological and spiritual aspects. Landscape’s experiential potency is heightened in disasters in ways that may challenge and extend the spectrum of emotions. Identity is rooted in landscape, and massive transformation through the impact of a disaster can lead to ongoing psychological devastation. Memory and landscape are tightly intertwined as part of individual and collective identities, as connections to place and time. The ruptures caused by disasters present a challenge to remembering the lives lost and the prior condition of the landscape, the intimate attachments to places now gone and even the event itself.