2010–2011 Queensland floods : using Haddon's Matrix to define and categorise public safety strategies

Zhong, Shuang, Clark, Michele, Hou, Xiang-Yu, Zang, Yu-Li, & FitzGerald, Gerard (2013) 2010–2011 Queensland floods : using Haddon's Matrix to define and categorise public safety strategies. Emergency Medicine Australasia, 25(4), pp. 345-352.

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Objective The 2010–2011 Queensland floods resulted in the most deaths from a single flood event in Australia since 1916. This article analyses the information on these deaths for comparison with those from previous floods in modern Australia in an attempt to identify factors that have contributed to those deaths. Haddon's Matrix, originally designed for prevention of road trauma, offers a framework for understanding the interplay between contributing factors and helps facilitate a clearer understanding of the varied strategies required to ensure people's safety for particular flood types.

Methods Public reports and flood relevant literature were searched using key words ‘flood’, ‘fatality’, ‘mortality’, ‘death’, ‘injury’ and ‘victim’ through Google Scholar, PubMed, ProQuest and EBSCO. Data relating to reported deaths during the 2010–2011 Queensland floods, and relevant data of previous Australian flood fatality (1997–2009) were collected from these available sources. These sources were also used to identify contributing factors.

Results There were 33 deaths directly attributed to the event, of which 54.5% were swept away in a flash flood on 10 January 2011. A further 15.1% of fatalities were caused by inappropriate behaviours. This is different to floods in modern Australia where over 90% of deaths are related to the choices made by individuals. There is no single reason why people drown in floods, but rather a complex interplay of factors.

Conclusions The present study and its integration of research findings and conceptual frameworks might assist governments and communities to develop policies and strategies to prevent flood injury and fatalities.

Impact and interest:

6 citations in Scopus
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5 citations in Web of Science®

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ID Code: 66935
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
Keywords: flash flood, flood fatality, haddon's countermeasure, queensland flood
DOI: 10.1111/1742-6723.12097
ISSN: 1742-6723
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > MEDICAL AND HEALTH SCIENCES (110000) > PUBLIC HEALTH AND HEALTH SERVICES (111700) > Public Health and Health Services not elsewhere classified (111799)
Divisions: Current > Research Centres > Centre for Emergency & Disaster Management
Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Health
Current > Institutes > Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation
Current > Schools > School of Public Health & Social Work
Deposited On: 04 Feb 2014 22:36
Last Modified: 05 Feb 2014 23:14

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