Hazard Flood

SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - MARCH 23: State Emergency Service workers drive their rescue craft through the flooded Hawkesbury river along Inalls lane in Richmond on March 23, 2021 in Sydney, Australia. Evacuation warnings are in place for parts of Western Sydney
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Geoscience Australia’s Community Safety team supports Australia’s ability to manage the impact of floods and helps inform decisions about risk.

We contribute to each stage of the emergency management cycle to help improve preparedness, response and recovery with our focus on contributing towards community safety.

NSW State Emergency Service bring evacuees by boat to dry land in the suburb of Windsor, north west of Sydney, Wednesday, March 24, 2021. Thousands of residents are fleeing their homes, schools are shut, and scores of people have been rescued as NSW is hit by once-in-a-generation flooding. (Photo by Steven Saphore/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)

Our role

We publish the national guideline document, data and software suite that can be used for the estimation of flood characteristics in Australia. This is pivotal to the safety and sustainability of Australian infrastructure, communities and the environment, and helps to ensure that development does not occur in high risk areas and that infrastructure is appropriately designed.

We provide flood risk information to government, industry and emergency managers to provide a better understanding of flood risk and preparedness requirements.

Our data sets allow better understanding of where water is usually present, where it is seldom observed and where inundations have occurred.

To help understand what could be at threat, we provide exposure information about buildings, demographics, community infrastructure and agricultural commodities.

We also provide around the clock access to data about people, property and infrastructure potentially exposed during an event. Our information aids in providing an understanding of the situation to targeted preparedness, response and recovery efforts.

Our products, tools and data provide a better understanding of hazard vulnerabilities for all sectors to plan, prepare and reduce exposure to natural hazards improving community safety now and into the future.

Emerging capabilities

We engage with different sectors to provide assessments and address new challenges as they emerge.

  • We are exploring options to contribute to a national flood impact forecasting capability

  • Our Researchers are committed to growing our knowledge base to prepare for challenges of the future.

  • We have a strong attendance at conferences and events to maintain awareness of the challenges faced by the community safety sector and keep up to date with latest science.

  • Our open-source data is accessed by developers interested in solving operational challenges of reducing vulnerability and exposure to natural hazards.

Flooded road

Case study Developing scalable flood vulnerability models to better understand flood risk to communities

How Geoscience Australia is using a methodology of generalisation to help floodplain managers better understand the flood risk their communities face.

Image of Vulnerability Director in the Space division of Geoscience Australia.

This research represents an important step in the development of curves that can be applied consistently across different flood catchments by individuals or organisations that may not have a complete picture of the building stock potentially exposed to flood waters.

Mark Edwards

Director, Vulnerability, Spatial Division, Geoscience Australia