Green Cross Australia: Harden Up – Protecting Queensland

Snapshot 

Queensland is prone to climate related natural disasters such as floods, droughts, bushfires, tropical cyclones, storms and storm surges. A string of recent extreme weather events over the past few years has highlighted the need for households, businesses and communities to be better prepared for extreme weather.

In response, Green Cross Australia, a national environmental organisation that helps Australians adapt to climate change in ways that embrace sustainability and community resilience, in partnership with business, research, community and government organisations, developed and implemented Harden Up – Protecting Queensland.

This statewide, web-based approach encourages Queenslanders to assess their vulnerability to key natural disaster hazards, and take practical action to become more self-reliant and resilient in the face of extreme weather events. Through the use of online technology, social and digital media, Harden Up encourages Queenslanders to be aware (identify their personal risk exposure to cyclone, bushfire, severe storms and storm surge), prepare (take practical actions to reduce hazard exposure) and help others (build community resilience).

The Harden Up program provides information on historical weather at suburb/town scale, future projections, and detailed information for each specific weather event, to help people understand the history of severe weather in their community and consider any likely future risks. Armed with this information, Harden Up users can then tailor a plan to suit the climate hazards specific to their location, and circumstances.

Risks and Impacts Addressed 

Extreme weather events in Queensland.

Drivers for Adaptation Action 

In 2010, GCA was approached by a natural disaster resilience program officer from the QLD Government Department of Community Safety to explore how they might work together to build climate resilience in QLD communities.

Outcomes Achieved 

Since launching in late 2011, the Harden Up – Protecting Queensland program has seen over:

·         35,500 people access the website

·         155,000 pages of content viewed with visits lasting around 5 minutes on average

·         18,000 discrete actions have been taken to prepare for extreme weather in QLD.