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Monash expert: Measuring anxiety of those impacted by the Indonesian forest fires and improving disaster response in the region

Monash University 2 mins read

A Monash expert is available to comment on the immense task Indonesian emergency services are currently facing while battling multiple bushfires and how measuring the anxiety levels of those impacted can improve future disaster response.

 

Professor Juliana Sutanto, Professor in Information Systems, Faculty of Information Technology, Monash University

Contact details: +61 450 501 248 or media@monash.edu  

Read more of Professor Sutanto’s commentary at Monash Lens

  • Emergency systems in Indonesia
  • Resilient information systems for better disaster management 
  • Measuring residents’ anxiety levels during disasters

The following can be attributed to Professor Sutanto:

“The timeliness of forest fire disaster response depends on early warning systems and the resources readiness to respond to the disaster. Indonesian disaster management at a national level faces challenges in responding to forest fire disaster due to the limited resources and dependencies on the other government agencies, local governments and military forces. 

 

“Communication and coordination are of the utmost importance during and prior to such forest fire disasters. Resources like helicopters and other rescue vehicles that are needed to swiftly respond to forest fire disasters should be readily available in optimal numbers. Forest fires are 'a yearly event' in Indonesia, yet the limitations to swiftly respond to forest fire incidents continue.

 

“Forest fire casualties are partially due to the residents in the impacted areas delaying to evacuate. Anxiety can affect their disaster preparedness, including their decision to evacuate. 

 

“Residents who have high anxiety over land and forest fire will have the tendency to evacuate immediately to protect themselves and their loved ones; whereas residents who have low anxiety over land and forest fire may need a push from the authorities to evacuate through early warning or frequent disaster drills. Their emotion levels can also dictate how disaster impacted people seek information from the authorities. 

 

“It is critical to understand and measure the level of anxiety and other emotional impacts of such disasters so that the Indonesian Government and emergency response systems can develop evacuation and rescue operations in a more strategic and optimal manner.”

 

For any other topics on which you may be seeking expert comment, contact the Monash University Media Unit on +61 3 9903 4840 or media@monash.edu 

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