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"Earthquake epicentres in WA, 1920-2017" - from the 2017 Emergency Preparedness Report. Source: Geoscience Australia Earthquake Database 2017 used under Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International licence.


Emergency Preparedness Report on track for release​

The 2017 Emergency Preparedness Report, which the OEM is currently preparing, is on track for SEMC approval in October and ta​​​bling in WA State Parliament by the Emergency Services Minister in early November. 

The SEMC has been delivering an annual Emergency Preparedness Report since 2012. The report provides a snapshot of how prepared the State is to face emergencies.

Collection for this year's report was once again based upon the St​ate's Capability Framework​, which outlines the elements needed by the State to be capable in the face of an emergency.

During 2016 DFES identified some deficiencies in the collection as their capabilities varied greatly depending upon the hazard, location and scale. They noted that these capabilities "would be different for a fire than they were for a flood". Similarly, routine incidents could be managed easily. However, large complex emergencies stretched the agency and they identified that true capability can only be determined when you are stretched.

Enhanced colle​​​ction survey

In response the OEM redesigned an enhan​ced collection survey in 2017. This allowed for more accurate responses that captured both the specific hazard and in some cases drilled down to incidents resulting in moderate, major and catastrophic consequences.

This change in collection enhanced the granularity and incisiveness that could be gained by focussing upon individual capabilities as they applied to individual hazards. An additional component added to the report this year will be the inclusion of spatial mapping of capabilities and hazards. This provides a graphical representation of where the hazards and our capabilities intersect.

Major changes have taken place during 2016-17 and more are expected in the near future, with some of these changes likely to impact the EM environment. These include: the Ferguson Review (creation of OEM, movement of recovery function to OEM and creation of OEM's assurance function); change of State Government; department mergers; and changes of Directors General and Commissioners.

Once tabled in parliament, the report will be available on the OEM website.