This month’s new arrivals highlights a selection of recent memoirs and research following some of our worst natural disasters both here and abroad.
This month’s featured resources are:
Faith under Fire (Book Extract)
“Suddenly, we were overtaken by a deafening, roaring din…like the force of a thousand jet engines bearing down on us”.
February 16 1983 started out as an ordinary day for Ann Fogarty but finished in horror. After a failed last minute attempt to leave with her neighbours, Ann suffered burns to 70% of her body while sheltering her two young daughters under a blanket.
After the Wave (Book Extract)
“I thought nothing of it first. The ocean looked a little closer to our hotel than usual. That was all”.
Sonali Deraniyagala lost her entire family in the 2004 Tsunami including her husband, two young boys and her parents. In the ensuing years she refrained from telling people her story.
Ten people lost their lives in Steels Creek in the Black Saturday firestorm with over 60 structures destroyed. Recovery for the residents of this small and quiet town has been gradual, ongoing, private with many finding an outlet in creating art from the remnants. Historians Tom Griffiths and Christine Hansen trace both the history of fire in the region and the human history of the Steels Creek valley in a series of essays which examine the relationship between people and place.
BBB takes the “opportunity” following a natural disaster to rebuild a stronger and more resilient community;physically, economically and socially. BBB was introduced following the 2004 Tsunami which affected 14 countries on “an unprecedented scale”. This paper applies this principle to the reconstruction of communities affected by the Black Saturday fires. What worked and what didn’t along with issues that are yet to be resolved are explored in this article. A list of BBB principles is provided by the authors that can hopefully assist governments in future post-disaster economic recovery.
Forest Phoenix (Book)
Authors including Professor David Lindenmayer were asked following the 2009 fires “Will the forest ever recover? Will the animals come back?”…the answer to both is an unequivocal yes” but fires also “create winners and losers”. Some animals will stay put, some will make the burnt forest their new home, others will disappear and then return quickly and sadly those that will disappear and take longer to return. Recovery of animal population “is intimately tied to the structure and recovery of plants in the forest”.
Following the 2009 Victorian bush fires, Joan Webster has released an updated edition of “Essential Bushfire Safety Tips” published by the CSIRO and with assistance from its leading scientists. Included are new chapters on township protection, shelters, refuges and bunkers. Joan also wrote a feature articleUnearthing Fire Clues from the Ashes in The Age on the recent 30th anniversary of Ash Wednesday.
Next Time: the lessons and literature of Black Saturday (Journal Article)
Writers, artists and social commentators are drawn to the beauty of the bush. Many live in the outskirts of Melbourne where they witnessed often firsthand the events on February 9 2009. This article published in The Monthly reflects on what appears to be a changing perception of the realities of living in the world’s most bush fire prone regions. “Australians need to develop ‘fire literacy’, to inculcate a sense of the place we’re living in and understand that bushfire is not an aberration.”
Need more information?
See new books, DVD’s, web links, journal articles for a complete list of all the latest additions to the Library catalogue.
We can also help you track down information on a specific topic or for a research project. If you have any queries please contact us in the Library by email: RFS.Library@rfs.nsw.gov.au or phone: 8741 5455.
The NSW Rural Fire Service Library is a member of ALIES – Australasian Libraries in the Emergency Sector.