​Emergency Risk Management

Effectively managing emergency risk requires an integrated and all-hazards approach. The State Emergency Management Committee (SEMC) recently developed the Emergency Risk Management Framework (pdf) to address gaps and disparities across the emergency management sector and improve decision-making, with a focus on disaster mitigation.

The Framework ensures that ERM in NSW is integrated, systematic, and efficient. Importantly, it builds on, and leverages the strengths of current hazard-specific risk management approaches to improve the understanding, prioritisation, effectiveness and efficiency of emergency risk management in NSW.

Emergency Risk Management Framework

2017 State Level Emergency Risk Assessment

To better understand the types of natural hazards that pose a significant risk to NSW and test how prepared and disaster resilient we are as a state, the SEMC conducted the 2017 State Level Risk Assessment Executive Summary (pdf). The SLERA can be used by government, business and communities to inform emergency management decisions and approaches, and is underpinned by the Emergency Risk Management Framework (pdf).


Twelve priority hazards scenarios were examined in the risk assessment:

  • bush fire
  • earthquake
  • East Coast Low
  • flood
  • landslide
  • storm
  • tsunami
  • biosecurity (foot and mouth disease)
  • heatwave
  • coastal erosion
  • Human Infectious Disease Outbreak (pandemic influenza)
  • infrastructure failure (electricity).

Top priorities

The SLERA identified ten top priorities and 24 associated recommendations to mitigate natural disaster impacts and improve the state's approach to emergency management.

The ten top priorities are:

  • enhancing land use planning
  • improving data and risk modelling
  • adapting to climate change impacts
  • strengthening local emergency plans
  • boosting infrastructure resilience
  • embedding business continuity planning
  • conducting major training exercises
  • realigning funding to disaster resilience
  • increasing coordinated community engagement
  • making public warnings consistent.

The associated recommendations will be implemented over the next five years by the State Emergency Management Committee who will work closely with key stakeholders, including emergency service agencies, councils, business, and critical infrastructure owners and providers.

Communities across NSW also have a role to play in building resilience to disasters. Households can get ready (pdf) for an emergency by following five simple steps.

Funded under the joint State and Commonwealth Natural Disaster Resilience Program, the SLERA was a collaborative effort across the emergency management sector.

Publications and Resources

2017 State Level Risk Assessment Executive Summary (pdf)

Emergency Risk Management Framework (pdf)

For the Community (pdf)