Experiences during and after disaster events change with the evolution of technology, communication systems and social policy and business practices. Employer organisations and their workforces are particularly essential to community recovery, yet there is lack of recommendations and guidelines for employers on the best ways to respond to extreme weather events.
Affected communities need long-term support far beyond what many disaster relief volunteering organisation can often commit to, particularly after Commonwealth disaster relief and recovery funding comes to an end. Many in the workforce may require additional support and assistance even after life appears to return to ‘normal’, and it is important that organisations are aware of, and informed about, best support practices. As such, this project sought to explore the phenomenon of support before, during and after disaster (specifically the Monsoon floods in Townsville and North West Queensland), focusing on organisational support for staff to inform the development of guidelines to better prepare employer organisations to support their staff in future disaster events.
To do this, the project involved two phases. The first phase focused on an analysis of how the flood event was reported in social media. The second phase focused on interviewing participants from McKinlay Shire and Townsville, thematically analysing the transcripts and using the findings to develop guidelines for organisations to better support staff.