Preparing for coastal flooding – supporting the community to help themselves and each other

Mrs Anna Pannell1

1URPS, Rose Park, Australia

Building the resilience of communities to cope with emergencies relies on individuals playing their part, knowing what they can do to prepare, respond and recover and how they can help each other.

URPS recently assisted Adelaide Plains Council in the preparation of a Community Emergency Management Plan that would help the Webb Beach community better understand and be better prepared for sea flood events. This project was not about telling the Webb Beach community how they should respond in emergency situations, but rather facilitating a process whereby the community comes up with their own ideas.

Webb Beach’s coastal location and low elevation mean it is at risk of being flooded.  Historic flood events caused by a combination of high tides and storm events have resulted in areas of the settlement and the causeway into Webb Beach being inundated.  Coastal flood risks at Webb Beach are projected to increase in frequency and extent as the climate changes and sea levels rise.

This presentation will describe how the project helped the community to help themselves and build their resilience to coastal flooding.


Anna is an environmental scientist, an experienced project manager and highly effective communicator. These complementary skills allow her to successfully bridge the gap between science, planning and stakeholder engagement for a wide range of strategic planning projects relating to climate change planning and natural resources management.

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