Planning & Preparing for disasters
In terms of practical assistance and emotional support, your community is your most important asset.
When a disaster hits, the first people on the scene are likely to be your neighbours and others from your community. Emergency services can’t be everywhere and even if they do arrive, their priority is saving lives and property. We need to be ready to look after ourselves.
Established communities know how to swing into gear, but even long-standing communities have new residents who don’t know how things work, or fewer people to help, or have been lucky enough to escape disaster for a long time.
“I moved here during COVID and have made a few friends, but in an emergency? I’d have no idea, ring 000 I guess and hope for the best.”
One of the aims of this Toolkit is to help communities take a fresh look at their residents, resources and emergency services so that they’re not relying on old habits that might not work.
Disaster resilient communities:
- Function well under stress
- Can adapt quickly and successfully
- Are self-reliant
- Have strong social bonds and can work together to self-organise
A couple of hours of planning can make all the difference
- Who to invite to a planning session (it’s great if council and CFS, SES and other emergency services are involved)
- Being realistic about what you can achieve – quick wins are better than no wins.
- How will you prioritise the actions?
Great results from minimal effort is the go!
- How will your group check that things are getting done?
- How will you keep the rest of the community informed?
Use scenarios to explore different ideas and reduce distress for people who have experienced disasters.