As trusted individuals, health workers or carers you are often best placed to assess a person’s circumstances and risks in relation to emergency preparedness and resilience.
This is particularly relevant for some older people and others receiving support services as many still believe that ‘somebody will tell us what to do’ in the event of an emergency. Disturbingly, a recent Red Cross survey reported less than one in four people have put together an emergency kit, while around one in three said they haven’t taken any steps to prepare for an emergency.
A proven way to get people more aware of the importance of having a practical emergency plan is for information to be introduced by someone who is known and who can spare a little time to identify any risks and issues relevant to a person’s circumstances. Simple steps can make big differences.
Does the person you support….
- understand their risks
- have a practised emergency plan
- have an emergency plan for their animals
- have a local support person/network to check on them during extreme weather events;
- know how to monitor weather conditions and interpret emergency warnings;
- listen to emergency broadcasts (radio, TV or VicEmergency)
- have the capacity to cope with a power outage (have they registered with their provider if they have special needs);
- have alternative communication arrangements if connected to the nbn (nbn phones won’t work if the power supply fails);
- live in a high bushfire risk area? If so, do they have somewhere they can relocate to prior to an event – ie prior to code red days
- have the capacity and situational awareness to relocate/evacuate safely without assistance in an emergency;
- have appropriate property and contents insurance;
- meet the eligibility requirements for inclusion on the Vulnerable Persons (VP) Register;
Please don’t hesitate to contact me if you would like further information on the VP Register or emergency preparedness.
Attached are the following resources resources to assist with your conversations:
- Emergency Planning Checklist
- Emergency Management Responsibilities for NDIS providers
- Content list Emergency Planning Kit for vulnerable groups
New resources showcased at the 2018 Emergency Management Forum in Melbourne
Wellington Shire presented on Council’s Emergency Relief Centre exercise, held in February 2018, where people with disabilities were invited to come along specifically to test localised ERC communication tools and to review the capacity of staff and volunteers to support people with disabilities and language difficulties in an emergency context. The ‘About Me’ emergency information card template is now available at the Sale Library. Please contact me if you would like more information.
Person Centred Emergency Preparedness (PCEP) tool is designed for use by community health and disability providers to enable emergency preparedness in others.
The PCEP can be used to facilitate meaningful conversations with clients in the community that raise awareness about emergency preparedness to:
- Improve emergency preparedness for people with chronic health conditions and disability
- Reduce negative consequences of disaster triggered by natural hazard emergencies, and
- Improve recovery following a natural hazard event.
Campaspe Shire Council has launched a series of resources to assist people with disabilities (specifically autism) with understanding what to do in emergency situations.
The booklets were printed and distributed to the Specialist School and all schools in Campaspe Shire to initiate classroom discussions about emergency planning. They were also shared with other disability service providers in Echuca and made available as a digital resource, available for download on Council’s website.
This program helps deaf, deafblind and hard of hearing people increase their readiness for and recovery from disasters. It also helps emergency services personnel increase their deaf awareness and ability to communicate with deaf people.
Keep up to date with….
Bureau of Meteorology: http://www.bom.gov.au/australia/meteye/
VicEmergency App: https://vicemergency.zendesk.com/hc/en-gb/categories/203637608-VicEmergency-app
Vic Emergency Incidents and warnings: http://emergency.vic.gov.au/respond/#
Subscriptions to Department of Health alerts and newsletters: http://www.health.vic.gov.au/subscribe/
For more information contact:
Vulnerable People Project Officer
Wellington Shire Council
Ph: 03 5142 3110