Disasters can strike with little or no warning and it’s important for Brisbane communities to be prepared, especially if you know that your area is likely to be isolated by severe weather or flooding, or if you have vulnerable groups within your community.
During disasters or emergency events, it may be necessary for individuals, businesses and communities to temporarily rely on their own resources until emergency services are able to reach them.
Community resilience is an ongoing process of using and enhancing existing relationships to better improve the emergency preparedness of an area.
The resilient community
People in resilient communities use their existing skills, knowledge and resources to prepare for, and deal with, the consequences of emergencies or major incidents. You can help make your community resilient by doing the following:
- understand the local risks in your area
- prepare your home, ensuring you have an emergency plan and emergency kit
- get to know your neighbours – find out if there are vulnerable people in your area who may need assistance in a disaster
- find a community champion, someone who can motivate and encourage others to be prepared
- work in partnership with emergency services, Council and other relevant organisations before, during and after an emergency
- stay informed.
Disaster preparedness and response for people with disability
Personal emergency preparedness and planning is key to knowing what you will do to protect yourself, your family and your animals in a natural disaster such as a flood or bushfire. This is particularly important if you or someone you live with or care for is living with a disability, as you may need more time, additional resources, and support.
A range of tools and resources have been developed in partnership with the Queensland Disability Network, Queensland State Government, the University of Sydney and the Community Services Industry Australia. These tools are for people with a disability, service providers working with people with a disability and emergency service organisations for use in developing a personal emergency preparedness plan.
It is important for people with a disability, or people who live with or care for a person with a disability to:
- Identify your strengths and support needs in everyday life
- Know your level of emergency preparedness and learn about your disaster risk
- Plan for how you will manage your support needs in an emergency
- Communicate your plan to the people in your support network and address gaps through collaboration.
If you want to discuss a Person-Centred Emergency Plan (P-CEP) with a person with a disability who is developing their own emergency plan, view How to be a person-centred conversation partner at every step of the P-CEP.
Community Support Centres
Are you part of a local community group? If so, have you considered setting up a Community Support Centre in your area?
A Community Support Centre is a community-led and operated facility that enables community members to be responsive and resilient through periods of isolation during a disaster event.
Community Support Centres are not evacuation centres but can be used as a hub for sharing information and resources with the community. They are:
- a place for providing information and support to the affected community
- a location for resupply
- a rendezvous point
- a place for provision and distribution of supplies to the community
- a place for the provision of basic health care services.
Brisbane City Council has a range of free tools and resources to help communities become more resilient.
- Community emergency management plan - this is a community-led emergency management plan completed by your local community group. If your group would like assistance in creating an emergency management plan, phone Council’s Disaster Management Office on 3403 8888.
- Flood Awareness Map - understand the likelihood and source of flooding in your local area.
- Early Warning Alert Service - Council offers a free alert service to provide warning of severe weather or other public safety events. Encourage your community to subscribe or download the app.
- Home readiness checklist – check how prepared your home is.
- Business continuity plan template - one of the most important things a business can do to help survive a natural disaster or major severe weather event is to develop a continuity plan. Time spent planning your preparations, response and recovery will lead to a more resilient business for you, your customers and staff.
- Person-Centred Emergency Planning (P-CEP) Workbook for People with a disability - aims to increase individual emergency preparedness of people with disability and will showcase how person-centred planning conversations enable individualised emergency preparedness planning for diverse people with a disability in Queensland communities