READY: Flooding in Ipswich at King Edward Parade. An emergency management pilot program that assists the city's most vulnerable is set to be rolled out by Ipswich City Council over the next 12 months.
READY: Flooding in Ipswich at King Edward Parade. An emergency management pilot program that assists the city's most vulnerable is set to be rolled out by Ipswich City Council over the next 12 months. Rob Williams

Vulnerable set to be better off in time of disasters

AN emergency management pilot program that assists the city's most vulnerable is set to be rolled out by Ipswich City Council over the next 12 months.

The program will increase resilience amongst those who face and experience a greater risk of loss, injury, illness and death during disasters.

"We are doing education with three targeted groups - school children, aged care facilities and for carers,” Cr Cheryl Bromage, the city's emergency management boss, said.

"A lot of the aged care facilities throughout the city do not have an up to date emergency management plan that reflects different situations and how to deal with them.”

The council held a preliminary workshop with the aged care facilities in Ipswich to understand what their disaster plans entailed and to let them understand their responsibilities in a disaster situation.

"But we found that a lot of the homes fell short of what we would see as a requirement under the Disaster Management Act,” Cr Bromage said.

"We educated them that day, but we need to do ongoing education because we want to keep the residents in their facilities and not have to evacuate them.”

Cr Bromage said the benefits of that would result in families knowing where their relatives were in a disaster and that those in the facilities would maintain their privacy and dignity, and be reassured that the right equipment was on hand to deal with disasters.

"In the next 12 months we will be doing more workshops,” Cr Bromage said.

Carers who look after patients in a home environment will also be educated.

"We also have identified the vulnerable people in those situations, but we want them to be prepared first,” Cr Bromage said.

"In the schools there are a lot of children who still talk about losing everything in the 2011 flood. But we don't want them to be worried or scared each time there is a lot of rain. We want them to be prepared, and they are great at taking messages home to their parents.”

The council is the lead agency under the Disaster Management Act when a flood occurs, and in any disaster the council plays a key role with other agencies. Cr Bromage said the pilot program would see benefits for the whole community through increased levels of resilience.



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