REDiPlan | The Race to Resilience

Uploaded by VolunteeringQldTV on 06.08.2011

Within Redlands we have 32 aged care facilities… that is quite a large number.
I invited myself to one of the aged care networks and I asked… how prepared are you? Do you
know what to do if an emergency comes on your door step?
And they all said yeah, we know what to do… we go out to
the front of the gate and we wait for the SES to come.
And I actually said that’s not true, you’re going to have to survive on your own for 3
days. You’re going to need your own emergency
plan; you’re going to need to be prepared. They all sat back and
were quiet shocked at this because they thought the SES and the local government would solve
it and they could evacuate all their people up to the
local hospital. And if we did have to evacuate with the Redlands,
with the survey we did, we needed 400 ambulances to do that, and there was no way we could
do that. The emphasis was to actually empower these
communities to look at their own resilience, to go through the
stages of prevention, preparedness, response and recovery.
We took time to build the relationships and got the community to commit to this - both
on a senior level, age care and retirement villages and that way
the community would own it, they would take community action,
and then when we slowly moved away from this project they would be able to sustain it.
We brought seniors into a room, similar to this and asked them to fill out their REDiPlan.
We did that in an engaging way. We had it sectioned out with
the video interviews from Cyclone Larry and the fires down in
Melbourne. And people got to learn the reasons they need to prepare is they didn’t understand
that they wouldn’t be able to get petrol if there
was no power, they may not be able to get money out of the ATMs. So
it kind of opened their eyes. I trained up 20 volunteers to be facilitators.
For each section seniors were asked to fill out every detail in the
book - So I prepared a facilitator guide to go hand in hand with the REDiPlan. It had
all the emergency information, so if someone didn’t know their
bank phone number or their insurance phone number people
only had to put up their hand. People got to look at the equipment of SES,
they had simulations of emergencies and EMQ come in and
actually did a scenario session with the seniors about what it would look like and how that
would affect our community.
People actually went out and purchased their kit after that because they had seen it, and
they knew it, we told them where to buy it, and for seniors
budgeting… we identified cites where they could get that at quite a
reasonable price. The aged care then said after having those
discussions about how under prepared they were, they
committed to forming a subgroup, that looked at how they could come together and look at
their own preparedness. Now this is quite unique because
they’re all financial competitors, they are all fighting for the
dollar, so to get them all into a room and say we will share a plan and we will share
of our knowledge and resources was an amazing step forward.
We organised a six page survey and we very much said please answer this very truthfully,
you won’t be judged for it, we want to really see the picture.
If you don’t have an emergency plan that ok because this
allows us to move forward and help you with what you do need. We asked a lot of questions
about if you had facilities are you prepared for the community to use them or
are you prepared to share them with another facility? So that would see the likes of Stradbroke
Island who is very important for the Minjerribah people
to stay in their land, have a site within their own land to be
evacuated to. We asked a lot to get a snapshot of residence
information, asking how many visually impaired people, how
many people with dementia, how many people needed wheelchairs, how many people would
need ambulances. This is where we got the big snapshot.
Using their facilities and equipment we mapped out who had generators, who had hoists, who
had buses and asked - are you willing to share them?
The floods came and for the first time a community development officer was activated into our
local disaster coordination centre. I was asked to check
on all the facilities and we were fairly lucky in the Redlands, we
had one facility have flood damage on the roof, one was sandbagging, and one lost electricity.
One had come to the point where they were on to their
third day of getting medication and food in so that was the
dropping in day and their supplier was unable to come due to the floods. So the first thing
was around ringing them and finding out how they could
support each other. The facility that had no food we were able
to help them very, very quickly. There was panic buying so there was no bread and water,
and the main things that this facility needed. But, they
also needed the dementia pads and things like that. All the facilities
networked together and rang up their suppliers and asked could they deliver to this facility…
so we had a committed delivery within an hour.
Although they weren’t going to be evacuated, they banded together and within that hour
I had 500 beds for other people, other seniors to come in. So,
they become very strong leaders in the aged care sector.
The whole community spirit had actually sustained and owned this project… it was really amazing.
We went from a vulnerable community that was a big headache for our council how we would
support them, to now being the most resilient and other
communities looking at them as leadership. So, I do think it has
worked extremely well and is now being sustained by that community.