January 2009 - Page 12

 
 

Community Resilience

 
  Floodsafe logo  
 

An innovative approach to build community preparedness

 

The SES have embarked on an innovative program to help residents of the southern metropolitan council areas increase the general understanding of their responsibilities in responding in the event of a flood.

The program will mutually benefit both the community and the SES, improving community preparedness and SES response.

Modelled on a similar successful program currently run by the New South Wales SES, FloodSafe is set to better prepare communities in southern Adelaide metropolitan Council areas to prepare for, respond to and recover from the effects of a flood.

Floodsafe Committee
 

FloodSafe is partly funded by the Federal Government through Emergency Management Australia with local funding also being contributed from Adelaide metropolitan councils including Adelaide, Mitcham, Marion, Unley, Holdfast Bay and West Torrens.  It is being developed with support from the Bureau of Meteorology, Department for Water, Land and Biodiversity Conservation (DWLBC), the NRM Boards and the management of the Brown Hill Keswick Creek Mitigation Project.

The focus of the program is on building the resilience of the community through community education rather than just the physical and planning elements which have been the focus of past programs.

Through a series of education initiatives such as community group meetings, street corner meetings, letterbox drops, school visits, Council newsletters, internet sites and brochures, residents will be provided with information to better understand the flood history of their property or local area.

These initiatives will make residents more aware of their roles and responsibilities in the event of a flood, such as checking their insurance policies to ensure that they are adequately covered, who to call if the floodwaters rise, how to protect their properties through sandbagging, how to care for and ensure the safety of elderly and infirm members of their community and general everyday housekeeping to ensure that the creeks within their local areas are kept free of garden refuse and debris.

Additionally, the program will also increase and improve the level of understanding between local Councils and their SES Units.  Local SES volunteers too will increase their understanding of their own Council areas such as the flood history of the area, the properties likely to be most at risk and the particular services in each area such as aged care facilities.

The program was launched in November and already, 23 SES volunteers have been trained and allocated to Council areas, ready to start the community education process in February.

For further information contact:

Judith Bleechmore

Community FloodSafe Program Officer

Phone: (08) 8345 9100

 


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