Connect to your community
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There are many ways to bring a community together to become more resilient. If you do a little, we accomplish a lot. Get involved in your local community and consider organising or participating in activities to get ready for severe weather season.

Ideas to get connected include community working bees or checking to see if vulnerable neighbours need help.

  • Facilitate street, suburb or club working bees to prepare community infrastructure and space for extreme weather. Hold a barbeque, shared meals or street parties afterwards to celebrate the event.
  • Encourage street level checks on neighbours, encourage neighbourly support for the vulnerable.
  • Build communications channels to multicultural, youth, elderly communities.
  • Facilitate street events, such as garage sales.
  • Encourage “Swap your goods” meetings i.e. eggs, veggies.
  • Establish a Street Neighbourhood Watch Group for disaster resilience.
  • Organise appropriate community-wide gatherings to mark significant events.
  • Mobilise business and voluntary leadership to build from what you have.
  • Organise a community bushwalk that includes leadership training.
  • Consider group discussion or storytelling to share earlier experiences and lessons learnt.
  • Research and connect with your local Indigenous community. Find out what they know about surviving disasters.
  • Facilitate the resilience of local community radio stations to enable uninterrupted broadcasting during and after disasters.
Help your community to understand risk and vulnerability
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Help your communities understand how vulnerable they are and the risks they face. Ideas for communities to understand their risk include having an open day at a cyclone shelter or showing people how they can help through social media.

  • Organise a resilience expo or open day at cyclone shelters if applicable, to include:
    • local government local risks display – flood maps, evacuation routes, etc.
    • displays of local business resilience products and services
    • emergency services displays
    • emergency plan advice
    • emergency/evacuation kit advice
    • insurance reviews
    • building standards advice on wind resistant housing, building in storm-tide areas
    • RSPCA: plans for pets
    • first aid training and kit providers
    • volunteer groups’ recruitment stands
    • warning providers: local radio, EWN, EA information
    • government agency resilience displays
    • food and entertainment.
  • Organise a multicultural fair or community day. Encourage different ethnic groups to find out more about emergency services, volunteering, community services, council flood maps, and emergency plans.
  • Arrange local ‘ambassadors’ – local people with resilience stories – to champion the ‘Get Ready Queensland’ ethos and to talk about what is available in the local community.
  • Highlight risks by use of local landmarks to show flood levels, storm surge evacuation zones, bushfire safe areas and tsunami evacuation zones.
  • Conduct local vulnerability mapping: know who, where and when and profile the community.
  • Provide new residents with a ‘Welcome Pack’ containing information about extreme weather events and how to prepare for them locally.
  • Arrange local council staff to open discussion about the natural disaster plans for the area.
  • Use road side billboards or electronic signs to get relevant local information (upcoming events, preparedness messages, local contacts) to the travelling public.
  • Highlight what people can do on social media.
Local resources for your community
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Identify vital resources in your community. Ideas to promote local resources could include encouraging neighbours to share resources or arranging sand bagging demonstrations.

  • Carry out an audit of community assets, needs and opportunities.
  • Build a system which allows each street or neighbourhood to identify and share resources.
  • Identify who in the neighbourhood should stockpile and supply resources.
  • Arrange emergency kit displays at shopping centres run by SES volunteers.
  • Arrange sandbagging demonstrations/giveaways at big hardware outlets featuring SES volunteers.
  • Develop Emergency Caches for remote communities, especially Palm Island, Stradbroke, Mornington Island, Doomadgee and Normanton.
  • Shipping containers at airports – three keys spread amongst community leaders – community to identify resources to be stored.
  • Funded through council, local community through fund-raising, local business support, corporate support from external businesses.
  • Support local businesses by buying supplies locally.
  • Encourage supermarket promotions on discounted water and non-perishable food.
  • Approach large businesses to have a pre-season sale to support the community.
  • The program could facilitate commercial development of packages or goods to support resilience.
  • Packages offered would be at reduced price to ensure they directly benefit both the individual as well as the collective communities.
  • Business benefit could come from the clear demonstration of community spirit.
How individuals connect
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Work with individuals in your local community to keep up to date with the latest information on disaster resilience. Everyone has a role to play in preparedness. Learn what you can do to connect with others. Ideas for individuals to connect include learning new skills or volunteering to be a leader.

  • Get to know a neighbour, find out what they might need in a disaster and how you can help each other. Download the handy Check your neighbours fact sheet.
  • Know your own strengths and be prepared to share them by volunteering or mentoring.
  • Enrol in a course or group to learn a new skill, make new friends or further your education.
  • Keep a register of local community groups requiring volunteers and be prepared to lend a hand.
  • Lead by example within your own networks. Welcome people from diverse groups.
  • Volunteer to be on the management committee of an organisation you feel passionate about.
  • You can also check out Volunteering Queensland’s disaster ready communities to understand the importance of individuals and families in disaster resilience and find out what people can do in their own communities.
What individuals can do to reduce their risk and vulnerability
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Every person can do more to reduce their own risk and vulnerability. Ideas for individuals to reduce their risk include book marking important websites on a smart phone to use when the power goes out and noting important numbers.

  • Spend 20 minutes researching and book marking web pages and social media sites that might be handy in a disaster.
  • It is best that you can access such information from your mobile phone if the power is out following a storm or cyclone.
  • This information should include links for council, police, emergency services, weather, roads, electricity, gas and water.
  • Know how to tune in to warnings. Learn to recognise the Standard Emergency Warning Signal any other local warning and what they mean.
  • Download the Ready Queensland smart phone application.
  • Plan and prepare.
  • Prepare and plan for your community.
  • Helping prepare and plan for your community could include listening to community groups about what needs to be done and asking them to monitor local infrastructure.
  • Listen to local opinion and community groups to identify and address any important gaps in infrastructure and services that support resilience.
  • Establish a community maintenance schedule for critical community infrastructure.
  • Use community groups to monitor and care for local infrastructure.
  • Talk to financial institutions about offering free insurance reviews in shopping centres or resilience fairs/expos.
  • Identify services within the community that may become inaccessible to certain groups and develop ways of giving them access.
  • Develop a scheme that allows discounted rates/insurance/utility costs if a house is resilient/prepared.
How individuals can plan and prepare
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Individuals also need to plan and prepare for a disaster. Planning ideas for individuals include making an emergency plan and registering a family “muster point” with a relevant agency.

  • Make and document an emergency plan.
  • Use the Volunteering Queensland Disaster Readiness index to identify those areas where you can build your own resilience.
  • Prepare your home annually for an emergency or extreme weather event.
  • Establish a family muster point in case of separation, disaster, terrorist attack. Register it with the relevant authority, Volunteering Queensland, GIVIT, Local Government.
  • Locate your gas, power and water meters and shut-off valves.
  • If you have children, know what the emergency, evacuation and communication plans are at their school or day care centre.
  • If you have a pet, make a plan for them during an evacuation.
  • Discover project ideas for building community resilience, including ideas for businesses, youth and leadership by visiting the Volunteering Queensland ‘Step-up’ resources.
Local resources for individuals
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  • Prepare an emergency kit.
  • Prepare an evacuation plan.
  • Purchase tools, supplies and equipment which could help fortify your home in the event of a disaster.