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Volunteering Queensland is proud to release two new tools to help older people ensure their safety and wellbeing at times of disasters.
Whilst Volunteering Queensland has been implementing the ‘Disaster Preparedness for Older People’ project during 2017, many agencies and networks of services which support older people, asked for further information about how best to develop a disaster preparedness and/or evacuation plan for their clients or facilities.
After hearing these concerns Volunteering Queensland raised these issues with key emergency management partners. Then utilising existing emergency management resources, Volunteering Queensland collaboratively developed two disaster preparedness introduction tools. These tools are designed to assist aged care services to commence their planning processes for their clients and the facilities they manage, whilst linking them into the highly relevant resources available through the emergency management sector.
The first tool ‘Assist older people to start basic disaster planning’ helps agencies, that are providing services to older people in their own homes, to support their clients in developing a basic evacuation and/or disaster preparedness plan. This tool links services into other valuable resources such as (for example) Commonwealth Government's My Aged Care “Emergency Care Plan”, Local Governments’ and Queensland Fire and Emergency Services resources, as well as Red Cross’s Rediplan.
This tool encourages older people to think about important scenarios like what would they do if they have no electricity for three days, do they have enough medication if they can’t reach a chemist shop, is there anyone nearby that can help them and their pet, or do they have an evacuation kit with necessary items.
The second tool ‘Assisting facilities and community agencies that provide services to older people to understand business continuity and disaster preparedness planning’ provides a simple sheet of relevant links to information and resources that can support managers of residential facilities (retirement villages, aged care residential services and nursing homes) to undertake business continuity and disaster preparedness for their facilities and clients. Included are linkages to the most pertinent resources and websites across the emergency management sector, such as the Queensland Government’s Evacuation Guidelines, the “Disaster Management and Recovery Toolkit” (Community Services Industry Alliance on behalf of Department of Communities, Child Safety and Disability Services), as well as other examples from across Australia and internationally of tools, resources and case studies.
We are pleased to be sharing these tools with the community. We hope you find them very useful in building community resilience to future disasters.
For further information on disaster preparedness and planning visit Volunteering Queensland’s Emergency Volunteering website and the Queensland Government preparedness website.
The ‘Disaster Preparedness for Older People’ project is funded from the Natural Disaster Resilience Program (NDRP), administered through the Department of Infrastructure, Local Government and Planning.