This innovative online system has been developed to empower communities to learn about, prioritise and make considered and collective decisions about flood risk management options.
The tool has been successfully trialled in three NSW catchments with excellent results. These results include increased community involvement and buy-in with 100 additional submissions complementing traditional consultation.
This tool supports a number of NSW 2021 goals, notably involving the community in decision making and dealing with natural disasters.
The Building Resilience Workshops were conducted in the Hunter and Central Coast.
These workshops brought together emergency service agencies, Councils and local service providers who support people with a disability, older people and people from culturally and linguistically diverse communities. Over 36 organisations participated and most of these have now incorporated disaster preparedness into their service provision.
The project has also served as a springboard for several new disaster resilience initiatives in the region
The Brigades Community Engagement Plan is responsive to the specific needs and characteristics of their communities and was tested during the October 2013 bush fires.
During this emergency, the Community Engagement Team activated a broad range of measures of that kept community members informed and safe. 63% of the residents in the 2 villages were involved in assisting the response, with 40% of these not members of the Brigade.
The I'm Ok website was launched in April 2014 and focuses solely on emergency readiness for people with physical disability.
It's the first website of its kind and provides information for different emergency situations including fires, storms and personal safety. It includes step-by-step guidance to assist people with disability devise an emergency action plan.
It also includes links to emergency service agencies and other organisations that can assist people with disability to be emergency prepared.
Stage II of the Bush Fire Resilience for Aboriginal Communities project has seen 34 Aboriginal communities across NSW trained in the functions of Bush Fire Management Committees.
Over 50 community members have also been trained in Bush Fire Fighter and Awareness programs. And conversely this program has been the catalyst for Aboriginal community members to provide cultural awareness training to Rural Fire Service staff.
Overall, this project has resulted in extensive bush fire mitigation works to reduce bush fire risk ratings in communities and enhanced community resilience. Well done to the agencies and communities involved.