Over 40 seniors and aged care service providers from the Bellingen and Seaboard areas of the Bellingen Shire recently participated in an Emergency Planning Workshop facilitated by Barbara Moore, Community Engagement Officer with the Bellingen SES.
The workshop was delivered in response to feedback from the Bellingen Shire Aged Care Network that seniors were not as prepared for emergency scenarios as they could be. Barbara, who was supported by other SES personnel Judith and George Ellem, Tim Leader and Michael Stubbs, discussed weather activity in this area and spoke about the implications of events including storms, floods and tsunamis.
The focus of the discussion was on how seniors could be best prepared for such events, where they can access information, who they should call, what they should do and how they could develop a home emergency kit.
Members of the Bellingen Branch of the Red Cross were on hand to talk about their role in supporting people in the event of an emergency evacuation and distributed copies of their RediPlan, a resource for people to complete to ensure they have given some thought to being prepared. All participants were given a wallet of information including the Plan and a pair of gloves as a reminder to have gutters checked regularly.
As part of the workshop, participants broke into small groups to workshop the biggest issues affecting them to feed back to the SES, Red Cross and Council. Feedback from the group indicated that there were a number of issues identified for further action; the fear that senior’s experience even if they may not be actually affected during a severe weather event, the lack of knowledge by Mylestom residents about which SES unit looks after them and where their evacuation/assembly centre(s) are located and the lack of collaboration between services to ensure vulnerable people are prepared for and supported during an emergency event.
These issues will be fed back through the Aged Care Network for further action.
If you were unable to attend the workshop but would like to obtain a copy of the RediPlan or for further information, please contact Anna Joy at Bellingen Shire Council on 6655 7300.