There are ways that everyone can prepare for disasters that can reduce the impact on your home, family, friends, pets and you. The Redland City LDMG has selected the Emergency REDiPlan produced by the Australian Red Cross, a member of the Redland City LDMG, as the document to inform Redland City residents on emergency preparedness. This plan reflects some of the content contained within the Emergency REDiPlan.
Consider the hazards that could affect your home and your neighbourhood.
Depending on where you live, there may be some obvious ones like bushfires or severe storms, or storm surge if you live close to Moreton Bay. Remember, flash flooding and storm damage can occur almost anywhere.
Consider also the possible resulting affects of a disaster such as extended power outages, disruption to transport services and the potential for your home and/or community becoming isolated for a period of time.
Think about where you might go if you weren’t able to go home, or had to leave home because of a disaster.
To get information about before, during and after an emergency:
- Listen to local radio – ABC Radio is the national carrier and the local broadcaster is ABC 612 AM. You can also listen to local radio station Bay FM 100.3 for updates during an event.
- Follow rolling updates on the Redland City Council news site.
- Follow updates from Redland City Council’s social media: Twitter, Facebook
- Weather and warning updates: Bureau of Meteorology, Raby Bay weather station.
Preparing a Household Emergency Plan helps to keep everyone in your home informed of what to do in the event of an emergency. Being prepared in advance can make emergencies less stressful and save precious time.
Should you or your household be affected by an emergency, a Household Emergency Plan helps you to be more resilient and can reduce disruption. The Emergency REDiPlan produced by the Australian Red Cross contains a template for creating your Household Emergency Plan.
When developing the plan, consider the following:
- Involve all members of the household in the development of the plan.
- Consider what you will do with your pets and animals during the disaster – the evacuation centres may not accept pets and alternative accommodation will need to be found.
- Develop two evacuation routes from your home considering potential hazards such as flash flooding across roads.
- List your out-of-town contacts.
- Consider alternate accommodation options with family and friends if you can’t return home. Evacuation centres, if opened, are designed for short term accommodation offering basic support and tend to be crowded and noisy.
- List your important contact details for medical services, vet, chemist, essential services and friends and family etc.
- Review your insurance cover, is it adequate and include the details of your policies in your plan.
- Develop a household financial plan to help understand where your money goes and which items in your budget are essentials as opposed to those items you can go without should there be financial stress resulting from the disaster.
- Prepare a will; having a will lets your family know exactly what should take place if the unforeseen should happen.
Put together an Emergency Kit with items you may need if you have to evacuate your home, or if you have to stay in your home when essential services have been cut off. You can also make up a smaller bag to keep in your car or office. An emergency kit that is put in an easy to reach place which is known to all family members can prove invaluable in a disaster.
Consider splitting your Emergency Kit in two – one part with the things to take if you need to leave, and the other with the things that you need to stay in your home.
The Emergency REDiPlan produced by the Australian Red Cross contains a checklist of items to include in your Emergency Kit.
Below are some basic items you should include, however there could be other things your family would need that could be added to your kit.
- Battery operated radio (with spare batteries)
- Torch (with spare batteries)
- First aid kit and manual
- Mobile phone and charger (where possible, spare batteries as well)
- Personal hygiene and toiletry supplies
- Copies of home and medical insurance policies
- Copies of important family documents (birth certificates, passports and licences)
- Contact numbers for emergency services, family and friends.
If you may have to evacuate, you should add the following to your Emergency Kit:
- Bottled water (enough on hand for three days for the entire household)
- Supplies of prescribed medications for at least 14 days (including prescriptions)
- Spare clothes and blankets
- Spare home and car keys
- Cash and credit cards
- Food and medications for your pets
- Non-perishable food for adults and infants.
It is important to take the time to get to know your neighbours so that during a disaster and times of need your neighbourhood community is prepared to help each other.
Connecting with your neighbours is an important part of preparing your household and the best part is that getting to know your neighbours has a range of other benefits too. Do any of your neighbours have special skills (i.e. medical, technical, trade)? Plan how your neighbourhood could work together after a disaster. Neighbours can help each other out in many ways:
- Providing information about what is happening
- Helping secure a property prior to a cyclone or windstorm
- Moving furniture and valuables out of the way of floods
- Clearing a property prior to bushfire season
- Providing a place to shelter while an emergency is happening
- Helping to clean up after an emergency
- Simply sitting down and having a cup of tea and having a chat about what has happened.
There may be people in your community who need more help than others in the case of an emergency – think about people in your neighbourhood who may need your help, for example:
- Older people living at home by themselves
- People with physical or sensory disabilities
- People with a chronic illness or with a mental illness
- Single parents with young children
- Large families
- People newly arrived to the area, including tourists.