It’s time to prepare Australian communities for disaster
The expectation that disasters will become both more frequent and more intense represents a significant challenge to the nation.
Project Resilience aims to address the significant disconnect between a communities desire to have a locally led approach to disaster resilience and the provision of simple, actionable information and the manpower to deliver it.
The key goal of Project Resilience is to serve at least 34 communities over four years; contributing to the Minderoo Foundation’s Resilient Communities Initiative, which aims to lift Australia’s 50 most vulnerable communities to be on par with Australia’s 50 most resilient communities by 2025.
Benefits of a strong community resilience plan
Reduce exposure to hazards, lessen the vulnerability of people and property and manage the local natural environment.
Foster community connections to improve social and mental health outcomes and community cohesion in times of need.
Empowers local leaders to make effective and informed decisions that prioritise community safety and infrastructure.
Builds a strong coping capacity to prepare for and bounce back from natural disasters that disrupt the communities way of life.
Supporting local communities
DRA operates seven Disaster Relief Teams (DRTs):
- DRT Queensland North
- DRT Queensland South
- DRT New South Wales
- DRT Australian Capital Territory
- DRT Victoria
- DRT South Australia
- DRT Western Australia
Each DRT has the capability to conduct disaster relief and community support operations. Under Project Resilience, each DRT will adopt a community and work through a nationally led program to help that community build its resilience to natural disasters.
Drone flood analysis in Mogo, NSW
Raising community resilience
Project Resilience has four component parts that can be provided to communities:
‘Disaster Wise’ assessment
Disaster Relief Australia is a lead agency for the provision of localised pre and post disaster aerial imagery and mapping data. In the first phase of the project Aerial Damage Assessment Teams (ADAT) deploy to map infrastructure, community assets and topography.
Risk mitigation planning
Data gathered from the Disaster Wise assessment is overlayed with community knowledge to generate a contextualised picture of what is important to the community.
Community scenario modelling
Under Project Resilience, DRA offers communities the opportunity to conduct scenario modelling based on an all-hazards model. Scenario modelling helps communities identify and understand their risks, as well as how to mitigate them. This includes identifying areas where volunteers can have a meaningful impact.
Disaster Resilience Volunteering
Once the actionable tasks are identified, it’s time to mobilise a community volunteer workforce. Each disaster relief team manages the induction and training of motivated community volunteers.
A series of working weekends are planned where DRA volunteers work side by side with community volunteers on disaster resilience activities. These types of activities vary depending on the risk, but can include tree-felling, clearing debris and relocating small structures.