SES Survey Paves Way for Better Disaster Preparedness
BY DI SNEDDON
What’s the difference between a trampoline propelling through the air during a storm and a piece of corrugated iron?
“At least you can see the trampoline coming,” is the quick answer from Singleton State Emergency Service acting community liaison officer Martin Gray.
Martin made the comment while explaining the importance of a current survey aimed to measure community awareness across the region often affected by damaging storms and floods.
The NSW SES Community Capability team from the Northern Zone have launched a Disaster Awareness Survey for the Hunter and Central Coast and the survey results will help the NSW SES understand how to best support communities.
“We are asking people to share the survey link with their family, work, social and other networks within the Local Government Areas of the Central Coast, Newcastle, Maitland, Singleton, Port Stephens and Lake Macquarie and we are especially interested in hearing from people who live, work, travel through or have social activities in these areas,” Martin said.
“It will also inform us on the awareness across the community about local flooding impacts and general community understanding of the risks associated with storms and what people can do to reduce these risks.”
Of importance is the broad understanding of flood escape routes, supplies required if residents do become isolated by floodwaters and even more important, adhering to the strong message of not driving through any floodwater, even if you think you know the road well.
The survey results will allow the SES to tailor services to better meet the needs of certain populations; map communities or regions according to their level of susceptibility, especially in more diverse communities: and develop and deliver strategies to improve resilience.
The survey will take less than five minutes and can be completed anonymously if preferred.
MEANWHILE: Now is the time to prepare for the upcoming storm season. Clean the gutters of your home and remove overhead branches from trees that could potentially damage property. Also remove or secure any potential projectiles (such as corrugated iron or trampolines) in readiness for a severe storm.