Community Emergency Resilience Plan 2017 - 2021 | City of Casey
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Approved: 2 November 2016

Community Emergency Resilience Plan 2017 - 2021

Version: 1.0

Acknowledgement

The City of Casey acknowledges that we are on the traditional land of the Bunurong and Wurundjeri People and pays respect to all elders past and present.

Council acknowledges the commitment and contribution from the following organisations in the development of this Plan:

  • Alpine Shire Council
  • Anglicare
  • City of Casey Municipal Emergency Management Planning Committee
  • City of Casey Municipal Relief and Recovery Committee
  • Commonwealth Department of Human Services (Centrelink)
  • Country Fire Authority
  • Department of Economic Development, Jobs, Transport and Resources
  • Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning
  • Department of Health and Human Services
  • Department of Justice
  • Emergency Management Victoria
  • Landcare
  • Neighbourhood Centres
  • Parks Victoria
  • Red Cross
  • Resilient Melbourne Delivery Office
  • St John Ambulance (Victoria)
  • Victorian Council of Churches Emergency Ministry
  • Victoria State Emergency Service
  • Victoria Police

 

Introduction
 

The City of Casey Community Emergency Resilience Plan 2017 – 2021 (This Plan) provides direction on priority community emergency resilience focus areas for community, Council, partner agencies and emergency management organisations in the municipality, to improve how individuals and communities prepare for, respond to and recover from emergencies.

The Emergency Management Act 1986 requires the City of Casey to have a Municipal Emergency Management Planning Committee (MEMPC) who is responsible for preparing a Municipal Emergency Management Plan (MEMP).

This Plan is a sub plan of the MEMP and is informed by the work of the MEMPC and its Municipal Relief and Recovery sub-committee.

Federal and state government emergency management directions have informed the preparation of this plan; they include but are not limited to: -

  • Community Resilience Framework: For Emergency Management 2017, Victorian Government
  • Resilient Melbourne: Strategy 2016, Resilient Melbourne Delivery Office
  • Strategic Framework to Strengthen Victoria’s Social Cohesion and the Resilience of its Communities 2015, Victorian Government
  • Towards a More Disaster Resilient and Safer Victoria 2011, Victorian Government
  • National Strategy for Disaster Resilience 2009, Australian Government

The Plan responds to the priorities of the City of Casey Council Plan 2017-2021 and the City of Casey Municipal Public Health and Wellbeing Plan 2017-2021.

The key priorities for the next four years are:

  1. Increase Community Knowledge
  2. Increase Collaboration
  3. Empower Community

Message from the Mayor

The City of Casey is committed to enhancing the resilience of all our community.

Through our 2017-2021 Council Plan and long-term Council Vision we are working to create Australia’s most livable city.

One of the key strategic objectives of our Council Plan is to create an inclusive, safe and connected community and the Community Emergency Resilience Plan 2017-2021 will play an integral role in helping us to achieve that.

The Community Emergency Resilience Plan 2017-2021 will guide the work of the community, Council and its partners over the next four years to deliver on the priority community emergency resilience issues for our municipality.

Through the Community Emergency Resilience Plan 2017-2021, we will work with our partners and the community to make the City of Casey a place where everyone can prepare, plan and respond to an emergency event; to become a more resilient Casey that enables individuals, families and communities to recover more quickly and with greater strength when faced with adversity.

Cr Geoff Ablett Mayor
City of Casey
 

 About this plan

This Plan aims to improve how the Casey community prepares for, responds to and recovers from emergencies by focussing on building and promoting community emergency resilience.

It provides an overarching strategic framework for the community, Council, partner agencies and emergency management sector organisations to work collaboratively towards community emergency resilience building outcomes through a set of shared goals and strategic objectives.

It sets out specific areas for improvement for the population of Casey, with a focus on those population groups who are particularly at risk before, during or after an emergency event.

This Plan will guide the development of new policies, strategies, programs, services and advocacy campaigns that promote community emergency resilience. Where these already exist, this Plan will provide the guidance to further strengthen and support their outcomes in the event of an emergency.

In developing this Plan, a significant amount of research and engagement was undertaken to ensure that it responds to the needs and aspirations of the Casey community, reflects priorities at the local, state and federal level and applies best practice.

This plan is a first for the City of Casey, and aligns with contemporary work within the emergency management sector. As the Community Emergency Resilience Plan is implemented Casey will emerge as a leader in building emergency resilient communities.

The hazard analysis and risk assessment process, Community Emergency Risk Assessment (CERA) used in the preparation of the MEMP in 2017, identified the need to increase community emergency awareness and resilience. To address this need, the Municipal Relief and Recovery Committee (MRRC a sub-committee of the MEMPC), considered and supported the development of this Plan.

Community, Council, partner agencies, and emergency management sector organisations that contributed to the development of this Plan include, but are not limited to the agencies and stakeholders who are members of the MEMPC and MRRC.

Municipal Emergency Management Planning Committee

Municipal Relief and Recovery Committee

Victoria Police

Red Cross

Country Fire Authority

Victorian Council of Churches Emergency Ministry

Victorian State Emergency Service

Lions District V3, Zone 12

Ambulance Victoria

St Vincent De Paul

Forest Fire Management Victoria

Salvation Army

Department of Economic Development, Jobs, Transport and Resources

Casey North CISS

Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning

Cranbourne CISS

Department of Health and Human Services*

Australian Department of Human Services

Department of Education and Training*

Connections Uniting Care

Red Cross

Rotary Club Berwick

Wireless Institute Civil Emergency Network Monash Health Community and Allied Health
St John Ambulance (Victoria) Brotherhood of St Laurence
Vic Roads Insurance Council of australia
Peninsula Community Legal centre

*Serves on Relief and Recovery Committee as well as the MEMPC

In 2016, the City of Casey conducted its biggest ever community engagement project, Casey Next, to ask residents, businesses and visitors what their vision is for the future of Casey. Findings from Casey Next, and the subsequent Casey People’s Panel, have been used to evidence the Casey community’s aspirations including that Casey be a safe, inclusive, accessible, clean and family friendly place.

The outcomes from this research and engagement resulted in the development of the strategic objectives.

The development of the Community Emergency Resilience Plan 2017-2021, reflects the need to create opportunities for, and support existing, community and Council led programs that build resilience amongst residents, visitors and business. It demonstrates the desire for everyone in Casey to be well supported and resourced so, when faced with emergencies both now and in the future, they can face emergencies stronger together.

An Action Plan will be developed which will outline the specific actions the community, Council, partner agencies and emergency management sector organisations will undertake to deliver on the strategic objectives.

Guiding Principles

This Plan is informed by the following principles:

Equity

People facing disadvantage, such as those in poverty, migrants, refugees, children, older people, people with disabilities, people who are homeless or transient, and people living in poor quality housing, are more vulnerable at all stages of a disaster – before, during, and after it strikes. These people are considered ‘socially vulnerable’ in the face of a disaster.

Whether it is their capacity to evacuate in time or to recover in the long term from trauma and financial devastation, socially vulnerable people are hit hardest and longest by disasters and emergencies. These people often have fewer resources and less social support, mobility and housing options at their disposal, and so are less able to prepare for, respond to and recover from a disaster or emergency(1).

A best practice equity framework will be considered to ensure a focus on community emergency resilience building activities targeted to vulnerable and disadvantaged communities.

Shared responsibility

Council cannot be the only participant; success is reliant upon the active participation of individuals, families, community, businesses, industry, emergency services and support agencies within and outside of Casey. Identification of common interests and benefits that might be achieved by working together will help to secure broad ownership of strategies and goals and create long-term commitment to community emergency resilience building.

The benefits of partnering with others:

  • Greater effectiveness and efficiency in planning process
  • Pooling of resources (human and financial)
  • Sharing of expertise and intelligence
  • Evaluation and continuous improvement
  • Promoting an “All Emergencies, All Communities” approach(2).

Capacity building

A capacity building approach will underpin implementation to ensure the best conditions are created for success in achieving effective emergency resilience outcomes for the community. Capacity building activities will be led and supported by collaboration between the community, stakeholders and Council. Collaboration will ensure any initiatives build on existing community strengths and reflect the local context.

Environments for Relief and Recovery

For each of the community emergency resilience priorities, opportunities will be sought to align community emergency resilience building to the Emergency Management Manual of Victoria, Relief and Recovery Environments; social, natural, built and economic.

Evidence-informed approach

There will be a focus on using the most current evidence to respond effectively to the priorities of this Plan. Best practice models, where available, will be identified for implementation. Where these are not available, new innovative actions will be developed with rigorous evaluation to strengthen the evidence base.

What is community emergency resilience?

This Plan has incorporated several definitions to create an encompassing definition of emergency resilience:

The capacity of individuals, families and communities to prepare, survive, adapt and grow in the face of stresses and shocks. Resilience is built on a foundation of understanding risks and the ability to prepare, plan and respond to a crisis event and enables individuals, families and communities to recover more quickly and with greater strength. As communities, they are well connected; where neighbours know and support each other, where volunteerism is high, and residents have a high sense of wellbeing and safety built on knowledge

Despite existing strengths, every year Victorian communities are subjected to the damaging impacts of acute shocks* (natural and man-made disasters) caused by destructive bushfires, severe storms and floods. Individuals and communities also face chronic stresses* that impact upon our community’s social cohesion, such as drug and alcohol abuse, family violence, unemployment, social inequality, rapid population growth and climate change(3).

The size, severity, timing, location and impact of acute shocks (disasters) are difficult to predict, and a changing climate increases the uncertainty about future risks3. Scientific modelling suggests that climate change will most likely result in the increased frequency and severity of extreme weather events; in addition, there is an increasing trend of man-made shocks including power disruptions and violent extremist behaviour that will pose a risk to our communities.

The impact of these shocks and stresses on communities, the economy, infrastructure and environment are a reminder of the need to continually strengthen resilience. It is important that individuals, communities and Council are supported and resourced to develop and strengthen the resilience needed to face anticipated increase in acute shock events.

It has been recognised by all levels of government that the current systems that have supported Victorians during emergencies are not sustainable into the future. There is a shift from “emergency services*” where the focus was on responding to an emergency, to “emergency management*”. A modern end-to-end system involving community and the whole of government, that builds a collective capacity to plan for, withstand and recover from emergencies(2).

What does a resilient community look like?

Resilience is a shared responsibility, which requires individuals, families, community and government to contribute to the understanding and management of hazards and risk to promote community safety and wellbeing(4).

The Council of Australian Governments (COAG), 2011 National Strategy for Disaster Resilience found a resilient community is one where:

  • People understand the risks that may affect them and others in their community
  • People act to prepare for acute shock events and are adaptive and flexible to respond appropriately during personal and community emergencies
  • People anticipate acute shock and chronic stress events - they have taken steps to protect themselves, their assets and their livelihoods
  • People work together with local leaders using their knowledge and resources to prepare for and deal with acute shock events
  • People work in partnerships with emergency services, their local authorities and other relevant organisations before, during and after emergencies
  • The emergency management volunteer sector is strong
  • Emergency management plans are resilience-based, to build broad resilience within communities over time
  • Communities, governments and other organisations take resilience outcomes into account when considering and developing core services, products and policies
  • Land use planning systems and building control arrangements reduce community exposure to risks from known hazards, and suitable arrangements are implemented to protect life and property
  • Following a crisis event, a satisfactory range of functioning is restored quickly
  • People understand the mechanisms and processes through which recovery assistance may be available
  • People understand that initial support will be offered to the most vulnerable community members

Benefits of a resilient community

Communities that develop a high level of emergency resilience are better able to withstand stresses and shocks3. When subjected to the damaging impacts of acute shocks (natural or man-made) resilient communities are likely to suffer less and are likely to be able to recover more quickly(3). Community resilience looks at moving from the “me” to the “we,” and from the “we” to the “us.”(5)

Council recognises the importance of working in partnership with communities. When communities play a role in their own wellbeing and safety, resilience is enhanced. The benefits of building community resilience include(3):

  • safer communities
  • reduced demand on emergency services for assistance
  • reduced damage to property and infrastructure
  • self-determined recovery
  • reduction in overall (impact and recovery) costs to the Local, State and National economies.

The benefit of engaging with and empowering communities is not just limited to “disaster resilience”, but has a far broader impact. Connected and resilient communities are ready to look out for each other in a variety of contexts to deal with both life stressors (e.g. housing costs) and acute shocks (e.g. adverse weather events).

Challenges to community resilience

There are many challenges to building community resilience; communities are complex and dynamic, as are the challenges they face. Each will experience demographic, economic, social, environmental and governance challenges that will affect them differently(1). These might include:

  • Lack of unity (partnership and collaboration)
  • Lack of communication and engagement
  • Lack of coordination (services, resources and support)
  • Lack of access to services
  • Problems such as poverty, pollution or crime5

The Victorian State Emergency Service (SES) found that resilience is influenced by the understanding and exposure of communities to differing levels of stresses and shocks(6). This in turn, shapes community attitude and awareness of emergency events and varies across diverse communities. This is influenced by many key drivers and barriers for communities across the preparedness chain.

Some members of the community were found to be actively preparing and maintaining for the next emergency event, whilst large proportions of the community were found not to be interested and therefore, not planning to do anything about preparing for future emergency events. It was found that hazard awareness does not necessarily translate to preparedness or action.

At this point in time, resilience building for emergencies is limited to a small number of individuals, families and limited communities. They make their own preparations to an emergency in isolation or with limited assistance6.

Council recognises that factors such as an ageing population, growing cultural and religious diversity, urbanisation, land-use planning and building controls, population growth, and climate change adaptation may influence the capacity and capability of communities before, during and after future emergency events(4).

Our community

The City of Casey is a large and rapidly growing municipality on the outskirts of Melbourne. It covers 410 square kilometres with a diversity of coastal, growth, foothills and established areas.

Casey is an interface municipality that incorporates both the green wedge and the urban growth boundary bridging the gap between metropolitan Melbourne and rural Victoria, sharing characteristics of both urban and rural communities(7).

The current population of 313,521 is forecast to grow to 514,021 by 20418. Just over one third of residents (36%) are below the age of 25 years and 11% are 65 years and over7.

Factors impacting on resilience

The strength of a local community’s resilience is founded on relationships built within those communities.

A survey of Casey residents found relatively positive perceptions of their local neighbourhood, with over 60% of them finding that their neighbourhood was close-knit and contained people who could be trusted (65%) or were willing to help each other (70%). Based on these three-social connection and cohesion indicators, male perceptions of their neighbourhood tended to be higher than females.

There are, however vulnerabilities and disadvantage that can stretch a community’s resilience; overwhelm and wear down the overall social cohesion of the community. These may include income and mortgage stress, social inequality, unemployment, drug and alcohol abuse, family violence, long-term health issues, rapid population growth and climate change.

The nature of Casey’s diverse population means that there are communities who are more vulnerable at all stages of a disaster – before, during and after. A key focus of this plan will be to enhance collaboration between community, Council, emergency services and the community sectors to better understand the diversity of communities within Casey, including the needs of socially vulnerable people, in order to increase the resilience of all residents.

The following table identifies communities within Casey who may be socially vulnerable in the event of an emergency; noting that people may have more than one vulnerability for example an older person who is homeless and living with a disability.

Cohort

Vulnerability

Casey

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island peoples.

Aboriginal people have a much broader definition of what is an ‘emergency’ within their communities.

They have higher rates of disability and chronic disease.

Approximately one in twelve Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander adults are part of the Stolen Generations

They are less likely to access government led services due to intergenerational trauma.

They can be mistrustful of authority(9).

Casey is home to the largest population of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander residents in the southern metropolitan region (1,616).

51% of the local Aboriginal people are female, 55% are under the age of 25 years (a third are less than 15 years old). 33% of Casey Aboriginal families are single parent families, 44% are couple families with children. 5% of the local Aboriginal community are aged 65 years or more.

9% of Aboriginal people in Casey have a severe or profound disability. 69% of Aboriginal Casey residents are living in rental stress. Aboriginal

Casey residents have a lower income than non-Aboriginal peoples.

Culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD)

backgrounds, including newly arrived refugees and

migrants

Those with limited English language proficiency may face difficulties before,

during and after emergencies. They may be unaware of hazards and not know how

to connect with service providers, access and understand information, or be able to secure relief payments.

May have experienced prior hardship and trauma which make recovery more difficult.

They can be mistrustful of authority(1).

Casey is a highly culturally diverse municipality, 41% of residents are born overseas. Casey residents born overseas come from more than

179 countries and represent 520 ethnic groups (different cultural, language and religions).

Afghanistan 47%, Sri Lanka 20% and India 10% are the countries with the highest proportions of overseas-born residents.

As of March 2017, Casey had the fourth highest number of residents in Victoria from a refugee or asylum-seeker background, accounting for 805 residents or 9% of Victorian asylum-seekers. In the period between 2016/17, a total of 4,911 recently-arrived immigrants settled in the City of Casey from over 70 countries, largely from India (1,044 people, 21%), Afghanistan (751 people, 15%), Sri Lanka (560 people,

11%) and New Zealand (308 people, 6%).

38% speak languages other than English.

Less than 6% of Casey residents have limited or very limited English8.

LGBTI

Disaster impacts are heightened for LGBTI people, as the destruction of home is the destruction of the safe place away from judgment.

During emergencies there are additional privacy concerns and risk or experience of discrimination.

Heightened levels of anxiety as a result of having to hide their sexuality or gender identity or staying with people who are not accepting of them(10).

Up to 11% of the Australian population may have a diverse sexual orientation, sex or gender identity.

Since 1996, the number of same sex couples has more than tripled to 2011.

LGBTI people, particularly the young, are more likely to experience bullying, abuse or discrimination.

34% of LGBTI people tend to hide their sexuality or gender identity when accessing services and 42% during social and community events.

Around 61 per cent of same-sex attracted and gender-questioning young people said they experienced verbal abuse because of their sexuality, while 18 per cent reported experiencing physical abuse(11).

Children and young people

Rely on the assistance of adults for the core activities of daily living.

Children and young people from newly arrived refugee and migrant families are particularly vulnerable in emergencies(1).

23% of Casey’s residents are between the age of 0-14 years and therefore most likely to be dependent on adults.

14% of Casey’s residents are young people between 15-25 years(8).

Older people

May face difficulties before, during and after emergencies due to limited mobility,

social isolation, the need for assistance

from a carer or service provider and medical morbidity(1).

10% of Casey residents are 65+ years.

Of the 10% older Casey residents:

  • 13% live alone.
  • 67% live in a non-private dwelling (nursing or retirement home).
  • 43% require assistance with at least one core living task.
  • 827 older persons require assistance with at least one core living task and live alone(8).
People with a disability; and multiple and complex needs

May face difficulties before, during and after disasters due to limited mobility, reliance on equipment and/or the need for assistance from a carer.

In addition, they may be limited in their ability to cope with any additional demands beyond those of everyday life(1).

Emergency situations can be especially upsetting and confusing for people with dementia. Changes in routine, traveling and new environments may increase the risk for wandering and agitation(12).

Casey has the largest number of people with a disability in Victoria. Based on the 2016 Census, up to 14,144 residents of Casey had a severe or profound disability, representing 5% of the population.

It is expected that by 2031, within Casey, there will be a doubling of the number of persons living with a severe or profound disability8.

The incidence of dementia in Casey between 2010 and 2050 is expected to rise on average by 480%(13).

Homeless people and those at risk

People in temporary or unstable housing situations may not be aware of impending emergency event due to lack of access to

communications. An emergency may push them into homelessness(1).

According to the latest data presently available from the population Census, approximately 932 people in the City of Casey were homeless in 2011.

The ABS acknowledge that this figure may be greatly under estimated as it is highly likely that a high proportion of people in the most difficult housing and personal circumstance do not complete the census(8).

People with chronic disease For chronically ill patients, interruptions in medication regimens and needed medical technologies can exacerbate underlying conditions and increase the risk of illness or death(1). Casey residents have a higher prevalence of certain chronic health conditions, like diabetes and heart disease compared with all Victorians.

The 2014 Victorian Population Health Survey found one quarter of all residents are clinically obese and almost one third are overweight.

These rates are significantly higher than the state averages.

Life expectancy for Casey residents has increased to 83 years, however this is slightly below the Victorian average and may represent higher levels of exposure to health risk factors such as, poor nutrition, smoking, sedentary behaviour, risky alcohol consumption(14).

People with mental health issues

Are often dependent on caretakers, can be limited in their capacity to make sound

decisions on their own and can be mistrustful of authority(1).

1 in 5 Casey residents have reported experiencing high or very high levels of psychological distress, which indicates having experienced anxiety or depressive symptoms, over the previous 4 weeks.

Depression and anxiety was more common amongst women than men.

In 2009, the Adolescent Health and Wellbeing Survey found that one in seven adolescents (14%) residing in the City of Casey had very high levels of psychological distress.

The survey also found that a significant proportion of adolescents had a poor psychological development, were not satisfied with their quality of life and were lacking trusted people in their lives or someone to turn to for advice.

Local adolescents tended to fair less favourably on most of these wellbeing measures, compared to their Victorian counterparts(14).

People who are socio- economically disadvantaged May lack the resources to prepare for, mitigate and recover from emergencies(1).

One in six (17%) Casey residents reported that they would be unable to raise $2,000 in two days in an emergency.

Casey residents reported highest levels of financial distress compared to other growth area municipalities.

Half of households in Casey have a mortgage and almost 1 in 5 residents privately rent their homes.

Mortgage and rental stress are very high in Casey with 47% experiencing mortgage stress and 54% in rental stress.

Most vulnerable residents are one-parent families and lone persons 65+ years(8).

People with alcohol and/or other drugs issues May be limited in their capacity to make sound decisions on their own(1).

The 2015 VicHealth Indicators Survey found that one in five people residing in Casey were at risk of short-term alcohol-related harm, due to the consumption of 5 or more standard drinks on a single occasion per month.

A further 7% were at high short-term harmful risks due to drinking 11 or more drinks in a single sitting.

Individuals at short-term risk of harm from alcohol tended to be males (28.8%), aged 35 to 44 years (30%).

Drug related offences have increased by 143% over a ten-year period from 2005-201614.

Family violence

Family violence incidents are known to increase during the recovery period after an emergency event(1).

There is a ripple effect of family violence on relatives, friends and peer groups, workplaces and communities. People who are experiencing family violence are at risk of poverty, dislocation, social isolation and loss of community(15).

Victoria Police reports that it attends more than 12 family violence incidents within Casey per day. In 2015-16 Victoria Police found Casey had the highest number of family violence incidents in the state (4,517)(14).

Drugs and alcohol are contributing factors in family violence assaults. There are no specific statistics that clearly indicates the increase in family violence incidents or reports within Australia. In New Zealand

police reported a 53% increase in callouts to family violence incidents following the 4 September 2010 Canterbury earthquake(16).

Environmental and Social Factors

Achieving a resilient and safer Casey, in part, depends on being able to understand and adapt to changes that may occur in the environment. Factors operating within the environment are inter-connected, so change in one area may have flow-on impacts for individuals, families, communities, and organisations. These factors include:

  • Demographic change
  • Increased urbanisation
  • Reliance on technology and social media
  • Economic factors and employment
  • Increased movement of people and goods around the world
  • The implications of climate change.

There is no one size fits all approach to community emergency resilience, no one community in Casey is the same as another. Each community has different settlement and social qualities, risks, services, networks, characteristics and leadership(5).

Addressing many of these risk factors is a core function of Council through its role as facilitator, provider and advocate for the Casey community. The time frame for achieving increased community emergency resilience requires sustained behavioural change, the results of which should be seen across a number of years and political cycles(5).

Strategic direction

Council has identified three goals and associated strategic objectives that it will work on, over the next four years, in partnership with the community, emergency management sector agencies, and a range of key supporting agencies.

The goals represent the long-term changes that the community, Council and its partners will seek to influence over the life of this Plan.

The following section outlines for each goal:

  • The strategic objectives,
  • What the evidence says, and
  • Council policies and strategies that are relevant to achieving the strategic objectives.

A summary of the Casey Next, and Casey People’s Panel findings has been included to indicate what is known from community engagement already undertaken.

1. Increase community knowledge

Strategic Objectives

  1. Increase community awareness about emergencies
  2. Provide information about hazards and risks that may impact communities
  3. Increase communities understanding of their roles and responsibilities before, during and after emergencies.

What the evidence says

Research has found hazard awareness does not translate to higher levels of preparedness or action6. Community Resilience is influenced by the understanding and exposure of communities to differing levels of stresses and shocks. The breadth and diversity of our communities also contributed individual abilities to prepare before, during and after emergencies.

The task of increasing community preparedness for emergencies is one of effecting behaviour change. That is how do people:

  • Receive information about emergency risks
  • Perceive those risks
  • Behave in relation to those risks(15).

In addition, socio-economic and demographic variables, personality traits, previous experience with the hazard and perceptions about personal vulnerability can influence the ability to increase community preparedness for emergencies.

Other Council Policies and Strategies

  • Municipal Emergency Management Plan
  • Communication and Consultation Policy
  • Community Engagement Strategy
  • Safer Communities Strategy
  • Diversity, Access and Inclusion Policy
  • Inclusive Casey Strategic Framework**
  • Aboriginal Engagement Plan**

2. Increase Collaboration

Strategic Objectives

  1. Identify and partner with others to develop a 'Shared Responsibility'
  2. Work with agencies that promote resilience before, during and after emergencies (acute shocks, disasters)

What the evidence says

As the emergency management sector shifts from “emergency services” to “emergency management”, the agencies involved in emergency management share a common interest in supporting communities before, during and after emergencies(2). Achieving safer more resilient communities is a shared responsibility, but not always shared equally. At times communities will lead and take greater responsibility and at other times agencies supporting emergency management will assume the greater responsibility.

As the tier of government closest to the community, Councils are uniquely placed to support their communities through, community strengthening and development programs to build community resilience before emergencies.

Integrating Council community strengthening and development programs with those of emergency response and supporting agencies, will provide many opportunities for collaboration and workforce development before, during and after emergencies.

Other Council Policies and Strategies

  • Municipal Emergency Management Plan
  • Communication and Consultation Policy
  • Community Engagement Strategy
  • Safer Communities Strategy

3. Empower community

Strategic Objectives

  1. Involve communities in emergency management decision making
  2. Promote opportunities for community volunteering
  3. Increase social inclusion to enhance community resilience in an emergency

What the evidence says

Communities that are empowered and feel like they have been involved with decisions that affect them have better resilience. Local leaders are able to advocate on behalf of the community before, during and after emergencies(2).

Communities that have a high level of community volunteering are found to be more resilient than those with low levels(15).

Underpinning community resilience building are essential Community Development principles. These include:

  • community participation and empowerment
  • everyone has a valuable contribution and volunteers and community members are integral to the decision-making
  • community ownership and inclusion
  • governance models must work for the community in co-operation and collaboration with staff, volunteers and the wider community
  • community networking and self-help
  • building on trusted networks, through both formal and informal means; sharing information, knowledge, skills and life experiences5.

Other Council Policies and Strategies

  • Municipal Emergency Management Plan
  • Communication and Consultation Policy
  • Community Engagement Strategy
  • Safer Communities Strategy
  • Volunteer Participation Strategy
  • Diversity, Access and Inclusion Policy
  • Inclusive Casey Strategic Framework**
  • Aboriginal Engagement Plan**

** To be developed

Implementation

Action Plan

An action planning process will be led by Council, commencing in late 2017. Council’s Emergency Management Unit and supporting agencies will be central to developing and implementing this Plan. This will be done in conjunction with the community.

Actions and associated measures of success will be identified to deliver on the goals and strategic objectives of this Plan. This will form the Action Plan for the next four years.

Potential external stakeholders include: Country Fire Authority (CFA), State Emergency Service (SES), St John Ambulance (Victoria), State Government, community service providers, community organisations, Victoria Police, community sports clubs, leagues and associations, local business, schools, early childhood services, culturally specific service providers, community and cultural groups, libraries, regional alliances, academic providers and community engagement/promotion organisations.

Monitoring and Evaluation

Improving emergency resilience for the residents of Casey is an ongoing process. The determinants of emergency resilience are complex, with inter-related issues and are not solely in the domain of local government to influence.

The three goals in this Plan represent the specific outcomes that Council will seek to influence, in partnership, over the life of this Plan and beyond. Each goal will be measured by a set of indicators that will be informed by the MEMP and reviewed every four years to align with Council’s planning cycle to inform ongoing strategic planning.

Additionally, a set of measures will be developed to assess progress toward the strategic objectives of this Plan. It is important that the collective efforts of Council and its partners are monitored to identify the level of positive change being achieved.

The Action Plan will be reviewed annually, and a progress report presented to the MEMPC, Council and the community.

References

  1. Victorian Council of Social Service. 2014 Disaster and disadvantage: Social vulnerability in emergency management. Victorian Council of Social Service.
  2. Emergency Management Victoria. 2017. Community Resilience Framework
  3. Resilient Melbourne Delivery Office. 2016. Resilient Melbourne Strategy
  4. Commonwealth of Australia 2011, National Strategy for Disaster Resilience. Attorney- General’s Department. Emergency Management Australia.
  5. Los Angeles County Department of Public Health, Resilience Builder: Tools for Strengthening Disaster Resilience in your Community.
  6. Victoria State Emergency Service, 2016, Community Resilience Strategy 2016-2019.
  7. Creating Liveable Communities in the Interface, 2016.
  8. Australian Bureau of Statistics Census 2016.
  9. Commonwealth of Australia. 2007. Keeping Our Mob Safe: A National Strategy for Remote Indigenous Communities. Attorney-General’s Department, Emergency Management Australia.
  10. United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees. 4th Edition. Emergency Handbook. https://emergency.unhcr.org/entry/94616/lesbian-gay-bisexual-transgender-and-intersex- lgbti-persons. Accessed 22 November 2017.
  11. Australian Human Rights Commission. 2017. Face the facts: Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex people. https://www.humanrights.gov.au/education/face-facts/face-facts-lesbian-gay-bisexual-trans-and-intersex-people.Accessed on 10 November 2017.
  12. Alzheimer’s Association. 2017. In a Disaster. https://www.alz.org/care/alzheimers- dementia-disaster-preparedness.asp. Accessed 23 November 2017.
  13. Access Economics PTY LTD. 2010. Projections of dementia prevalence and incidence in Victoria 2010 – 2050: Department of Health Regions and Statistical Local Areas. Access Economics.
  14. City of Casey Council. 2017. Municipal Public Health and Wellbeing Plan 2017-2021.
  15. City of Casey Council. 2017. Draft Family Violence Strategy.
  16. Parkinson D. Zara C. The hidden disaster: Domestic Violence in the aftermath of natural disaster. Australian Journal of Emergency Management. Vol 28, No. 2 April 2013. PP 28- 35.
  17. Department of Premier and Cabinet. 2015. Strategic Framework to Strengthen Victoria’s Social Cohesion and the Resilience of its Communities.
  18. Emergency Management Victoria. 2016. Emergency Management Manual Victoria.
  19. Alpine Shire Council. 2012. Community Resilience Plan
  20. Enders J. Spring 2001. Measuring community awareness and preparedness for emergencies. PP 52-58. Australian Journal of Emergency Management.

21. Australian Business Roundtable for Disaster Resilience & Safer Communities. 2016. The economic cost of the social impact of natural disasters. Deloitte Access Economics.

Glossary

Acute Shocks

Sudden events that threaten a city. In Melbourne, examples of acute shocks include heatwaves, bushfires, floods, influenza pandemics, and extremist acts, including cyber-crime.

CFA

Country Fire Authority

Chronic Stresses

Challenges that weaken the fabric of a city on a day-to-day or cyclical basis. Examples include sea level rise, increasing pressures on healthcare

services, unemployment, and deeper social inequality.

COAG

Council of Australian Governments

Consequence

A result or effect, typically once that is unwelcome or unpleasant. Consequence is the consideration of the community outcomes from the elements that can form emergency ie, heat health day, high fire danger and power outage.

Community

"A definition of community is: a social, religious, occupational, or other group sharing common characteristics or interests and perceived or perceiving itself as distinct in some respect from the larger society within which it exists.”

When thinking about engagement it is useful to look at communities as two distinct types:

  • communities of place, and
  • communities of interest.

CRC

Community Resilience Committee

DHHS

Department of Health & Human Services

Disaster

A serious disruption to community life which threatens or causes death or injury in that community and/or damage to property.

Education

Any process or activity that engages people in learning by sharing and developing knowledge, skills and attitudes. It can occur through formal and non-formal processes.

Education Program

A combination of resources, processes, activities and approaches which may include formal and/or informal education. A program is divided into sub-programs or projects.

Emergency

  • a serious, unexpected, and often dangerous situation requiring immediate action.
  • arising from or used in an emergency.

Emergency management

A range of measures to manage risks to communities and the environment; the organisation and management of resources for dealing with all aspects of emergencies. Emergency management involves the plans, structures and arrangements which are established to bring together the normal endeavours of government, voluntary and private agencies in a comprehensive and coordinated way to deal with the whole spectrum of emergency needs including prevention, response and recovery.

Emergency service

An agency responsible for the protection and preservation of life and property from harm resulting from incidents and emergencies.

Growth Area

Growth area municipalities include Cardinia, Wyndham, Melton, Mitchell, and Whittlesea

Hazard

A source of potential harm or a situation with a potential to cause loss; a potential or existing condition that may cause harm to people or damage to property or the environment.

Knowledge

What we know about something. It can be data, information or understanding.

Mitigation

Measures taken in advance of a disaster aimed at decreasing or eliminating its impact on society and environment.

Needs

The difference between the desired and actual state of the issue.

Not-for- profit

The purpose of providing goods or services, but not for the purpose of making profit: a non-profit organisation; non-profit sector.

Partnerships

Effective community resilience will rely on good working relationships within communities, between communities and those who support them on a professional or voluntary basis, and between agencies and organisations engaged in this work. It is, therefore, important that all parties are clear about their roles, and the linkages and interdependencies between them.

Preparedness

Measures to ensure that, should an emergency occur, communities, resources and services are capable of coping with the effects; the state of being prepared.

Prevention

Measures to eliminate or reduce the incidence or severity of emergencies.

Recovery

The coordinated process of supporting emergency-affected communities in reconstruction of the physical infrastructure and restoration of emotional, social, economic and physical wellbeing.

Relief

The provision of assistance to meet the essential needs of individuals, families and communities during and in the immediate aftermath of an emergency.

Resilience

  • The capacity to recover quickly from difficulties; toughness.
  • The ability of a substance or object to spring back into shape; elasticity.

Response

Actions taken in anticipation of, during, and immediately after an emergency to ensure that its effects are minimised, and that people affected are given immediate relief and support.

Risk

The likelihood of harmful consequences arising from the interaction of hazards, communities and the environment; the chance of something happening that will have an impact upon objectives. It is measured in terms of consequences and likelihood.

SES

State Emergency Services

Stakeholders

People or groups of people with an interest or stake in the program and/or its outcomes, such as program participants/audiences, community groups, colleagues, those delivering programs, funding bodies, partners and people to whom the program is accountable. Stakeholders may be internal or external to an organisation and may be directly affected by the outcomes. Research helps to identify who our stakeholders are and to understand their issues in order to develop an education program that meets their needs.

Supporting Agency

A government, non-government agencies or private corporations who provide support during relief and recovery. These organisations may have a state-wide presence, or a specific role.

 

Council policy documents change from time to time and it is recommended that you consult the electronic reference copy at www.casey.vic.gov.au/policiesstrategies to ensure that you have the current version. Alternatively you may contact Customer Service on 9705 5200.