The roles in the Preparation Phase are outlined in the TEMA and the MEMG. Activities that Municipal Councils can do for emergency management preparation is outlined in these documents. It is summarized in the table below:
The Tasmanian Emergency Management Arrangements-TEMA describe preparedness as the phase of emergency management which involves the development of arrangements or plans to deal with an emergency or the effects of an emergency.
Most of the focus of a Municipal Emergency Management Committee is spent in the ‘preparedness’ phase ensuring the capacity and capability to respond to and recover from an emergency is maintained. Preparedness activities apply to all stages of prevention, response and recovery and should be based on a continuous risk management cycle involving planning, coordinating, exercising, evaluating and taking corrective action.
There are a number of things Municipal Emergency Management Committees can do for preparedness in their municipal area(s). Preparedness activities assist councils and their emergency management partners to respond to emergencies at any time. The Municipal Emergency Management Committee’s overseeing/monitoring role is an important factor in achieving this.
Tasman Council has prepared an emergency brochure, “What to do during an emergency?” to promote an informed and prepared community. Page one of the brochure is below. This document is an excellent resource that is located and can also be easily accessed on the Tasman Council website .
Community Education and Resilience
As part of the risk management process Municipal Emergency Management Committees are encouraged to identify community education and awareness strategies as treatments for mitigating risks and increasing resilience. A Municipal Emergency Management Committee can promote resilience through the education and awareness of emergency risks, impacts, personal responsibility and preparedness measures to stakeholders, including the community.
There are many different kinds of communities, including communities of place, interest, belief and circumstance. Communities are dynamic—they change over time and interact in different ways. Community engagement is the process of stakeholders working together to build resilience through collaborative action, shared capacity building and the development of strong relationships built on mutual trust and respect.
Know your Patch to Grow your Patch: Understanding Communities and Project Bushfire CRC is a framework developed by the Centre for Disaster Studies at James Cook University, which starts with developing a community profile which not only offers the means to obtain information about vulnerabilities, capacities, perceptions and expectations, it can serve to identify the ‘entry point’ or key contacts for particular groups.
The process is about engaging with a community by understanding its makeup and its needs, and then negotiating a way with the community to address bushfire issues. The link below will lead you to this resource and there an accompanying wrokshop guide which is available online as the second part of the document.
Resilience is about building local communities and individuals that are able to draw on their own strengths and resources, working in partnership with other organisations, to prepare for, respond and recover from an emergency. It is a long-term approach that requires engaging people in a meaningful way so that they understand hazards and how to act in an emergency.
The Tasmanian Strategy for Disaster Resilience 2020 – 2025, ensures that disaster risk reduction and preparedness for Tasmania is contemporary and consistent with national best practice, covering the responsibilities of all parties, including individuals, households, businesses, governments at all levels, and other relevant non-government organisations.
Disaster resilience is relevant to all decision-making, not just emergency management. Municipal Emergency Management Committee members should consider disaster resilience as broadly as possible. All planning and projects should promote and support disaster resilience and align with the NSDR and the Tasmanian Disaster Resilience Strategy 2020 – 2015.
- Introduction to Community Resilience and Engagement video will give an overview of community engagement and resilience in Tasmania from a range of people from the emergency management sector.
The following documents are valuable resources as well:
- The Tasmanian Emergency Management Arrangements-TEMA Issue 1
- International Association of Public Participation2 (IAP2)
- National Strategy for Disaster Resilience: Community Engagement Framework.
Management of People at Risk in an Emergency
Some individuals and groups whose circumstances require special consideration when planning for an emergency. Identifying vulnerable people within the Tasmanian community has been recognised in the Tasmanian Disaster Resilience Strategy (TDRS) 2020-2025. To support planning for Tasmanian government and non-government community service providers a document was developed- People at Risk in an Emergency.
The Guide promotes a shared approach and outlines the ‘susceptibility factors’ and ‘protective factors’ that, if compromised, increases a person’s risk. It was developed to assist a Municipal Emergency Management Committee to:
- Identify people whose circumstances mean they are, or who could become, at risk in emergency
- Develop and maintain emergency management arrangements that consider and prioritise the needs of people who are, or who could become, at risk in an emergency
- Identify that some some people are at increased risk because they are experiencing factors that undermine their safety and security, health and well-being and/or social connection.
Vulnerability arises from the relationships that we have with the things we value (people, places, objects, critical services, emergency services, etc.) and how these things may be disrupted as a result of an emergency or crisis.
Recognising and understanding our individual and shared vulnerability is an essential aspect of strengthening our resilience.