NSW communities Get Ready for natural disasters

Media releases: 6 September 2017

Roadshow kick-starts new research program

6 September 2017: The Foundation for Rural and Regional Renewal (FRRR) and the NSW Government, through the Get Ready NSW initiative, are collaborating to develop and evaluate effective community-led disaster preparedness practices. The first phase is a roadshow to some high-risk disaster areas, in a bid to find communities to participate in the Get Ready community disaster preparedness pilot.

Natalie Egleton, CEO of FRRR says there is strong evidence that well-prepared communities recover better following natural disasters. However, there is a gap in knowledge around exactly what makes some communities better prepared and therefore better able to respond.

In response to this, FRRR developed the Disaster Resilient: Future Ready program. The program builds on current research and by engaging with a range of stakeholders in communities, it will develop and evaluate reality-tested indicators, methods and tools to build community resilience. The aim is to develop effective community-led disaster preparedness practices in grass-roots communities.

Ms Egleton explains that the damage caused by natural disasters can be mitigated with better community preparedness.

“There is no one size fits all solution and we firmly believe that locals know the best approach to solving local problems, but sometimes they need support to do just that.

“That’s why this project will have direct involvement from ‘at risk’ communities. With the support of partners including Prince’s Trust Australia, Ronald Geoffrey Arnott Foundation, private donors and the NSW Government, through their Get Ready program, we’re doing a roadshow through at-risk communities in New South Wales.

“We’re looking for communities willing to participate in the Get Ready community disaster preparedness pilot and co-design approaches to improve community preparedness and resilience that integrate with local priorities.

“We will work with them to identify what projects need to take place to help them withstand and recover from any future disaster. We then intend to fund these projects and to share what we learn with other communities so they too can improve their preparedness and resilience.

“The collective learnings will inform evidence-based, community-led preparedness practice, and help to develop and hone a disaster resilience framework that will then be rolled-out nationally,” explains Ms Egleton.

The roadshow has already visited Windsor, Kandos and Rylstone. Other locations and dates are:

  • Wednesday 6 September                 Wee Waa
  • Friday 8 September                           Ocean Shores
  • Tuesday 12 September                     Holbrook
  • Wednesday 13 September               Hay