Thunderstorms, high winds, rain and hail are a dangerous combination experienced during severe storms: one of the impacts of climate change. These impacts and how residents can prepare, respond and recover from storms are revealed in Mt Resilience.

How to prepare and follow emergency plans

Mt Resilience has a town emergency plan, and residents have their own depending on where they live, work and go on holiday.

Every year, residents get their plans ready. They prepare their house, talk to neighbours, organise their animals, know what essentials they’ll take in their bail out bag, and plan when and where to go.

Residents know to avoid driving through stormwater and stay inside until the storm has passed. Everyone regularly checks the local Emergency App and listens to ABC Emergency on their portable radios when caught in a serve storm.

Find out more about what to pack in an emergency kit on the ABC website.

Local health services and support

Disasters can stretch health services and workers to breaking point, so Mt Resilience illustrates the kinds of planning required to minimises disruptions and support the wellbeing of its residents. The residents of Mt Resilience are never far away from a local medical service, so the hospital doesn’t become overwhelmed.

Residents get alerts on their Emergency App when conditions are dangerous, and they all have emergency and first aid training so they know what to do in an emergency. Consider doing a first aid course, to feel more confident in managing emergency situations and know you can give assistance to others. St John Ambulance and other organisations are a good place to start.

It's a good idea to have a medical kit at home. Remember to keep it stocked and to check use-by dates. You can check the St John Ambulance webpagefor a check list of useful items.

Emergency communication

One of the biggest concerns during an emergency is communicating with everyone about what to do and when.

  • Emergency Services

    If you need assistance during a severe storm event, call your local State Emergency Service (SES) on 132 500 or Triple Zero in a life-threatening situation.

  • Develop an Emergency App

    Communities can develop an Emergency mobile App for all residents, which is accessible to all cultures, languages and platforms. An emergency communications plan could also involve a phone tree - an organised way of contacting people in your neighbourhood to make them aware of the threat of an emergency. See the Australian Red Cross website on how to make one for your community. Organising a WhatsApp group for your street is a good way to keep in touch, alerted and informed (it can kick off through a letterbox drop), or consider other web-based platforms like Telegram. With a mobile phone-based group established for messages and conversation, organising will be easier - whether it is establishing a safe assembly place to gather if the mobile network fails or setting up a street party!

  • Two way radio or walkie talkie

    Two way radios or walkie talkies are a great back up in case of power failure. They can keep family members or groups in touch with each other. Have spare batteries in your emergency kit too. Remember that lower-range walkie talkies only cover a few hundred meters; higher-end versions can cover 13kms and beyond depending on the model.

  • ABC Emergency

    ABC Emergency has the most up to date resources and information on events as they happen online and on the radio. Consider buying a wind up radio in the event of power loss to stay informed.

  • Lifeline Australia and other helplines

    Lifeline Australia: Dial 13 11 14 for help dealing with trauma and grief, or connect with helplines relevant to your situation.

Create resilient local businesses

The economic cost of natural disasters is predicted to grow from $13.2 billion to $39.3 billion by 2050. Just think of the severe impact of bushfires or floods on businesses, including sectors such as tourism and farming, as well as on business infrastructure, homes and natural resources.

In Mt Resilience, every business owner has a plan, and knows how to prepare for the risks.

Projects such as building energy efficient homes, restoring vegetation, and recycling waste products boost local jobs and training opportunities in the town before and after a disaster.

Business owners can consider upskilling and various tools to remain agile and in touch with their client base - for example, web editing skills and social media marketing are a good way to remain agile and expand a client base.

There are government grants available to help businesses affected by emergencies and natural disasters. For example, the NSW Government has provided grants for businesses affected by the flooding of March 2022.

Nurture urban gardens

Australian households generally only have a three to five day supply of food.

Mt Resilience has several farms and community gardens across town. Not only is it great to eat and buy local, it means residents can be more self sufficient if supply chains are disrupted. Growing fruit and vegetables at home can also contribute to this.

Permaculture gardens are resistant to severe weather like heat and floods, and create their own microclimates. They also help to absorb water during periods of hight rainfall, keeping at least some away from homes and infrastructure.

Importantly, Urban gardens also help to create community bonds crucial both day to day and in an emergency. They can provide local jobs and a space for people to meet and hang out.

The person most likely to help you survive a disaster will often be a neighbour or passer-by. By building a support network of people in your community you can help each other get by during, and after, an emergency.

How can Australian towns survive and thrive?

Discover how communities can plan for and respond to climate change with Mt Resilience.

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