Get Ready - Ideas Pack
Building Community Resilience
Local councils in Queensland know their communities better than any other level of government. They
are the fabric that brings Queensland communities together - in good times as well as bad. Many
councils around the state are deeply involved in ensuring their communities are better prepared for the
natural disasters that have become a permanent part of living in Queensland. That is as it should be.
Councils are there for their communities before disaster strikes, they are there during such disasters,
and they are there afterwards, making sure families and businesses get back on their feet as soon as
While many of the proposals below are not new to councils, this Ideas Pack is aimed at prompting
councils to ensure they are doing all they can to build resilience in their community.
The ideas are structured loosely around the concepts of community disaster resilience as identified in
the Torrens Resilience Institute’s Community Disaster Resilience Scorecard Toolkit developed for the
Australia and New Zealand Emergency Management Committee.
This ideas pack acknowledges previous work by Volunteering Queensland, the University of Southern
Queensland Centre for Rural and Remote Health, and Green Cross Australia.
Facilitate sub-community level (street, suburb, club) working bees to prepare community
infrastructure and space for extreme weather. Barbeques, shared meals or street parties afterwards
could celebrate the event.
Encourage street level checks on neighbours, encourage neighbourly support for the vulnerable.
Build communications channels to multicultural, youth, elderly communities.
Facilitate street events, such as garage sales.
Encourage “Swap your goods” meetings i.e. eggs, veges.
Establish a Street Neighbourhood Watch Group for disaster resilience.
Organise appropriate community-wide gatherings to mark significant events.
Mobilise business and voluntary leadership to build from what you have.
Organise a community bushwalk that includes leadership training.
Consider group discussion or storytelling processes that share earlier experiences and what can be
learnt from them.
Research and connect with your local Indigenous community. Find out what they know about
Facilitate the resilience of local community radio stations to enable uninterrupted broadcasting
during and after disasters.
Get to know a neighbour, find out what they might need in a disaster and how you can help each
Know your own strengths and be prepared to share them by volunteering or mentoring.
Enrol in a course or group to learn a new skill, make new friends, or further your education.
Keep a register of local community groups requiring volunteers and be prepared to lend a hand
Lead by example. Within your own networks, welcome people from
Volunteer to be on the management committee of an organisation
you feel passionately about.
Access the ‘disaster ready communities’ link to understand the importance of individuals and
families in disaster resilience, and find out what individuals can do in their own communities.
Risk and Vulnerability
Organise a Resilience Expo or Open Day, at Cyclone Shelters if applicable, to include:
o Local government local risks display - flood maps, evacuation routes, etc.
o Displays of local business resilience products and services.
o Emergency Services displays.
o Emergency Plan advice.
o Emergency/Evacuation Kit advice.
o Insurance reviews.
o Building standards advice on wind resistant housing, building in storm-tide areas.
o RSPCA: plans for pets.
o First Aid Training and Kit providers.
o Volunteer groups recruitment stands.
o Warning providers: local radio, EWN, EA information.
o Government agency resilience displays.
o Food, entertainment.
Organise a multicultural fair / community day. Encourage different ethnic groups to find out more
about emergency services, volunteering, community services, council flood maps, and emergency
Arrange local ‘ambassadors’ – local people with resilience stories – to champion the ‘Get Ready’
ethos and to talk about what is available in the local community.
Highlight risks by use of local landmarks to show flood levels, storm surge evacuation zones,
bushfire safe areas, tsunami evacuation zones.
Conduct local vulnerability mapping: know who, where and when and profile the community.
Provide new residents with a ‘Welcome Pack’ containing information about extreme weather events
and how to prepare for them locally.
Arrange local council staff to open discussion about the natural disaster plans for the area.
Use road side billboards or electronic signs to get relevant local information (upcoming events,
preparedness messages, local contacts) to the travelling public.
Highlight what people can do on social media.
Spend 20 minutes researching and bookmarking URLs for web and social media sites that might be
handy if a disaster affects your area.
o Remember, it is best that you can access such information from your mobile phone if the
power is out following a storm or cyclone.
o This information should include links for council, police, emergency services, weather,
roads, electricity, gas and water.
Know how to tune in to warnings. Learn to recognise the SEWS signal any other local warning and
what they mean.
Download the Ready Queensland smart phone app to get informed about preparedness.
Planning and Procedures
Listen to local opinion and community groups to identify and address any important gaps in
infrastructure and services that support resilience.
Establish a community maintenance schedule for critical community infrastructure.
Use community groups to monitor and care for local infrastructure.
Talk to financial institutions about offering free insurance reviews in shopping centres or resilience
Identify services within the community that may become inaccessible to certain groups and develop
ways of giving them access.
Develop a scheme that allows discounted rates /insurance / utility costs if a house is
Access the Volunteering Queensland ‘Step-up’ resources to discover a range of project ideas for
building Community Resilience, including ideas for businesses, youth and leadership.
Make and document an emergency plan.
Use the Volunteering Queensland Disaster Readiness index at
http://www.emergencyvolunteering.com.au/home/disaster-ready/menu/readiness-index to identify
those areas where you can build your own resilience.
Prepare your home annually for an emergency or extreme weather event.
Establish a family muster point in case of separation, disaster, terrorist attack. Register it with the
relevant authority, Volunteering Queensland, GIVIT, Local Government.
Locate your gas, power and water meters and shut-off valves.
If you have children, know what the emergency, evacuation and communication plans are at their
school or day care centre.
If you have a pet, make a plan for them during an evacuation.
Available Local Resources
Carry out an audit of community assets, needs and opportunities.
Build a system which allows each street or neighbourhood to identify and share resources.
Identify who in the neighbourhood should stockpile and supply resources.
Arrange Emergency Kit displays at shopping centres run by SES volunteers.
Arrange sandbagging demonstrations/giveaways at big hardware outlets featuring SES volunteers.
Develop Emergency Caches for remote communities. (esp Palm Island, Stradbroke, Mornington,
o Shipping containers at airports - 3 keys spread amongst community leaders - community to
identify resources to be stored.
o Funded through council, local community through fund-raising, local business support,
corporate support from external businesses.
Support local businesses by buying supplies locally.
Encourage supermarket promotions on discounted water and non-perishable food.
Approach large businesses to have a pre-season sale to support the community.
o The programme could facilitate commercial development of packages or goods to support
o Packages offered would be at reduced price to ensure they
directly benefit both the individual as well as the
o Business benefit could come from the clear demonstration of community spirit.
Prepare an Emergency Kit.
Prepare an Evacuation Kit
Purchase tools, supplies and equipment which could help fortify your home in the event of a