Prepare effectively for disasters

Disasters are an acknowledged inevitability in Australia’s unforgiving climate. In recent years, communities across Australia have been impacted by bushfires, floods, cyclones, tornados and other severe weather events and meteorologists predict more of the same for this coming summer.

Local councils play a pivotal role in managing disasters impacting their communities. The recent Queensland Government-commissioned Keelty Report, “Sustaining the Unsustainable”, identified that disaster management capabilities vary widely from council to council. While some councils have well-established Local Disaster Coordination Centres utilising cutting edge technologies, others are falling short. The report found only 23 per cent of Local Disaster Management Plans were compliant with the Disaster Management Act 2003.

Councils and their Local Disaster Management Groups are responsible for ensuring information is promptly reported to District Disaster Management Groups during a crisis. Problems with connectivity and a lack of interoperability during the previous summer (2012-13) resulted in Situation Reports taking up to 24 hours to be delivered from Local to District Disaster Management Groups. This lack of timely, accurate and common situational awareness presents the single-greatest risk to the efficacy of the disaster management system across the state.

In a crisis, time is of the essence. Specially-designed technology solutions, proven by Emergency Services organisations, are the best security for your council to allow you to effectively coordinate resources within your community and to request the necessary support from State Governments and other agencies in a timely manner. Queensland-based companies, like Arcus IT Solutions, with experience in delivering such technology solutions, are on hand to assist in your preparedness.

New South Wales is currently experiencing the worst bushfires in decades, while Category 5 Super Typhoon Haiyan is ravaging coastal communities in Southeast Asia. If your community was the next, would you be ready?

Contact ArcusIT Solutions for more information.

Published in Council Leader, December 2013/January 2014