The Eden Community Disaster Preparedness Project has moved forward after a committee was formed recently, with the first meeting taking place last week.
Disaster Preparedness Coordinator Jodie Stewart said the response has been fantastic with the group able to forge a strong and broadly representative committee.
“The membership is really diverse, we have representation from the entire geographic community and surrounding villages as well as representation from community groups, emergency response agencies, the community service sector, business and tourism and community groups, âsaid Ms. Stewart.
The committee hopes to provide a comprehensive and coordinated approach to preparing for all kinds of disasters.
“They call it an all-hazards approach to disaster management – It assumes that activities, functions and processes can be applied to a range of events, floods, storms, extreme heat and drought, pandemics and bushfires.” , said Ms Stewart.
Ms Stewart said the disaster preparedness project is also linked to other community development plans in Eden to ensure its strength and longevity.
âIt’s not alone as a satellite – but linked to a larger ecosystem of projects currently being developed by the Eden Community Access Center,â she said.
Ms Stewart said she was delighted to see the committee’s eagerness and enthusiasm in moving the project forward as a community-led group.
She said one of the main lessons from the opening meeting was the planning of working groups to tackle issues smaller than the broad spectrum of disaster planning.
Ideas included mental health, communication, fire and land management as well as small business and tourism.
“One of the members indicated that tourism and business have been particularly affected by the cascading events,” said Ms. Stewart.
Drought, then fires, pandemic and finally storms and floods have all worsened over the past two years, she said.
Ms Stewart said the task forces will form the engine room for the project over the next two years, which she said “may seem like a long time, but it will move quickly.”
If you have an idea for a working group or would like to participate, contact Jodie Stewart at [email protected] or 0488 079 853. The Eden Community Access Center has also created a Projects page on its website where community members can find information on CEAC projects and follow their progress through https://www.eden.nsw.au/our-projects/