$300K funding secured to develop disaster preparedness plan for Eden and surrounds

Carina Severs, manager of Eden Community Access Centre applied for the $300.000 grant to develop a disaster preparedness, recovery and resilience strategy. Photo: Leah Szanto

Carina Severs, manager of Eden Community Access Centre applied for the $300.000 grant to develop a disaster preparedness, recovery and resilience strategy. Photo: Leah Szanto

As anyone impacted by the Black Summer bushfires would understand, preparedness in the face of disaster cannot be underestimated.

The area from Eden to the Victorian border and west to Pericoe and Wyndham, suffered approximately 85 per cent direct impact from the catastrophic fires, and the recovery process for affected communities is very much ongoing.

Eden Community Access Centre has been successful in securing a grant for the development of a Disaster Preparedness Strategy (DPS), to encompasses Eden and the surrounding villages.

The successful grant from the state government bushfire community recovery and resilience fund translates as $300,000, which it is planned will assist the community to work together to build resilience through collaborative action, addressing disaster recovery needs in the area.

Eden Community Access Centre manager Carina Severs said it became apparent during the bushfires that services that came to assist in the area didn't have a lot of local knowledge.

"The findings in the Royal Commission showed that the community needs to be a lot more involved in the whole process, this is what spurred us to apply for the grant," Carina said.

A committee will oversee a process of community consultation, capability and capacity building.

"Basically we are going to get a committee together and appoint someone to develop a strategy, it will be a grassroots strategy which will feed into both council and RFS strategies," Carina said.

"Effective engagement of the community and input from local individuals and groups is key to enabling learning opportunities for everyone involved.

"To build resilience for future disasters it is imperative community engagement is developed and maintained. For the more remote villages engagement is crucial.

"The DPS will be a constantly evolving document and process, designed to reflect the changing needs of the local community and the environment both natural and man-made.

"Regular committee meetings and partnerships formed with council and disaster agencies will inform the DPS," Carina said.

A committee and coordinator should be in place for the two-year project by June 30, 2021.

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