Published on March 3, 2014
Emergency Relief in Disasters: NSW perspective Allison Rowlands, PhD NSW Ministry for Police and Emergency Services firstname.lastname@example.org
Overview Emergency: as in, urgent need, or disaster Disaster context and impact (policy drivers) Basic needs Emergency Management Arrangements NSW Policies and Processes National policy environment
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Broad Context for Disasters
Impacts of disasters Psychological Social Material Financial Systemic Issue of degree and scale
Myths of disaster People cannot look after themselves Too much information is bad Children are too young to be affected People“crack up” Communities never recover
Long term effects Effects caused by event may come back in another crisis Need to go over events again as we grow and develop – greater understanding May find future crises harder to handle May cover up difficult feelings Previous effects may become (maladaptive) habits Future major changes or problems likely to be related to the crisis
Investing $ to save $ Intervene early Support local support systems and agencies Just as important as physical rebuilding Advice and information Informal, flexible, outreach oriented approaches Taking the time it requires
False economies in recovery Lack of, or unhelpful and inexperienced support relationships Support relationships that did not understand recovery Failure to address stress and conflict through facilitated social processes Limiting participation in restoration, rebuilding and replacement decisions Failing to listen to people Lack of cooperation from recovery agencies
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NSW EM arrangements Legislation Planning Framework – NSW EMPLAN Welfare Services Supporting Plan Ministry for Police and Emergency Services coordinates human services interventions (planning, response and recovery) Administration of Personal Hardship and Distress Scheme
Coordination of key welfare services Financial assistance Catering Personal Support Accommodation Material Aid Support to all agencies
Disaster relief and recovery arrangements – NDRRA Assistance to individuals in the form of Personal Hardship and Distress payments (PHD) Assistance to communities, in the form of reimbursement of 50% to 75% of State and Territory expenditure restoration or replacement of essential public infrastructure concessional interest rate loans to small businesses, primary producers, voluntary non-profit bodies and needy individuals http://www.disasterassist.gov.au/NDRRADetermination/Pag es/default.aspx Australian Government Disaster Recovery Payment (AGDRP) is a one-off payment to Australian residents affected by a major disaster in Australia or overseas
Assistance to individuals – Cat A Immediate assistance in cash or kind at evacuation centres FACS; emergency accommodation; material aid Disaster Relief Grants for contents and structural repairs Explicit eligibility criteria Personal and financial counselling Each state is somewhat different AGRDP is completely different
Assistance to communities – Category C Broader psychosocial recovery Community Recovery Fund Community development and recovery grants Salaries for recovery/development workers Economic recovery beyondblue -> back to investing in recovery to prevent later costs
Where is emergency relief provided in NSW? Evacuation centres Disaster Welfare Assistance Line Home visits FACS offices sometimes Outreach Recovery centres
Evacuation Centre ADRA Model Mgr TL CP CP Generic Services & obvious triage Gov TL Needs Assessment and Immediate Assistance CP Gov E.g. accommodation or financial assistance Registration / Triage CP Gov TL Other referred services Eg need support in centre or in accommodation, pets CP CP Generic Services Evacuees not requiring assessment Food, refreshments, personal requisites,
Recovery Centres • One stop shops • Central location to affected community • Initially operate 7 days a week • Potential base for outreach • Open as long as community needs it
Deniliquin Temporary Accommodation Centre Completely different concept
Evacuation Order Evacuation Order Hay to Deniliquin Distance - 120km Evacuation Centre
Recreation Area Large and Hunting Dogs Accomm B Cats & Small Dogs Site Contro l Dining Area & Catering Accomm A Children’s Area Ablutions & Laundry Registration & Warehouse Secur e Entry
National policy context – Costs of recovering from natural disasters A residual approach? Based on self reliance Strengths-based? What is responsibility of human service agencies and their clients?
Context 1 Disaster management involves a complex range of stakeholders and activities Reviews and inquiries have produced a wealth of information and insight into specific events Implementing recommendations related to resilience has been slow Ratio of pre-disaster resilience funding to funding during and following disasters is low
Context 2 Climate change – frequency and severity; rising sea levels Social factors Increasing complexity and interdependencies of social, technical, and infrastructure systems Shape of communities Individual and group vulnerabilities Resource demands – unrealistic expectations and unsustainable dependencies community capability and confidence
Context 3 Over the last four years: Black Saturday bushfires in Victoria Cyclone Yasi in Northern Queensland widespread flooding across eastern half of continent claimed more than 200 lives and directly affected hundreds of thousands of people 2012 total economic cost > A$6b By 2030 costs expected to x 2; by 2050 average A$23b pa, regardless of climate change A$560m spent on post- disaster relief and recovery by Aust Gov; A$50m on pre-disaster resilience ie 10:1
3 major peaks in costs 1989 Newcastle Earthquake magnitude 5.6 1999 Sydney intense hailstorm 13 people killed; extensive damage to property and infrastructure eastern and inner suburbs, damaging properties, vehicles and aircraft 2011 most costly year in last 30 real annual insured losses due to the Queensland floods and Tropical Cyclone Yasi
National Strategy for Disaster Resilience (COAG, 2011) Understanding Resilience Leadership and Coordination Understanding Risk Communicating about Risk Partnering Empowering Reducing Risks Building Capability
6 key messages Disasters will happen Disaster resilience is your business Connected communities are resilient communities Know your risk Get ready, then act Learn from experience
Shared Responsibility Communities are more self reliant in preparing for and responding to hazard events Assumes shared responsibility and shared ownership
A resilient community… … suffers less during an extreme (fire) event and is likely to be able to recover quickly; financially, physically and as a community
A resilient community has… Well rehearsed emergency plans Superior fire mitigation processes in the cooler months Appropriate building controls, suitable to local hazards and risks Widely adopted personal and business financial mitigation measures (e.g. insurance suitable to the risks)
At the people level… Understand the risks that may affect them and others in their community Take steps to anticipate disasters and to protect themselves their assets and their livelihoods Work together with local leaders using their knowledge and resources to prepare for and deal with disasters Work in partnership with emergency services, their local authorities and other relevant organisations before, during and after emergencies
At the institutional level… EM plans are resilience-based, to build disaster resilience within communities over time EM volunteer sector is strong Businesses and other service providers undertake wide-reaching business continuity planning Land use planning systems and building control arrangements reduce, as far as is practicable, community exposure to unreasonable risks from known hazards
Following a disaster… A satisfactory range of functioning is restored quickly People understand the mechanisms and processes through which recovery assistance may be made available People appreciate that support is designed to be offered, in the first instance, to the most vulnerable community members
Progress on National Strategy Reaching agreement on a nationally consistent methodology for disaster risk assessment Completing a review of the effectiveness of disaster relief and recovery payments Opening the new Australian Government Crisis Coordination Centre Developing a National Disaster Resilience Communication Strategy Improving Triple Zero surge capacity and emergency warning systems Developing new Smartphone applications DisasterWatch and Before the Storm
References Australian Business Roundtable for Disaster Resilience and Safer Communities (2013) Building our nation’s resilience to natural disasters. http://www.deloitteaccesseconomics Commonwealth of Australia (2011) Community Recovery. 3rd ed. Mt Macedon: Australian Emergency Management Institute. http://www.em.gov.au/Publications/Australianemergencymanualseries/Australianemergen cyhandbookCommunityrecovery/Pages/default.aspx Commonwealth of Australia (2011) National Strategy for Disaster Resilience. http://www.em.gov.au/Documents/1National%20Strategy%20for%20Disaster%20Resilience% 20-%20pdf.PDF Department of Human Services (2009) After the Bushfires: Victoria’s Psychosocial Recovery Framework. www.health.vic.gov.au/mentalhealth International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) 2009, Psychosocial Handbook, International Reference Centre for Psychosocial Support, Copenhagen, Denmark. Price-Robertson, R. and Knight, K. (2012) Natural Disasters and Community Resilience. Aust Inst Family Studies Paper No 3. Raphael, B. (1986) When Disaster Strikes: how individuals and communities cope with catastrophe. NY: Basic Books http://www.disasterassist.gov.au/NDRRADetermination/Pages/default.aspx http://www.ncptsd.va.gov
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