Allison Rowlands - NSW Ministry for Policeand Emergency Services: The State’s perspective in NSW

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Information about Allison Rowlands - NSW Ministry for Policeand Emergency Services: The...

Published on March 3, 2014

Author: informaoz



Dr. Allison Rowlands, Director, Disaster Welfare Service, NSW Ministry for Police and Emergency Services delivered this presentation at the 2014 National Emergency Relief Summit in Sydney/Australia. The two day conference assessed the current systems around service delivery and the challenges that arise around services dedicated to providing material and financial aid, employment, food, housing, addiction relief, transport help and domestic violence support. For more information about the event, please visit the conference website

Emergency Relief in Disasters: NSW perspective Allison Rowlands, PhD NSW Ministry for Police and Emergency Services

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 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. cyhandbookCommunityrecovery/Pages/default.aspx Commonwealth of Australia (2011) National Strategy for Disaster Resilience. 20-%20pdf.PDF Department of Human Services (2009) After the Bushfires: Victoria’s Psychosocial Recovery Framework. 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

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