Today the Local Disaster Management Group met today for a training exercise.
As one of the participants said, “Traditional seasons of busy periods are no longer the norm. Investing in training in any quiet period as this pays off in busy times.”
Before the training exercise commenced we held our usual meeting.
After an exceptional dry hot year 40% higher than the national average. In recent months we have gone from fire events to rain events with
· Road closures
· Dam reached 120%
· Flooding in homes in Alex Hills and Wellington Point
· Early school pickups
· Sandbagging station across the City
· Elevated bacteria levels in the Bay
· And our marvelous SES attended to 144 job!
Emerging issues were discussed and the Coronavirus was first on the list. Council has reviewed the Business Continuance Plan in case there is an outbreak here and Metro health has stood up. Some Local Disaster Groups have leaned forward as they have patients in hospitals in their area however Redlands is still at watch stage.
The Queensland health web site is the best source of information.
The Red Cross gave their report and stated over 70,000 people were displaced in the recent bushfire season nationally. At present the Red Cross is reaching out with welfare calls to those in self isolation to ensure they are receiving all the support they need to cover off their basic needs such as food deliveries.
Previously with the bush fires, I didn’t realise, that the Red Cross received death threats, firebomb threats to the point they had to close down some of their agency for safety. The threats were based on the Red Cross not distributing the funds quickly enough. I found this unbelievable that people would stoop this low and ended up delaying and increasing everyone’s stress. Apparently the threats were not coming from those within the fire areas as they knew what was happening.
Our Community Champions and SES were recognised for their amazing contributions to our City.
We also received a weather briefing with a drier than normal Autumn expected and a below average threat of cyclones.
Next presentation was on the Councils new “opt-in” service available from www.disaster.redland.qld.gov.au By opting in you can receive alerts either by email or SMS. I would encourage everyone to do so.
Bayside Police Response Team gave a report and were happy to announce an increase in staff on Russell Is. From 2 to 4.
Included were presentations/updates from SEQ Water, Givit, SES, Police, QFES, Ambulance, NBN, Red Cross, QR, National Parks, Ed. Qld., TMR and sorry if I have forgotten anyone.
After morning tea everyone divided into groups to commence the training exercise which had a focus on Bushfires in Redlands scenario. Ironically this exercise was supposed to be held before Christmas but due to bushfire had to be postponed and today it is raining…a relief to see.
I opened the day, being the Disaster Recovery Chair, and thanked all the Agencies for what they do and give to our Redlands Community. Looking around the room the degree of skill and dedication and passion I know Redlands is in safe hands.