Here are some of our favourite creative inspiring solutions, discussions and discoveries that have emerged from disasters and from those who study them. There is something for all of us to draw strength and ideas from to work within communities, increasing our collective well being and our ability to work together. We may never have a disaster but meanwhile we are living a vigorous life! Send us your favourite links to inspiring or thought provoking sites that improve how we live in high risk disaster areas…..
The Step Up Program from Volunteering Queensland
The program provides local tailored information, resources, pathways to engagement and support mechanisms for individuals, leaders of community groups and organizations, business owners, young people and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities. Take a look…. Where do you fit in to this process and is it happening in your community?
Lessons Learned by 2009 Community Recovery Committees
This document offers great advice for communities who not only have suffered from a disaster or calamity, but can inspire communities to organise themselves and build their resilience based on the sound advice of these experienced communities. Great guidance on communication, community leadership, community planning and indentifying priorities, health and wellbeing, working with government and building effective relationships and networks. Click here to review the whole document
Firefoxes Australia is a grassroots support group that emerged in the Kinglake Ranges in 2009 following the Black Saturday bushfires. In the years since, Firefoxes has touched the lives of thousands of women, men and children in Australian communities affected by fire, flood and cyclone. This is a fantastic group doing what women do best — talking and networking their way through recovery! This has been a great contributing factor to the recovery of those communities. For more information on their great work click here
Mel Irons, Tassie Fires
Jan 2013- Tasmanian fires provided yet another opportunity for community can-do resilience to pop up and go into action. Young Mel Irons got up to speed using Facebook and mobilised support through the community as they needed it, going places where government and emergency services just could not get to. From generators for oyster breeders, to tin openers for the local Food Bank and even a small armada of boats to ferry supplies to the needy, Mel Irons took up shared responsibility in Tassie’s disaster. See Mel’s journey on Australian Story here
U.S. co-founders Caitria and Morgan O’Neill created a functional infrastructure for recovery after an EF3 tornado hit in their hometown of Monson, Massachusetts. They say communities need help organizing volunteers; donations need to be coordinated and directed to community’s long-term recovery. So they developed Recovers.org, a software framework to involve local residents that can be deployed before a disaster to prepare communities or in their recovery to capture local data and assistance in a way that it can have the most benefit. In this way, communities are empowered to prepare together, mitigate risk, and locally match resources with needs. Find our how their model can help your community here
Student Volunteer Army in New Zealand
Student Volunteer Army in New Zealand The NZ’s Student Volunteer Army is student based initiative that supports and contributes volunteer work to all spheres of the community through disaster relief and community projects. On September 4th 2010 Christchurch was struck with a 7.1 magnitude earthquake. The Student Volunteer Army was created via a Facebook page and served as a platform where people could find the necessary information about how to volunteer. SVA cleared over 65,000 tonnes of liquefaction. They used everyday technology to improve communication to successfully dispatch thousands of volunteers. See more about their efforts here
Warrandyte Community Association
Many people who say they have a survival plan have no idea what to do if something unexpected happens when they are threatened by bushfire. So here is a light-hearted video on bushfire planning with a serious message that has been praised by emergency services representatives. All types are represented here and the Warrandyte CFA Captain delivers a message that we all deserve to know. Good on him for having the courage to say it. Click to see this hilarious take on preparedness
Indonesian Development of Education and Permaculture (IDEP)
With their hands actually on the grass roots, IDEP works together with local communities to help increase resilience to disasters. In times of disaster IDEP works with a nationwide network of local partners to get people the assistance they need as quickly as possible. As with all of IDEP’s programs, the aim of our Disaster Management work is to, “help people help themselves”.
They achieve this through community capacity building, demonstrations, and practical hands-on education. We could learn a lot from our proactive neighbours who live in one of the highest disaster risk countries in the world. For more information, click here
CRC – Lessons Learned- Advice for Government
This invaluable document identifies through community experience the changes that should be seriously considered across all spheres of government. View the document
Helen Clark: Putting Resilience at the Heart of the Development Agenda
A powerful article by Helen Clark, former PM of NZ now boss of United Nations Development Programme, on the theme of this strange illusive thing called “resilience”. This is a MUST read for all us resilience builders- it offers a structure & framework. Helen Clark became the Administrator of the UNDP on 17 April 2009, and is the first woman to lead the organization. See the article here
Building Blocks for a Resilient City
The Rand Corporation has a great image for building community resilience through 4 main pathways- Partnerships, Self-sufficiency, Education and Engagement. There is plenty that a community can do on its own to be in a better situation when challenges arise… roll up your sleeves then!
The world begins to understand the capability of ordinary people solving alternative accommodation when disasters hit. Reminds us of The Go List, ECH’s first innovative community engagement pilot project from 2010-2013 to support people in high risk areas with places to go on a high risk day. The Go List is set to be resurrected in our continuing preparedness and recovery partnerships. But have a look at Airbnb!