Disaster preparation is set to become more inclusive in Queensland, thanks to the launch of new risk reduction resources to help people with disability be prepared for when disasters strike.
Minister for Communities and Minister for Disability Services and Seniors Coralee O’Rourke launched the Disability Inclusive Disaster Risk Reduction Framework and Toolkit today (3 December).
“I’m delighted to launch these important resources today, on International Day for People with Disability, as they will pave the way to help Queenslanders with disability, and the organisations that support them, be better prepared for future disasters,” Mrs O’Rourke said.
“We live in one of the most disaster-affected states in Australia, and a lot of our resilience during and after a severe weather event or natural disaster can depend upon how prepared we are beforehand.
“While more Queenslanders are becoming well-versed in disaster preparation, studies show that people with disability are twice as likely to find themselves socially isolated during disasters.
“That is why it’s imperative we support them in their preparations and assist them in becoming more resilient.”
Mrs O’Rourke said the Disability Inclusive Disaster Risk Reduction Framework and Toolkit were created through extensive consultation with Queenslanders with Disability Network, Community Services Industry Alliance, and the Centre for Disability Research and Policy at the University of Sydney.
“The project team spoke with people with disability, key community stakeholders and emergency services sectors in Brisbane, Ipswich, Rockhampton and Townsville,” Mrs O’Rourke said.
“The Disability Inclusive Disaster Risk Reduction Framework takes the results of this consultation process and acts as a roadmap to assist people with disability in being more included and taking an active part in their disaster response and recovery.
“We need to ensure that people with disability can not only recover from disasters, but be secure in the knowledge that their support needs are being met in a variety of scenarios, such as during an evacuation.”
Mrs O’Rourke said emergency managers and community services personnel need to work together to assist people with disability in breaking down the barriers they face in relation to disaster preparedness and response.
“That’s where the Disability Inclusive Disaster Risk Reduction Toolkit comes in,” she said.
“It provides tips, resources and guidance on how we can begin implementing changes at a community level.
“Both the framework and toolkit are available for free online, and I would encourage every emergency manager and community services worker to download the resources and discover how they can assist their communities to thrive.”
For more information and to download the Disability Inclusive Disaster Risk Reduction Framework and Toolkit, visit: www.collaborating4inclusion.org
Minister for Communities and Minister for Disability Services and Seniors
The Honourable Coralee O'Rourke