DOC

INCLUSIVE EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT - POSITION PAPER

By Hazel Hart,2014-11-11 20:27
7 views 0
INCLUSIVE EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT - POSITION PAPER

    thInclusive Emergency Management: Position Paper 9 November 2009

    INCLUSIVE EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT

    POSITION PAPER

    Disability Emergency Management Advocacy

    th9 November 2009

    CONTENTS

    DEMA Disability Emergency Management Advocacy 3 Who is ‘at risk’ in emergency management? 4 Relevant Legislation 4

    Key Recommendations 5

    Policy 6

    Communication 8

    Community Engagement and Education 9 Household Emergency Plans and Survival Kits 10 Relocation 12

    Relief 13

    Recovery 14

    Rebuilding 14

    DEMA participants by organisation 16

Susan Stork-Finlay

    Project Coordinator

    Disability Emergency Management Advocacy

    86-88 Herbert St, Northcote, Victoria 3070 Phone: 03 9489 2999

    Mobile: 0458 98 1476

    Email: susan.stork-finlay@afcl.org.au

    Fax 03 9489 2988

    Country Callers 1300 727 017

    Website www.acl.org.au

DEMA Media Releases

    http://afcl.org.au/resources/Pages/MediaReleases.aspx

DEMA public documentation:

    http://afcl.org.au/resources/Pages/Publications.aspx

Susan Stork-Finlay, Project Coordinator; Disability Emergency Management Advocacy 1

    thInclusive Emergency Management: Position Paper 9 November 2009

Action for Community Living is a Council on the

    statewide disability advocacy organisation Ageing (Victoria)

    that is managed by people with disabilities are the peak body to promote and defend the human rights, representing the needs and interests of people with wide-ranging needs disability in Victoria. Action for Community and interests of older Living’s purpose is to advocate for full people in the inclusion of people with disability in all Victorian community. areas of community life. Action for Our mission is to Community Living is the auspice body for mobilise older people the Disability Emergency Management and those who work Advocacy. with them, to age well

    in a just society.

    Susan Stork-Finlay, Project Coordinator; Disability Emergency Management Advocacy 2

    thInclusive Emergency Management: Position Paper 9 November 2009

    DEMA Disability Emergency Management Advocacy

    DEMA-Disability Emergency Management Advocacy [previously known as DDAG], formed amidst the 2009 heat wave and bushfire period in Victoria and works across all hazards. DEMA terms of reference include research, monitoring, advocating and policy input. DEMA is an active voice and resource willing to advise and assist authorities and services working together in emergency management planning, reconstruction and community redevelopment, federal emergency response systems, research and policy writing to ensure that people with disabilities and seniors are considered in all aspects of emergency management planning. DEMA works with peak disability, seniors, health and mental health organisations, emergency services, local and state government departments and individuals with disabilities. DEMA has over 180 participants representing government departments, emergency services, local government, disability, carer and seniors organisations.

    DEMA is committed to developing best practice by reviewing literature and developing emergency management policy, plans and community education for seniors and people with disabilities. DEMA works with the Bushfire Cooperative Research Centre, and access strategies from World Health Organisation and other international sources, in supporting ageing and people with disabilities in emergency planning, management systems, rebuilding and restoring community.

Further work is required at all stages of emergency management. DEMA’s key activities have included

    submissions to the 2009 Victorian Bushfires Royal Commission, Heatwave Planning Guide, representation on Community Register Advisory Group, consultations with various government departments, emergency services and disability organisations. DEMA held an Inclusive Emergency Management Forum, with 116 people representing government departments, emergency services, local government, disability, carer and seniors organisations.

    DEMA has met with, and has had participation in forums from Various government departments and emergency services in improving emergency management practice and policy, including:

     The Office of the Emergency Services Commissioner (OESC)

     Department of Human Services (DHS),Emergency Management Branch, Disability Services

    Division.

     Department of Health, Environmental Health Unit

     Department of Sustainability and Environment

     Department Planning and Community Development, Office of Seniors, Office of Disability

     State Emergency Services (SES)

     Country Fire Authority (CFA)

     Metropolitan Fire Brigade (MFB)

     Municipal Association Victoria and many municipalities

    DEMA has also been working with community safety and inclusion projects, such as the CFA Community Safety and Inclusion Partnership Project- Barwon/ Corangamite Area, supported by OESC.

Susan Stork-Finlay, Project Coordinator; Disability Emergency Management Advocacy 3

    th November 2009 Inclusive Emergency Management: Position Paper 9

    Whilst the current emphasis is on bushfire preparation, DEMA advocates an all hazards approach is required, including heat wave, flood, and storms. Everyone needs to plan for utility failure, such as electricity, due to storms, heat waves or bushfires.

    This paper outlines issues and recommendations developed amongst DEMA participants.

Who is ‘at risk’ in emergency management?

    As the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities Article 11 states, ‘Situations of risk and humanitarian emergencies states parties shall take ...all necessary measures to ensure the protection and safety of persons with disabilities in situations of risk, including the occurrence of natural disasters’. Australian Bureau of Statistics show:

    ; 20% population report a disability [1 in 5 Royal Commission Interim report pg 8]

    ; 13% population are seniors [over 1.1 million 65+ yrs by 2021, Minister Neville April 2009]

    ; 47% population [15-74 yrs] do not have functional literacy skills

    Other vulnerable members of the community include single parents, children, people from CALD Cultural and Linguistically Diverse backgrounds, people with medical conditions, people experiencing previous trauma, people of low socioeconomic means (with no private transportation etc), people from challenging areas environmentally.

    These minority groups cumulatively total the majority of the population. With an aging population and a high rate of illiteracy, disability issues and considerations must be included in emergency management policy and practice. Accessibility issues are becoming increasingly important and never more so than in a time of crisis.

Relevant Legislation

    ; Victorian Charter of Human Rights and Responsibilities Act 2006 (Vic)

    ; UN Convention on the Human Rights of People with Disabilities

    ; Victorian State Disability Plan

    ; Section 86 of Local Government Act

Victorian Charter of Human Rights and Responsibilities Act 2006

    The Victorian Charter of Human Rights and Responsibilities Act 2006 (Vic) is one simple but

    important law that sets out our freedoms, rights and responsibilities. This formal recognition of our

    human rights protects people from injustice and allows everyone to participate in and contribute to

    society. (www.humanrightscommision.vic.gov.au)

Victorian State Disability Plan

    The State Disability Plan brings into focus the Victorian Government's vision for disability in the

    future and strategies for realising this vision. The plan outlines the approach to disability by the

    Victorian Government and the community, and reaffirms the rights of people with a disability to

    live and take part in community life as citizens of Victoria. (www.dhs.vic.gov.au)

United Nations Convention on Rights of Persons with Disabilities.

    Article 11 - Situations of risk and humanitarian emergencies

    ‘Parties shall take, in accordance with their obligations under international law, including

    international humanitarian law and international human rights law, all necessary measures to

    ensure the protection and safety of persons with disabilities in situations of risk, including

    situations of armed conflict, humanitarian emergencies and the occurrence of natural disasters.’

Susan Stork-Finlay, Project Coordinator; Disability Emergency Management Advocacy 4

    th November 2009 Inclusive Emergency Management: Position Paper 9

    Key Recommendations:

    The government needs to provide greater clarity concerning who provides assistance to people with disabilities in emergency preparation, response and recovery. DEMA, through Inclusive Management Forum and consultations, has identified the following priorities for the coming summer: 1. All hazards approach in community safety campaigns, including heat wave, fire, storm and power

    outages.

    2. Policies to include emergency management strategies for people with disabilities, seniors and others

    unable to relocate independently, or requiring extra support services.

    3. Multiple accessible formats for all communication, including Easy English, alternates to web-based

    information for when the electricity fails and for those who cannot hear radio or sirens. 4. Multiple accessible formats for all community engagement and education, & strategies to engage

    those unable to access community meetings or web-based information.

    5. Provide the whole community with household emergency and relocation plans to complete, and

    supports such as home visits for those who require assistance to complete plans and organise

    survival kits.

    6. Provide relocation transport and venues for people without private transport or family to relocate to. 7. Continuity of support services, such as attendant care, for people with disabilities, in their homes,

    and at relief centres and temporary accommodation during and after an emergency. 8. Relief centres need to be universally accessible , including amenities. Provide outreach of relief

    centre services for those who are unable to physically or psychologically access relief centre services. 9. Recovery services need to incorporate active community inclusion and mental health support

    services.

    10. Rebuilding to showcase universal access design principals for housing and community buildings. Susan Stork-Finlay, Project Coordinator; Disability Emergency Management Advocacy 5

    th November 2009 Inclusive Emergency Management: Position Paper 9

    Policy

    Future emergency management planning needs to incorporate the needs of seniors and people with disability in policy development and at all stages of implementation. Local governments across Victoria have a wide range of responsibilities in all stages of the state’s emergency management arrangements

    both legislative and through the EMMV (Emergency Management Manual Victoria). As outlined in the Emergency Management Act 1986, each local council throughout Victoria are required to complete a ‘Municipal Emergency Management Plan (MEMPlan)’ (EMMV, 2008). This Plan addresses the prevention of, response to and recovery from emergencies within the boundaries of their particular jurisdiction.

    Local governments play an important role in emergency management because of their strong relationship with their local community networks and knowledge of locally available resources. Emergency Management Policy has implications for other policy areas, such as Disability Action Plans and Municipal Health Plans. For example, municipalities had the option of Heat wave Planning to be incorporated into either MEMplan or Health Promotion Plan. Whilst municipalities and some emergency services have Disability Action Plans, their emergency management plans need to incorporate access and education for people with disabilities, who are more disadvantaged in times of emergency due to their impairments and communication needs. Many municipalities and emergency services have disability action plans, but they lack implementation strategies to include people with disabilities. Many municipalities are reviewing their emergency management plans and require input for including the needs of people with disabilities and seniors.

    Policy Recommendations:

    State:

    1. Creation of a set of policy statements in relation to disability outlining elements that need to be

    included in all emergency plans and policies and that are referenced to existing charters and

    legislation.

    a. Universal Declaration, Charter Human Rights

    b. Federal, State, Municipalities, Dwelling/ Building tenants.

    2. Blueprint policies to be used in emergency management planning for both the emergency

    services and municipalities.

    3. Investigation of best practice in emergency management policy development.

    4. Consideration and strategies for universal access and requirements of seniors and people with

    disabilities in all aspects of policy development.

    5. Development of policy blueprint for emergency management in Australia with adaptations for the

    local context.

    6. Including emergency management in individual service plans for people with disabilities,

    including duty of care, emergency egress and emergency kits.

    7. Training for local government, emergency services, corporations and service sector to

    incorporate needs of people with disabilities in their emergency management plans.

    8. Including emergency management in individual service plans for people with disabilities,

    including duty of care, emergency egress and emergency kits.

    Local:

    9. Incorporate the needs of seniors and people with disability in policy and all stages of emergency

    management planning implementation, including disability access requirements in emergency

    management and municipal health plans.

    10. Community engagement and consultation is required to ascertain the needs of the community,

    the level of informal community networking and how to cater for the needs of people with

    disabilities.

    Susan Stork-Finlay, Project Coordinator; Disability Emergency Management Advocacy 6

    th November 2009 Inclusive Emergency Management: Position Paper 9

    11. Training for local government, emergency services, corporations and service sector to incorporate

    needs of people with disabilities in their emergency management plans.

    12. Local Government to bring key stakeholders together in MEMP and Risk profiles to share

    MEMPS. That is to include disability organisations and emergency services in MEMPS. 13. Risk profiling assessments-to include specific data about individuals, organisations and larger

    facilities within the municipality re geography, disability, socio-economic, CALD communities. 14. Including emergency management in individual service plans for people with disabilities, including

    duty of care, emergency egress and emergency kits.

    15. Extension beyond emergency preparedness, prevention, response, recovery, to service provision

    and assistance for people with disabilities, access for evacuation and relief centres, recovery and

    rebuilding services.

    Susan Stork-Finlay, Project Coordinator; Disability Emergency Management Advocacy 7

    th November 2009 Inclusive Emergency Management: Position Paper 9

    Communication

    Access to information is vital at all stages of emergency management, and that information must be accessible to all in the community and consistency across states. Communication strategies must meet legislative requirements, such as Victorian Government External Communications Policy 2006, United Nations Convention of Human Rights of people with disabilities.

    Communication strategies and sharing of information between services in emergency management needs to be addressed. Community and disability sector input is vital. Indigenous communities have been land custodians and need to be included in planning and response.

    Accessible communication is vital for vulnerable communities and others throughout the emergency management planning continuum. Multimodal communication may include signs, sirens, auditory and visual alarms, Easy English, community languages, open captioning, Auslan, Audio, phone, mobiles, radio, website, streaming, RSS feeds, You-tube, television, peer and community sharing. The medium used to reach people may change at different points in the timeline. The technology employed may vary, and the amount of labour required to complete the task may change. Alternates to web-based information are required for when the electricity fails and for those who cannot hear radio or sirens. Emergency response systems need to include multi sensory warnings and dissemination of information. Communication and early warning systems such as NEWS SEWS CAP protocols require development using multi-modal means. Emergency warning systems need to also reach people with visual or hearing impairments, are illiterate and who do not understand English. A text based warning system alone does not adequately meet the needs of all community members, such as those with communication based disabilities, those without or unable to access a mobile phone, lower literacy, CALD communities. Contingencies are required for when the electricity and telephone services are unavailable, and when websites are overloaded. Consideration is required to balance the emergency updates supplied to emergency services, available via local community and publicly, to ensure consistency and accuracy of data.

    Community meetings are not always accessible to people with disabilities due to inadequate physical access, transport, communication barriers or their isolation. Information needs to be provided in Easy English as, even those with high levels of literacy may not be able to process more than small amounts of basic information when faced with an emergency situation.

    DEMA supports the current and proposed work in developing policy regarding early warning systems that people with disabilities and linked through members being represented at the National Communication Guidelines.

    Communication Recommendations:

    1. Investigate best practice to notify people of impending emergency in multiple accessible formats. 2. Text information to be in Easy English to enable access for people with low English literacy. 3. Emergency warnings systems need to also reach people with visual or hearing impairments, are

    illiterate and who do not understand English.

    4. Develop contingencies for when electricity and telephone lines, mobile transmitters unavailable, or

    websites overloaded.

    5. Community sirens need to have all hazard usages. They are commercially available thus sound may

    be different or have different meaning in different towns.

    6. Review distribution of information during emergency, public notification, media and emergency

    services personnel.

    7. Sensitively enable emergency services personnel to keep in touch with family who may be under

    threat whilst they are serving elsewhere.

    8. Balance the emergency updates supplied to emergency services, available via local community and

    publicly, to ensure consistency and accuracy of data.

    Susan Stork-Finlay, Project Coordinator; Disability Emergency Management Advocacy 8

    th November 2009 Inclusive Emergency Management: Position Paper 9

    Community Engagement and Education

    Community engagement and consultation is required to ascertain the needs of the community, the level of informal community networking and how to cater for the needs of people with disabilities. Environmental surrounds have primarily defined definition of at-risk communities in bushfire preparedness programs. An all hazards approach requires all vulnerabilities to be considered. Resources are required to develop a best practice model of community education and delivery models for various community populations. Issues of public health, community mental health, and family health have not featured specifically within these programs.

    Municipalities need to engage people with disabilities, council and emergency services in community development and education regarding emergency management in terms of prevention, preparedness, response and recovery. They need to work with the local emergency services and establish relationships within the local communities. Programs are to be delivered through current social structures, such as local government, service providers, community groups, serving the needs of communities that cannot mobilise individually.

    Current emergency management community education focuses on individual resilience. Programs need to be modified to enable people with impairments or vulnerabilities to adapt the information and strategies to their situation. This includes modelling supports available for people with disabilities and how to adapt in times of emergency.

Community Engagement and Education Recommendations:

    1. Participation of seniors and people with disabilities in community consultations.

    2. Emergency personnel require disability awareness training.

    3. Develop community education across the services. Emergency services, disability services and

    the local government to work together to provide community education.

    4. Develop community education tools in a variety of formats, including Easy English, DVD, Braille,

    audio, community languages.

    5. Deliver community education in a variety of settings, including senior citizens centres, adult day

    services, disability and carers groups.

    6. Provide individual community education resources for support staff to implement.

    7. Provide home-based education for people unable to attend community education.

    8. Provide follow-up and evaluation of community education.

Susan Stork-Finlay, Project Coordinator; Disability Emergency Management Advocacy 9

    th November 2009 Inclusive Emergency Management: Position Paper 9

    Household Emergency Plans and Survival Kits

    Emergency services, local government and support services need to work with seniors and people with disabilities in developing community and personal emergency plans. Resources need to be available in multiple formats for people with sensory impairments, low literacy and cognitive processing difficulties, such as Easy English, community languages, audio and video with Auslan interpreters also on screen.

    A common household emergency plan and survival kit needs to be provided to the community, with space for local hazard adaptation and impairment considerations. There are currently variations on different websites with different emphases on what should be in the plans and kits. There is also variation in terminology and need for survival and relocation kits. The community needs a consistent survival kit with adaptations for local hazards and prompts for items to consider due to impairment. Red Cross have been developing household Rediplans and survival kits for specifically for seniors and people with disabilities. They have researched nationally and internationally, and DEMA participants were invited to provide input to the draft. Survival kits to include people’s key medical information, copies

    of scripts, identification, personal effects as well as survival tools. Many people on low incomes have limited resources to purchase items for survival kits, so consider supplying wind up torch with radio transmitter and mobile phone charger, commercially available approximately $10. Many people in social and public housing do not have facilities to store food, such as boarding houses, hostels. Consideration is required regarding fridge magnet or back of main door summary of household emergency plan. Some models developed have included a flipchart with one side ‘stay’ and other ‘relocate’ with checklist of what to do in an emergency.

    Consider yearly campaign for people to update their household emergency plans and survival kits to ensure copies of scripts, medical information, food and water supplies are updated. Supports need to be provided for people who require assistance to complete their household emergency plans and obtain survival kits. This may include home visits and updating individual service plans to incorporate relocation strategies.

    Emergency/Survival Kits. This could include:

     Maternal Child Health Centres offer a longer session

     People on support packages receive an extra visit from a trained HACC worker or case manager

     Community Health Centres have extra staff for people to assist the household

     Community Fireguards are resourced for home visits

     Cultural and seniors groups

     Schools and preschools provide parent information nights

     Workplaces provide information sessions

    Household Emergency Plans and Survival Kits Recommendations:

    1. Emergency Services, Department Human Services, local government and support services need to

    work with seniors and people with disabilities in developing community and personal emergency

    plans.

    2. Develop best practice models of community education in developing household emergency plans,

    relocation and survival kits.

    3. Develop template for household emergency, relocation plans and survival kits.

    4. Consider extra needs of seniors and people with disabilities and their carers. 5. Resources need to be available in multiple formats for people with sensory impairments, low literacy

    and cognitive processing difficulties, such as Easy English, community languages, audio and video

    with Auslan interpreters also on screen.

    6. Everyone is provided with a household emergency plan and resources to obtain survival kit. 7. Provide individual support to assist people to complete emergency and relocation plans and obtain

    survival kits.

    Susan Stork-Finlay, Project Coordinator; Disability Emergency Management Advocacy 10

Report this document

For any questions or suggestions please email
cust-service@docsford.com