Friday, 8 November 2013

Flood-Proof Friday - One Step at a Time

Well if it doesn't rain it pours (pun intentional). I actually received two actions this week from the "Get Ready Queensland One Step at a Time" program that I registered for. The first step was to 'like' the SES Queensland Facebook page which I did. It's a good idea to find your local or state emergency service and like their page. I already have several Regional SES and local government pages on my Facebook feed because social media is a phenomenal way to get up to date information during a flood or bushfire. Residents can tell you what roads are closed in areas the police and SES cannot get to - and you find out instantaneously. I will do a further post on Social Media in a disaster at a later date. We have many stories of how it has helped us.

The second email I received said to make sure my first aid kit is up to date or to get one if I don't have one. Major confession...we don't have one. I don't even think we have a box of band-aids in the house. So, guess I will be looking at stocking a first aid kit this week. There is a handy link to the Queensland Ambulance site who have a full list of the items you should have in your kit. I think I will just buy one of theirs so I know that I have everything. If you already have a first aid kit make sure you check it every year as bandages and saline etc have an expiry date.

Gympie hosted a Get Ready Queensland event on Saturday which was really interesting. I met so many amazing people and learnt so many things. I am so glad my journey is taking me out into the certainly is an eye-opener to see what I have been missing.

As you can see, the event was designed to cover preparing for a storm, flood or fires. We are at extreme risk of all of these at the moment. Our floods earlier the year have caused dry conditions and extreme fire danger now. We are also expecting heavy rainfall (hopefully not flooding) due to increasing ocean temperatures. Your area could be facing similar risks, wherever you are in the world.

This is an example of a stocked emergency kit. I don't have one prepared and ready to go but am working on it.

I learnt that there are nifty alternatives to sandbags. The inside is similar to a disposable nappy and holds water to inflate them and provide a barrier.

I learnt about 'Seeds of Hope', a community group encouraging everyone to plant sunflowers in their garden to show support for those fighting depression. Why Sunflowers? Because they are cheerful.

A beautiful lady dressed in yellow gave me some sunflower seeds to plant - three varieties.

I learnt about life straws. You can drink contaminated water through them and it filters it clean. One of these will last an average person for three years at a cost of $30. They are donated to many third world countries.

I was encouraged to think about donating my organs...just in case something should happen.

The fire service office a free safehome visit for those living in metropolitan areas. The Rural Fire Brigade will assess our fire risk here.

Our council has won many awards for its resilience program, and the toolkit they designed has been adopted by many councils in Australia and overseas.

The toolkit is where you record everything (phone numbers, bank details etc) and store all of your documents. It is also available electronically and I think many of you would find it useful Gympie Resilience Toolkit. You can record everything and save it in cyberspace. The council even have waterproof wristbands with a USB built into them so that you can take your information with you if you have to leave in a hurry...and its more portable than the folder if you have to get a helicopter for example.

I also spoke to one of our councillors regarding the proposed flood levee and my concerns about our area not being included in the study - especially considering we have flooded for the past six years. I was advised to put my concerns in writing and given her email address...I don't think my questions can be answered easily, but it is a start.

So, it was a very interesting week for this floodproof mum. Have you been to an event like this before?

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