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Storm of the century?

kathkThu, 21/05/2015 - 11:56am

The SES Post-Storm Community Forum was held in Tea Gardens on Tuesday 19 May. A small group of enthusiastic community members (including six from the Cove) joined a contingent of SES staff and volunteers from the Mid North Coast Region of SES for a debriefing session. To assist in April's huge SES operation, involving thousands of hours of volunteer effort, SES teams came from far and wide. Additional assistance also came from other groups including the RFS.

In responding to disasters which involve storms, floods and tsunamis, it is SES which takes the lead role. This storm event was the largest such disaster that the SES has had to handle. As their resources are limited and demands are high, they direct their efforts towards emergency response to protect life and property and only undertake temporary repairs.

To collect feedback, those present at the forum divided into groups based on their home location. Each group discussed what worked and what could be done better focussing on preparedness, response and recovery. Topics raised in the Cove group included: communications issues; care for the vulnerable; preparing the Hall as a “refuge”; and threats posed by trees close to houses. Overall the SES was given a big tick of approval for their efforts and commitment.

The SES is compiling the responses from these sessions and will use them to refine their approach in future disasters and to highlight issues which need to be addressed by Council, Government or other bodies.

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