Strengthening disaster preparedness in human service organisations: Project report

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Abstract

This report details outcomes of a project that aimed to raise awareness and strengthen disaster preparedness in human service organisations. Through a series of workshops and tailored activities, the project engaged with human service organisations to develop Disaster Resilience Plans. These Disaster Resilience Plans involved risk assessments, and planning for business continuity to facilitate the management of service disruption in the immediate and post-disaster period. According to Ingram and Redshaw (2017, p. 52), human service organisations need to embrace disaster preparedness as ‘core business’ activity to facilitate a whole-of-community approach to reduce disaster risk. And yet, previous studies indicate that human service organisations are faced with many challenges relating to disaster preparedness and are often ill-prepared for the potential impacts of disasters on their capacity to deliver services (Boetto et al., 2021; Ingram & Redshaw, 2017; Mallon, et al., 2013).
The project was undertaken in the regional centre of Wagga Wagga, New South Wales (NSW). Located on Wiradyuri land, the regional centre is situated along the second longest river in Australia, the Murrumbidgee River. Wagga Wagga is the largest inland city in NSW and central to the agricultural region of the Riverina with a geographical catchment area of approximately 100,000 people. The regional centre is situated half-way between the largest cities in Australia, approximately 452 kilometres southwest of Sydney and 456 kilometres northeast of Melbourne. Wagga Wagga operates as a service centre for surrounding agricultural districts and townships. Employing a range of human service professionals, such as social workers, health workers, psychologists and counsellors, human service organisations in Wagga Wagga consist of a diverse range of agencies, including government and non-government services.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationWagga Wagga, NSW
PublisherCharles Sturt University
Commissioning bodyNSW Natural Disaster Resilience Program
Number of pages44
ISBN (Print)9781864674224
Publication statusPublished - 04 Jul 2022

Grant Number

  • 102895

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