Bush fires and other emergencies are testing times for everyone, but with a bit of planning and preparation you’ll have greater peace of mind now and in the event of an emergency.
There are some amazing services and free resources for people with disability, the aged and their carers. Below is a quick run down and some links.
First lets meet Marj
Watch this video to find out how Marj, with assistance from her local community support organisation, used the Person-Centered Emergency Planning Toolkit (PCEP) to identify Marj’s capabilities and support needs. It is a fantastic framework for getting ready for an emergency because it focusses on the needs and situation of an individual. In this video Marj explains how they developed a plan together and her smile is evidence of the peace of mind she has knowing this plan is in place. The PCEP Toolkit is available for use to support organisations. Find out more about PCEP »
Services and online resources
Rural Fire Service AIDER
September 2020 update: This service currently suspended due to COVID-19
The Rural Fire Service AIDER (Assist Infirm, Disabled and Elderly Residents) program is a free, one-off service which supports some of our most at-risk community members. If you’ve got difficulties with mobility, or you’re a carer of someone who does, this is for you. Find out more »
Seniors Services Guide
Search for free and subsidised services in your area, including gardening and handyman services.
“I’m Okay” is an emergency readiness website for people with disability. The aim of the website is to provide information and tools that are useful and practical, to assist people with disability in being prepared in emergency situations including fires, bush fires, storms, and personal safety.
Highlights from I’m Okay:
Preparing Service Animals for Emergencies. It is important to prepare an emergency plan for your service animals or pets, if you plan to evacuate with them.
Packing for An Emergency including what to consider for your disability support needs.
Has a list of support available for people with disabilities impacted by bushfires:
Natural Disaster Recovery storybooks for families
Follow Birdie in these wonderful free children’s stories. Please not that Birdie Stories are not disability specific, and may not be suitable for all children.
National Auslan Communications for Emergencies
Information for Deaf, Deafblind, and hard of hearing people about the most common natural hazards within Australia including bush fires.
Children on the autism spectrum
Bushfire season is a stressful time for all of us, including children on the autism spectrum. Children on the autism spectrum can sense that adults around them are anxious, fearful and overwhelmed. You can use social stories to help children and people with disabilities understand what is happening around them and to help decrease their anxiety about the fires. Here are sime links to resources that you might find useful:
If you have any questions or other resources or services to add to this article please contact us.
A big thank you to Jacqueline Dyball from Uniting for her assistance in preparing this article!