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Supporting disaster preparedness across Queensland’s Scenic Rim

HealthWISE supporting psychological preparedness in the Scenic Rim

The needs of communities when preparing for and recovering from disasters can be many and varying. HealthWISE have been assisting South-East Queensland communities and supporting Scenic Rim disaster preparedness.


Building disaster preparedness across the Scenic Rim

For residents of the Scenic Rim region in South-East Queensland, who were still recovering from the extensive impacts of the Black Summer bushfires of 2019-20 when a ‘tornado’ swept through on Christmas Day 2023, advice and practical support with communication apps have been extremely valuable.

“These communities can be isolated with limited access in and out in the event of bushfire threats, which can heighten people’s anxiety about the impact of disasters,” said Susan Glas, HealthWISE Care Navigator.

“With 75% of the 40,000 residents of this region impacted by the severe weather in December 2023, there’s a heightened awareness of the need to be prepared.” 

Susan’s been working in partnership with the Scenic Rim Council and community organisations to provide residents with information and skills to support their physical preparedness and better understand the psychological impact that can accompany disasters and uncertainty.


Improving communication to enhance Scenic Rim disaster preparedness

Through the Recover Adapt Connect program, HealthWISE provided information and education to schools, community and social groups, improving Scenic Rim disaster preparedness.

Residents were encouraged to develop emergency plans and explore ways they can stay informed regarding any hazards or events in their area through the council disaster dashboard and disaster apps.

Residents were provided with information about communication apps that could be downloaded onto their phones. Practical support, demonstrations and testing of the effectiveness of the apps took place well in advance of them being needed. 

"This was particularly important for older residents who were less familiar and comfortable with technology,” said Susan. 

This input improved residents’ confidence in understanding how the apps could be utilised and the type of information they would receive during a disaster. 

By improving communication, residents are informed to act quickly, confidently, and decisively in the event of a disaster, which increases chances of better outcomes and bolsters Scenic Rim disaster preparedness

The Recover Adapt Connect program received $3.6 million under the Black Summer Bushfire Recovery (BSBR) grants program, supported by NEMA.