Looking after each other in an emergency
When putting your emergency plan together, consider the needs of people at risk due to illness or isolation. Include not only your household but people in the neighbourhood that you could assist in an emergency. Remember that neighbours may also be able to help you.
People at risk
The people who can be vulnerable in an emergency include those that:
- have a mental health issue
- have a chronic illness
- are new to the area
- don't speak English
- have age-related frailty or illness
- are reliant on medication or medical equipment
- are socially isolated
- don't have access to private transport.
Helping people at risk
Here are a few pointers to get you started in thinking about how you could assist a person at risk.
Help the person to develop their own emergency plan.
Help a person who is socially and physically isolated by setting-up a personal support team for them. This support team will be able to assist if the person needs to evacuate.
Make sure that a person with restricted or no mobility can leave the house if access ramps aren't operating or are inaccessible.
Set up an alternative power source for a person on life support equipment. Register with SA Power Networks' free messaging service, Power@MyPlace™ to get SMS or email power outage alerts.
Make sure those with communication or hearing problems understand what they need to do if an emergency warning is issued.
Neighbours helping each other
It is helpful to know your neighbours and make plans for how you can help each other before, during and after an emergency.
Neighbours can work together by:
- preparing homes for the bushfire season
- filling sandbags or moving furniture before a flood
- providing a place to shelter during a disaster
- making sure everyone is safe
- cleaning up after a disaster.