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  • Greg Hale

Killabakh Community Emergency Management Plan

PART “A” - The four phases of Emergency Management.


1.    MITIGATION:

Preventing emergencies or minimising their effect. Activities that prevent an emergency and reduce the chance of an emergency happening or reduce the effect of the emergency. Mitigation usually applies before the disaster.

 

2.    PREPAREDNESS:

Preparing to handle an emergency. Includes PLANS or PREPARATIONS individual (Bushfire survival plan) or community based preparedness (Our community plan) and activities to GET READY

 

3.    RESPONSE:

From combat agencies (RFS & SES), individuals and the community. In the 2019 fires we had a great bunch of young people assist in Killabakh, some local some from other parts of the Manning Valley who were known as the “BULKY BIN BOYS”. Response takes place during the emergency.

 

4.    RECOVERY:

Includes activities and actions taken to return the community to a normal or safe situation. Recovery activities take place after the emergency.

 

BACKGROUND INFORMATION

The background to development of a Community based Emergency Management Plan and the UHF Communication Tree comes as result of the “2019 Rumba Complex Fire” which devastated Killabakh causing untold damage, the loss of 9 dwellings, psychological trauma and disruption to our community. Communication was problematic due to fire weather and damage. A coordinated approach to combating the fire was difficult and these two issues increased the risk to our community. We want to avoid a repeat of this situation so that we can keep our community safer.

 

KILLABAKH  EMERGENCY RADIO NETWORK  (COMMUNICATION TREE PROJECT)

The Killabakh Emergency Radio Network  adds another dimension to gathering information during an emergency in Killabakh. Local radio (ABC 95.5 FM) and ABC TV give regular updates, but “KERN” using UHF gives us real time and immediate updates. These updates will allow real time decisions about actions in all emergency situations.

 

How would we use this system?

  1. We are asking as many residents as possible to procure a 5w hand held UHF radio .

  2. The Killabakh RFB will run training programs for the use of the radios in an emergency situation in our community.

  3. Having a UHF radio allows residents to support each other, checking on neighbours and conveying information to the base station on “Fires and floods”, in road locations, and inform residents of extreme emergencies when the normal 000 system is not able to be reached.

  4. Communication between neighbours will increase support and improve decision making and hopefully reduce risks during an emergency event.   

  5. Killabakh RFB in conjunction with the KCA and Land Managers are facilitating the development of KERN with guidelines, call signs and communication protocols.

  6. The KCA with the support of the RFS has established a register of KERN participants. This is currently an ongoing project. Our plan will be updated as we progress.

  7. Communication Trees have worked effectively in many communities and are a tool to empower communities to make clearer decisions with real time information in response to a disaster . 

 

PART “B” – Goals and Objectives

 

Goals

  1. Raise awareness of community members about the need to plan for disasters such as bush fires and floods.

  2. To assist community members to consider their individual needs and safety in the event of a disaster.

  3. To assist community members to consider a broad range of issues in developing their disaster plan. 

  4. To promote a community based approach /to disasters using the three “Cs” CHECK, CALL AND CARE, with your immediate neighbours and friends.

 

Objectives

  1. Develop a community approach / ownership to THE FOUR (4) Phases of Emergency Management,  MITIGATION, PREPAREDNESS, RESPONSE & RECOVERY

  2. Develop Bushfire survival plans to reflect each households individual circumstances and capabilities.

  3. Participation in the Killabakh Emergency Radio Network to assist community safety by increasing communication in a disaster event.

  4. Remember, a strong community response will make our community safer.

 

 

PART “C” - Community Profile.

Killabakh and Cedar Party has a diverse range of residents. The community is vibrant and is serviced by the Killabakh Community Association, The Killabakh Land Managers and the Killabakh Rural Fire Service. These are the three main committees that provide services to the community and have a responsibility to manage the functionality of Killabakh. There are many groups and functions provided to residents related to our three main committees. These are mainly all centred around the Killabakh Hall Precinct, as a hub. 


A check of the ABS census statistics 2021 for showed we have the following community makeup.


Killabakh:

People -248

Males – 51.8% Females 48.2% Median age – 57 yrs. Dwellings 105

The RFS area covered includes Cedar Party and Yarrat Forest which increases the overall response required in any major disaster.


Cedar Party:

People – 379

Males – 49.3% Females - 50.7% Median age – 57yrs. Dwellings 161


These figures highlight the need for community involvement in developing a Community Management Emergency Plan in our local area, so as a community we understand the need to work together to survive regardless of the severity of the weather conditions.


The road network and our topography will have a strong influence on how we react to a major fire or flood event in Killabakh.  We have a fish bone like road system where we have only one major road with two way access i.e. Comboyne Rd. A portion of our residents live in side roads that are dead ends. Please take this into consideration when completing your preparations for disaster events, especially around the issue of “when to evacuate”.


PART “D”

Tips on how to keep up to date with information during a disaster event and what to do if you are concerned about a FIRE or FLOOD EVENT near or on your property.

 

  • The BUSHFIRE DANGER PERIOD commences on 1st September every year in the Mid Coast District. From this date Fire Permits are necessary if you wish to burn a pile on your property. Enclosed fires such as fire pits are allowed all year, apart from Total Fire ban days. It’s your responsibility to check what the Fire Rating is before lighting up.

  • If you see a fire and you are concerned, the only way you can call the RFS out is to ring 000. This could include unattended fires and also fires where permits have been obtained but don’t follow protocols.

  • Install the Hazards Near Me NSW App on your phone. Set a 30 klm radius for notifications so you know what’s happening with fires in our area. Embers can fly great distances during weather events and changes in wind direction can change fire behaviour.

  • Install the BOM app on your phone so you can check the weather before burning or during a fire or flood event. Weather plays a critical role in determining the danger rating for a fire or flood.  Fire travels faster through our landscape as the wind increases. The issue here is, ember attack.  Substantial  rain will flood our roadways and causeways.

  • Put all of your immediate neighbour’s phone numbers in your phone contacts.

  • SES NSW ph. 132500

  • Killabakh Fire Shed 65505777

  • Killabakh RFB: Captain, Grant Smith, Mo. 0403626504, Senior Deputy Captain, Greg Hale Mo. 0412476048.

  • Join the Killabakh RFB.

  • Join the Killabakh Emergency Radio Network. Communication within the community raises the safety level of the community and assists combat agencies to prioritise their response. For further details contact Brian Willey on 0428258823.

  • The biggest tip for the success of our Community Emergency Plan is to complete a Bushfire Survival Plan and discuss it with all members of your family so they are aware of what needs to be done when and if the time comes. 

  • Also consider the effect of a major flood event, your personal needs and don’t drive on flooded causeways or roads.

  • KILLABAKH RFB will run a “GET READY DAY” yearly in  September in preparation for the Bush Fire season, where we can discuss any issues around Bush Fire Survival Plans and arrange property inspections for clean-up advice.

  • Killabakh RFB are now equipped with Flood Rescue kits.

 

Greg Hale

Senior Deputy Captain

Killabakh RFB

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