Communities in the Far South Coast now have access to an emergency preparedness guide, thanks to the efforts of a passionate team of locals who came together at the Eden Project Lab this year.
Eden Community Access Centre Manager, Carina Severs said the Eden 2551 Emergency Preparedness Guide was produced by a small group of people who recognised the need for better information about emergency preparedness.
"It's a simple two-page flyer designed to inspire people to plan, prepare and act," she said.
Ms Severs said the guide was being distributed to letterboxes throughout Eden and surrounding localities ahead of the peak summer holiday season.
"We're very proud of this guide because it was designed by locals who came to our Eden Project Lab this year, determined to make a difference," she said.
"It was their idea to create something that would better prepare our community for the next disaster."
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The Disaster Preparedness Project ran from mid-2021 through to the middle of 2023 to address the community's concerns.
Ms Severs said that through extensive community engagement, the project team heard the community would value more information and education, better communication and improved social connection to help them be better prepared.
"In response to those needs we started a Project Lab as a way for people to come together to work on solutions," she said.
"One project team focused on improved information and guidance. Their research found that simple preparedness guides existed in other parts of Australia."
Ms Severs said they had been inspired by guides used in the East Gippsland Shire to support the community in times of emergency and from that created a guide specific to the needs of Eden and outlying areas.
Project team member Sue Horton said during the design process, which included working with emergency services representatives, the group learnt a lot about how emergencies are managed.
"We found out that the Local Emergency Management Committee (LEMC) is the body responsible for coordinating emergency response in the Bega Valley Shire. It has representatives from all of the agencies, police and Council," she said.
"They are the ones who have their fingers on the pulse about every emergency and make decisions about things like evacuation and evacuation centres."
"It's a good feeling to know we have created something that helps clear up some misunderstandings and lack of information about local emergency management and being prepared."
Ms Severs said anyone wanting a copy of the Guide can pick one up at the Eden Community Access Centre on the corner of Imlay and Mitchell Streets Eden or by downloading a copy from the Access Centre's website.
The Project Lab meets at the Eden Log Cabin every second Thursday. Sessions are now on pause over the summer period and will continue in 2024 from Thursday 1 February at 5.30pm.
Ms Severs said all members of the community are very welcome to attend.