Answering your community's calls during natural disasters

Being there for your community around the clock during a natural disaster is an essential part of Council’s service delivery

Answering your community's calls during natural disasters


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Written by Julian Harris, Executive Director People and Customer

It’s raining; it’s pouring.
The old man is snoring….

Err, hang on a minute.  Yes, it’s most definitely been raining and has definitely been pouring but that old man he was most definitely not snoring was he.

More like this..

It’s raining; it’s pouring.
The old man is calling….

No one can deny that it’s been raining in parts of Australia recently, and it kept raining, and kept raining, and indeed it seems to have started raining again.  And whilst that most precious precipitation is so desperately needed in some parts, there are other parts that copped a drenching.

Southeast Qld and Northern NSW took the brunt of the most recent weather event, or should I say ‘flood disaster’.  

As the event was unfolding, indeed before, during and after the main event itself, residents began calling councils and kept calling all the way through.

The need was clear.  The association with council as the organisation that will help them through this painful and sometimes frightening journey is undeniable.

Yes these are residents, rate payers and constituents but above all else, these are real people in real situations who need real support.

They called you, and they called you again, and they called you again.  Events like these quickly snowball with one issue creating a knock-on effect and another issue.  They ring and they ring, and they ring.  It’s overwhelming.  Where to start? There are just too many people calling us, we can’t help anyone because so many people are calling.  Yep, we have all heard that before.  

Information flow, communication updates, advice, cries for real help and sometimes just a little bit of good old-fashioned reassurance from a local government who cares is what they are looking for.  Well, that is just a thin slice of what they need and look for, the needs run much wider.

Disaster is also when you see the very best in people too.  Council staff react quickly, they stand tall, and they go over and above to help. It’s a wonderful thing to see and goes some way to restoring an unwavering faith in humankind; it’s true community spirit.

Those good people do step up, they do stand tall, and they run hard and fast when the event starts.

And that’s the thing right there.  You see, those good people themselves can very often find themselves needing to respond to a personal drama, their own home or family members’, damaged or flooding.  And fatigue doesn’t take long to kick in either.  Just think about it, Mother Nature doesn’t keep normal office hours does she?  Oh no she doesn’t, far from it.  These things always arrive when it is least convenient.  Weekends, public holidays, evenings and night times.  

You can’t cover such a huge window of time effectively.  You just can’t, you don’t have enough people. And you can’t just sustain an increase in workflow for events that hang around for a while. Again, you just can’t, you simply don’t have enough people. 

This is when a resilient & robust solution is a must have, to take care of this human need and to keep these people connected.  I say again, a ‘must have’ not a ‘nice to have’.

Planning and partnerships are key to 'expecting the unexpected'. Partnering with a service that works with your organisation all the time, helping with some aspects of human contact at the times your staff aren't available.  Partners that stay awake all night, so your staff don’t have to.  Partners that help with the busy periods during the day.  Partners that let your organisation focus on core services, fixing things, repairing things, making things safe, improving things - doing its job. Caring for your people, and those people that live in and work in your community.  

Find a partner to help a little bit all the time, and a lot more during those tough times.

Peak 247 partner with 19 QLD councils and key Queensland utility suppliers.  We have helped those partners through not just this most recent flood event, but have been helping since Cyclone Yasi and every disaster inbetween. Peak 247 connect with people in your community over 100,000 times a year.

We're here to connect with your community when you can't.

Contact Peak Services, Peak 24/7,  Executive Director People & Customer, Julian Harris via email or phone 0408 987 021

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