Ready2Go Extreme Weather & Disaster Resilience Program

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At a glance

Project
Ready2Go Extreme Weather and Disaster Resilience Program
Organisation
Echo Youth and Family Services
Grant Type
Innovation Grant
Amount
$106,000 over two years
This award-winning program has been co-funded by Lord Mayor’s Charitable Foundation and Gandel Philanthropy. It is also supported by Emergency Management Victoria.

Echo Youth and Family Services is a small organisation with a big heart. With only four full-time staff and over 100 volunteers, they provide care and support services to children, youth and families living in Emerald and other townships along the Dandenong Ranges.

Echo launched Ready2Go in 2012 as a community-led disaster resilience program to safeguard against and minimise the effects of extreme heat and other emergencies.

The program matches vulnerable residents with volunteer community members who provide information, support, visitation checks and early relocation prior to high-risk events in urban and peri–urban settings.

Ready2Go is an award-winning program that will be expanded into ten communities with funding from Lord Mayor’s Charitable Foundation and Gandel Philanthropy. Five urban and five regional communities will now receive training and resources to successfully implement the Ready2Go program into their communities. The first five communities include Cann River, Apollo Bay, Kooweerup, Knox City Council and Cockatoo.

Ready2Go builds recovery capacity, enhances social cohesion in a community and also transforms individuals' feeling of safety and resilience to live independently.

Nicole Lane, Echo’s Chief Executive Officer, said that Ready2Go focuses on building resilience in the face of climate change.

“Victoria experiences frequent patterns of extreme weather events and natural disasters, and it is important that communities are prepared for these events. We are delighted to receive funding from Lord Mayor’s Charitable Foundation to expand Ready2Go to ten more communities.”

Each pilot community will be allocated funding for volunteer security checks, community engagement and promotion, as well as any costs associated with administering the trial. Echo staff will provide mentoring at each stage of the trial, with regular reporting from these communities to monitor their progress and address any emerging challenges as they arise.

The ten communities will work with Emergency Management Victoria, local government and other agencies to establish an online database of suitable, pre-approved relocation sites. These will be assessed to ascertain their ability to manage vulnerable persons, disability access, heat health and bushfire management plans.

The Foundation’s Healthy & Resilient Communities Program Manager Harriet McCallum said, “We know that extreme weather events and disasters disproportionately affect those who are disadvantaged and socially marginalised in our communities.

"Ready2Go provides a solution for communities to be connected to these individuals with the focus of being prepared for and supported during these weather events, minimising the impacts on their health and wellbeing.”

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