Queensland experiences a range of “natural disasters”, with the severity and frequency of disaster events impacting on local communities across the state. The St Vincent de Paul Society is no stranger to disasters, having provided support to people through a number of disasters across the state during our 122 year history. We provide ongoing financial, in-kind and emotional support to people impacted by disasters through our vast member network across the state.
The St Vincent de Paul Society is a partner with the Queensland Department of Premier and Cabinet, and a number of other government and non-government charitable agencies to provide a coordinated response following a disaster.
There are three phases of disaster management, prevention and preparedness, response, and recovery.
Prevention and preparedness identify potential risks and actions that can be taken before a disaster event in order to reduce its impact. It is important for people in areas prone to disaster to think about how they will respond in an emergency situation, and plan what they would need to take should they need to evacuate their home.
Response to a disaster event must be swift and effective to combat the disaster, to assist those affected by it and to make the area safe. This is undertaken during a disaster and after it occurs and is often undertaken by emergency services or specific non-government charitable organisations charged with this role.
The recovery phase is the period in which a community is assisted in regaining a proper level of functioning following a disaster. The time it takes for a community to recovery can vary, based on the extent of the disaster and the impact on the community.
The role of the St Vincent de Paul Society is in the third phase, or in community recovery, after the immediate evacuation and crisis response are undertaken by other agencies. However, at times we have been called on to provide extra support during the crisis period.
Under our arrangements with government, we provide financial and material support to people impacted by the disaster, and will assess and determine the appropriate level of response, based on the individual circumstances of the people we visit.