Aged care facilities preparing for emergencies

REPRESENTATIVES of the Clarence Valley's nine aged care facilities have received some specialised instructions on how to prepare emergency plans that are based on the best local information available.

Earlier this month Clarence Valley Council hosted a one-day workshop with aged care providers, NSW Police Force, NSW Ambulance Service, Fire & Rescue NSW, the State Emergency Service and NSW Health to help the facilities make sure their emergency plans were up to date and relevant.

Mayor Richie Williamson, who opened the session, said all facilities had emergency plans but it was essential to ensure each plan contained accurate information in line with best practice and emergency authorities' expectations.

Participants heard speakers on topics ranging from the Fire & Rescue NSW's services that are freely available to the aged care sector to help ensure their facilities are well prepared for fire threats, as well as information on the potential flood hazard facing individual facilities.

Grafton Aged Care Home's Katrina Austen, said feedback from workshop participants was positive.

"The day was very informative as it gave the aged care facilities insight to the emergency and disaster management services and how stretched these resources become during times of emergency or disaster," she said.

"It also gave the facilities an opportunity to appreciate the unique situation each facility faces - especially during floods - and learn from ours and others' experiences."

Workshop organiser Kieran McAndrew said participants represented some of the Clarence Valley's most vulnerable facilities.

"If, as a result of the workshop each facility is just a little better prepared for emergencies, then the day has most definitely been worthwhile," he said.



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