The Disaster Resilient: Future Ready program will help rural communities prepare for natural disasters.

The Disaster Resilient: Future Ready program will help rural communities prepare for natural disasters.

The Foundation for Rural and Regional Renewal (FRRR) has named three NSW communities that will participate in the trial of a new national framework designed to improve community disaster preparedness and resilience.

Under the pilot of the Disaster Resilient: Future Ready program, the communities of  Ocean Shores, Wee Waa and North Richmond will co-design a framework that will identify and manage natural disaster risks in their local areas.

Through the program, the three communities will identify the skills, resources, assets and tools the communities need to maintain in order to respond to an emergency and recover afterwards.

The pilot will leverage the latest academic research, including a literature review from the Torrens Resilience Institute at South Australia’s Flinders University, with the co-designed plans to be evaluated with assistance from the University of Sydney.

The trial has been developed with support from the NSW Government through the Office of Emergency Management, as well a number of philanthropic partners including the Prince’s Trust Australia, Ronald Geoffrey Arnott Foundation and private donors.

If the trials are successful, the FRRR estimates it will cost at least $1.5 million over three years to roll out nationally. The FRRR is keen to hear from potential supporters who are interested in backing the program.

In a statement, FRRR CEO Natalie Egleton said the effects of more frequent and severe natural disasters can be mitigated with better community preparedness, with each community needing to be involved in developing its own approach.

“Each of the pilot communities is either at-risk or has experienced the impact of a natural disaster in the past. Most importantly, they have the capacity and interest to participate in this new approach to developing community-led preparedness,” Egleton said.

“To help us develop this into a national framework and ensure it is robust, we have engaged the University of Sydney to support and evaluate the co-design process and the approaches adopted by pilot communities.

“Local leaders will use the framework to identify priority community initiatives, which we intend to fund with grants. The projects will be evaluated to establish evidence of best practice approaches that can be adopted and adapted on a national-scale for other communities, so they too can improve their preparedness and resilience.”

To find out more about the program visit this website. FRRR encourages donors interested in partnering with the project to speak with FRRR CEO Natalie Egleton, or The Princes Trust Australia CEO, Janine Kirk