Queensland Floods: One Year On
Thursday, 12th January 2012 at 11:55 am
It’s a year since devastating floods swept through Queensland, claiming 35 lives and affecting more than 200,00 people but also revealing an incredible community spirit.
The response was the largest volunteer effort in Australia’s peacetime history, and a mountain of work for Queensland’s Not for Profit organisations.
Volunteering Queensland – the state’s peak body for volunteering – says while the past year has been a time of heartache and loss for many, it also saw an unprecedented volunteering effort and incredible community spirit.
Jelenko Dragisic, CEO, Volunteering Qld said “It was humbling to see communities coming together to volunteer and whose efforts helped to make the lives of those doing it tough better. Over the past year we have referred over 14,500 volunteers for disaster recovery work.”
“We are incredibly proud of the work of our Community Response to Extreme Weather (CREW) volunteers. Over 75,000 people have joined CREW, the largest register of emergency volunteers in Australia. We hope the goodwill we have seen over the last year continues in 2012 as volunteer support is still needed for the ongoing recovery.”
Volunteering Qld says it has learnt much from the experiences over the last year, now providing better support and services for emergency volunteering.
One way Volunteering QLD has done this is by developing an emergency smartphone app.
READY QLD is a specially designed app aimed at enhancing the resilience of Queenslanders to natural disasters. It contains information, resources and services, checklists, advice and real-time updates to help people make informed decisions.
The app allows users to register with Volunteering Qld to be an emergency volunteer, find current volunteering opportunities in their local area, watch videos on disaster preparedness and read the latest emergency news.
The Red Cross says communities across Queensland are continuing to recover from the floods, and anniversaries can bring added stress, as the focus and reflection can bring back the back the memories and emotions that were experienced a year ago.
More than 14,600 people were assisted by the Red Cross in evacuation centres, when flooding peaked across Queensland. More than 1400 Red Cross staff and trained volunteers have been on the ground over the past year, assisting flood-affected people, and more than 25,000 people registered or inquired about the Queensland flood disasters through the National Registration and Inquiry System (NRIS) run by Red Cross.
Recovery activities are taking place in 72 out of 73 local government areas in Queensland under the Natural Disaster Relief and Recovery arrangements.
More than 12 months on from when it opened the first Red Cross evacuation centre, Red Cross says it is still responding to the fallout from the disaster.
To find out more about Volunteering Queensland, or to register as a CREW volunteer, visit www.emergencyvolunteering.com.au