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Posted by Philip on 14 September 2010, 5:46 pm in , , , , , , ,

Trust provides diverse support for disaster planning

Coping in a disaster like the recent Christchurch earthquake is hard for anyone. But imagine if you experience disability and are unable to get out of bed on your own?  Or being elderly and unable to quickly leave the house?  Or a single parent with three children under 5?  What would you do then?

Diversityworks Trust realises that a number of people are in more vulnerable positions than others and will provide support to formulate a disaster response plan, so that they can feel ready to act in an emergency.

“We can never make anyone feel 100% safe about these situations,” says Trust founder and Director Philip Patston. “But we do believe that by making people more aware of what they can do and helping them to establish networks of support and communication, they can feel more ready to respond in emergency situations.”

The Trust will host a “Diversity Disaster Response” workshop in the Garden Room at the Grey Lynn Community Centre, on the 25th of September from 10.30am to 12.30pm.  The workshop will be run by security and safety consultant Tony Lewis of TLC Consulting.

“Those who experience disability, who have particular needs due to age, or who have responsibilities for babies or young children, will often have unique needs that require more detailed planning in the event of a disaster,” says Lewis. “The average person has the ability to plan and procure items that they will need to survive more easily than someone who needs assistance, or who needs to assist others.

“People in such situations generally rely on some form of support network to assist with their day to day requirements. To ensure the safety and wellbeing during and after a disaster it is integral that every person involved as part of the support network is made aware of their requirements and is involved from the onset with the planning process.”

The workshop will assist those who experience disability, are elderly or who have independent responsibility for young children to think about the type of disasters that could affect them and their family; to think about the type of hazards they face in their home; to develop a response plan; to prepare equipment, food and water; to consider the establishment of a support network; and to take actions to reduce risk.

Diversityworks Trust promotes diversity through creativity and education by running projects and social networks that promote confidence and potential. Established in 2005 by comedian and social entrepreneur Philip Patston, Diversityworks Trust facilitates a peer support network committed to shared support and learning in a social environment between people who experience both similar and different circumstances.

To register for the free workshop call 09 376 4830 or email barbara@diversitynz.com