Piloting an Emergency Management Health Check
The NSW Office of Emergency Management (OEM) awarded grant funding under the State Emergency Management Projects (SEMP) Program, 2012-13 to the Sydney Coastal Councils Group (SCCG) to complete a Phase 1 Project entitled “Emergency Management Planning – Piloting a Health Check for Local Government.”
The project’s aim was to improve the emergency management capability of local government for harm minimisation in response to natural hazards.
A fundamental assumption of emergency management is that response starts at the most immediate level, and scales up as required. In NSW primary responsibility for planning for emergency management at the local level lies with the Local Emergency Management Committee (LEMC). While local government acts as a partner in emergency management, legislation does not define clearly the tasks required of local government.
The primary output of Phase 1 of this Project was to develop a Health Check Tool to enable local councils to review their role in emergency management in terms of prevention, preparation, response and recovery, and identify opportunities for improved outcomes. The contents and format of the Health Check Tool were based on the National Strategy for Disaster Resilience (COAG, 2011) and its seven key priorities.
A detailed report and fact sheet on Phase 1 can be found at: www.sydneycoastalcouncils.com.au/Emergency_Management_Planning_Project
The SCCG engaged thirty (30) councils across NSW to test and trial the Health Check Tool. The Pilot Health Check Tool was developed in a spreadsheet format with an additional user guide and useful documentation. Feedback provided by Local Government participating during the pilot indicated that the Health Check Tool was not user-friendly, created a disconnect between the Local Emergency Management Committees (LEMC) and councils, and there was limited understanding of the value the tool would deliver.
In order to address the challenges of the Phase 1 Health Check Tool and provide maximum opportunity for a successful implementation and uptake by all local councils within NSW, Phase 2 of the project “Implementing and Embedding an Emergency Management Health Check for Local Government” received approval for grant funding through the SEMP program in 2015.
Implementing and embedding an Emergency Management Health Check Tool for local government
In 2016, the Sydney Coastal Councils Group (SCCG) initiated Phase 2 of this project ‘Development and Implementation of an Emergency Management Health Check Tool for Local Government‘ supported by a State Emergency Management Project (SEMP) grant from the NSW Office of Emergency Management.
As part of this process, we engaged consulting firm Janellis to develop a functional online emergency management health check tool and resource package, and facilitate a series of regional Stakeholder Workshops for councils and relevant State Agencies across NSW. Workshops were held in Sydney, Western Sydney, Newcastle, Ballina, Dubbo and Ulladulla.
The Emergency Management Health Check allows councils, Local Emergency Management Committees, regions and government representatives to identify areas for improvement in council’s resilience and readiness capability; build a case for funding to address emergency management needs; ensure integration between local emergency planning, risk management and Integrated Planning & Reporting Framework; and provide a platform to identify best practice emergency management and share lessons across NSW.
The Health Check Tool and online resource were launched on this website in January 2017.
Download the stakeholder briefing sheet on Phase 2.