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​Emergency Preparedness Reports​​

 

The Emergency Preparedness Report is prepared annually by the State Emergency Management Committee (SEMC)​ for the Minister for Emergency Services. It offers a broad view of Western Australia's capacity to deal with large-scale emergencies.

The concept of preparedness is defined as the existence of necessary structures to ensure the community effectively prevents or mitigates, prepares for, responds to and recovers from large scale emergencies. It encompasses pre, during and post emergency actions and involves a community approach including various levels of government, business​, support organisations and individuals.

The Emergency Preparedness Reports are delivered to the Minister by the 31 October each year. 


​View the 2016 Emergency Preparedness Report:

2016 Emergency Preparedness Report 


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How did we get here?

Following the last major reviews in 2011–12, EM agencies began looking at emergency preparedness through a response lens, the belief being that better training, staff and equipment would provide a more effective response. And it has.

This led to improvements in training, more staff, better equipment and the realisation that these elements should be in place well before an incident. This natural progression morphed the focus of EM towards preparation, leading to a large body of work that has been occurring over recent years to improve coordination and interoperability.

Cultural, structural and systemic barriers were met along the way but a universal commitment by those involved saw a path being navigated and considerable improvements being made. This work forms a major component of the ongoing work plans of all EM stakeholders here in Western Australia.

Emergency service organisations can only do so much in times of disaster.

Where we are at a glance

The 2016 Emergency Preparedness Report finds that Western Australia has a largely committed, engaged, equipped, capable and cooperative EM sector. They actively strive to deliver the best outcomes for the state.

EM structures and mechanisms are in place to support the agencies in fulfilling their roles which also encourages sharing of information, skills and experience across the entire sector.

They broadly assess the risks that they may face, plan for them and where possible pre-deploy appropriate assets and personnel to combat them. They proactively seek to mitigate the risks to reduce loss and damage caused by hazards, thereby lessening the likely impact upon the Western Australian community.

While there is work still to be done, some of this is already incorporated within the forward work plans of those involved. Strategies are being developed to address known shortfalls and research is being conducted to examine areas where not enough is known.

The way forward

Unfortunately there remain pockets of society that believe that 'it won't happen to me' or that 'somebody will come and save me'. Despite the best efforts of EM stakeholders to provide education to empower communities, such attitudes remain. The inactivity or complacency of such people creates impacts broader than just to themselves and may affect the entire community.

Very little information was gathered in data collection for this year's Emergency Preparedness Report to indicate that community groups were sufficiently engaged in the EM process. These groups represent a standing resource that may be highly beneficial in assisting preparation, support and recovery efforts. Community groups are considered to be a largely untapped resource and greater engagement in this area is expected to prove fruitful in enhancing resilience.

Remoteness and funding will likely always stretch us, as the distances are vast and the pot of money is not endless.

As a state, much work has been done as we prepare to respond to an emergency. The events of 2016 proved that it is just as important that we plan to recover. It is suggested that the same level of maturity that goes into planning and preparing for an emergency response should also exist when planning and managing the recovery from such an incident.


 
​​​​View previous reports:
​​2015 SEMC Emergency Preparedness Report ​​
2014 Emergency Preparedness Report
2013 Emergency Preparedness Report
​​2012 Emergency Preparedness Report