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Disaster exercise prepares emergency service volunteers for wet season

Australian Red Cross will host a mock disaster exercise in Darwin on Saturday to prepare emergency service volunteers for the coming wet season.

About half of the 45 volunteers who will take part in the annual exercise are new to Australian Red Cross and will be experiencing a disaster scenario for the first time.

“Even with the regular trainings we hold through the year, it can be really hard to see what happens in an emergency without being part of one,” Australian Red Cross Northern Territory Manager Emergency Services Paul Mitchell said.

“The 20 new emergency service recruits will work alongside those who have been active with us for some years, including 11 who travelled to Queensland this year to respond to Cyclone Debbie,” he said.

Mr Mitchell said volunteers from Darwin, Tiwi Islands, Katherine and Alice Springs come together for the mock disaster exercise and are responsible for incident management and the manning of a welfare recovery centre, set up inside The SHAK Youth Centre.

The more prepared you are for emergencies, the less stressful they become. You’re more likely to have a sense of control during the emergency and afterwards.

Paul Mitchell

Australian Red Cross is expecting a wet season with the average three cyclones and a higher likelihood of thunderstorms and tropical lows, which can cause flooding.

Mr Mitchell said that while Australian Red Cross volunteers were preparing for the coming summer, it was important Northern Territory residents also readied themselves and their families.

Over the summer of 2015/16, Australian Red Cross responded to its busiest summer season, helping 13,000 Australians affected by 25 disasters and emergencies in seven states and territories.

This summer, the emergency service responder is working with communities, families and individuals to use practical and easy-to-use tools that will prepare people for this summer’s higher than expected risk of natural disaster using a new mobile app.

The Get Prepared app was co-created with general insurer IAG to help users make a plan, build an emergency kit list and store key contacts, with plenty of tips to make people safer.

Get prepared app on smartphone.

Get Prepared app

Get Prepared helps you connect with your key support people, accomplish simple tasks to make you and your loved ones safer, and protect the things that matter most to you.

Find out more