Residents at Chinderah’s holiday parks will be better prepared for future emergencies thanks to the donation of multiple portable radios as part of efforts to improve flood resilience in the Tweed.
The radios are among more than 40 UHF and VHF radios purchased by the Australian Red Cross Emergency Service thanks to a $20,000 donation from the Together Tweed Mayoral Flood Appeal 2022 following last year’s devastating flood.
A total of $80,230 was raised through the appeal, with the remaining funds already distributed to the Murwillumbah Community Centre to replace their bus and to the Family Centre, Northern Rivers Community Foundation (NRCF) and local units of the NSW State Emergency Service (SES).
The Red Cross will use the funds to purchase radios to ensure communities are not isolated should more traditional forms of communication (phones and internet) be lost during an emergency such as a flood or bushfire in the future.
Mayor of Tweed Shire Chris Cherry joined Red Cross Community Resilience Officer Tammy Jones at Homestead Holiday Park at Chinderah today to formally present the radios to local residents.
“Residents at our holiday parks at Chinderah are among our most vulnerable in the community, so I am especially pleased to see these funds raised through the appeal going to them,” Cr Cherry said.
“We know that in times of emergency, knowledge is power, and these radios will go a long way towards ensuring communities are not isolated again in the event of any future emergency – be it flood, fire, pandemic or any other situation.
“With these radios, residents will be able to make contact with each other, with their neighbours at nearby holiday parks and stay in touch with first responders to ensure they are well prepared for any event.”
Cr Cherry paid homage to the work of the Red Cross, who with support from Council’s flood recovery team, has established more than 25 Community-led Resilience Teams (CRTs) across the Tweed to ensure the community is better prepared for emergency situations in the future.
Red Cross Community Resilience Officer Tammy Jones welcomed Council’s support.
“While we always advise people to phone Triple Zero during an emergency, these radios mean residents will be able to stay connected to each other during times of need,” Ms Jones said.
“We have purchased more than 40 radios already and are distributing them to our Community-led Resilience Teams across the Tweed.
“We’d like to thank Council for all their support, not only in providing these communication tools but in recognising the important role of the Community-led Resilience Teams we have set up across the Shire.
“We are still providing support to so many community members who remain displaced and in need of help following last year’s flood and believe these new Community-led Resilience Teams will do a lot to build resilience in the community moving forward.”
Chinderah residents Lyn Tupaea and Michelle Shaw were both impacted by the February 2022 flood and are now co-leaders of their Community-led Resilience Team at Homestead Holiday Park.
“The CRTs are a little bit like Neighbourhood Watch of the past,” Ms Tupaea said.
“Now that we are a bit more involved, we understand we can’t wait for the SES or someone else to come and rescue us. We now have the awareness as a community to step up and educate ourselves on what to do in an emergency.
“There has been a big shift in our park – everyone is putting their hand up to help and we have identified skills we didn’t know we had before. The more we are able to help ourselves, the better it is for the future.”
Ms Shaw said the new CRT system was all about being better prepared and having a plan should you need to leave the park quickly.
“The new radios mean we’ll have the tools to be able to better communicate with each other and with our neighbours and first responders like the SES and Rural Fire Service,” she said.
“Being prepared makes you feel so much safer than getting a call at 4 am in the morning telling you to evacuate.”
Anyone who is interested in setting up a CRT in their community can contact the Red Cross at firstname.lastname@example.org
For more information on the Together Tweed Mayoral Flood Appeal 2022, visit tweed.nsw.gov.au/mayoral-flood-appeal.