One of the lesser known roles of the SES is to engage with the local community, educating them to be more resilient and better prepared for when emergencies occur.
Community education and community engagement go hand in hand with each other. However although equally as important as each other, there are subtle differences between the two:
It has been proven on many an occasion that community education actually builds resilience to nature’s fury. Having a community that is prepared for floods and storms or other emergencies, assists in reducing the loss of property, and even saves lives.
Wintersafe, Stormsafe and Emergency Alert are all examples of the many initiatives run by DFES and the SES, whereby DFES staff and State Emergency Service volunteers reach into communities to raise awareness, focusing on risk, consequences and self-help.
Our volunteers often talk to community groups, local residents, businesses and schools about what they can do reduce the risk of damage and improve the resilience of their community if damage should occur. SES Community Engagement in general can consist of, but is not limited to;
- Displays and demonstrations
- Networking with the local community about community education & awareness issues
- Preparing and delivering talks for presentations
- Talking to local schools and other community groups
- Working with other SES Units to promote and recruit in their community
Community engagement is simply interacting with people, generally our local residents, so that they can recognize our uniform and our vehicles, whilst getting to know and understand what the SES does. Another and at the same time getting the orange overalls seen by as many people as possible, as often as possible.
One of the most popular ways amongst our members of achieving this is to participate in, or provide assistance at significant community events. The Northshore SES unit has, over the years, provided assistance as a wide variety of events including Rally Australia and the Australia Day Skyworks. Nowadays we focus on two core events, being WA Opera’s ‘Opera in the Park’ and the RAC Channel 7, The West Australian, Christmas Pageant. Further details on both these events can be found on the events page.