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An Age-Friendly Approach to Disaster Recovery

Download: Northeast Victoria, Australia: An Age-friendly Approach to Disaster Recovery

We are all aware of the record-breaking high temperatures and months of severe drought which produced extensive bushfires across Australia from October 2019 until February 2020. The statistics are sobering: at least 34 people killed; approximately 3,000 homes destroyed; over 46 million acres of bush, forest and parks burned; and more than a billion animals killed with significant loss of habitat.

Restoring community strength following devastation of this magnitude requires focussed and enduring commitment. The most pressing recovery priorities are universal: meeting urgent health needs, securing safe shelter, accessing food and water, re-establishing communication and transport connections, and resuming social and economic networks. Older people bring particular strengths and vulnerabilities to their communities in disaster recovery. This report draws on national and international research and policy to describe those strengths and vulnerabilities, and proposes corresponding practical, community-level actions that can be incorporated into recovery plans and actions.

Age-Friendly Northeast Victoria is a collaborative partnership of regional, state and local governments, community-based non-government organisations, researchers, and older people. It is a common platform for action to improve the health and wellbeing of older people for themselves and their communities through the creation of an age-friendly northeast Victoria.