EMPA AUSTRALIA AWARDS FOR EXCELLENCE
EMPA Australia Award Winners 2018
The Annual EMPA Awards for Excellence in Emergency Communication have been established to recognise those who have made a significant contribution to emergency communications in Australia and New Zealand.
2018 saw the Australian Inaugural EMPA Awards for Excellence in Emergency Communications presented at the EMPA Conference Dinner in Melbourne on Monday, 4 June 2018.
Here are the winners, as well as highly commended entries, in each category:
EXCELLENCE IN RESILIENCE AND READINESS
Environment Protection Authority Victoria
Yarra & Bay – a free, timely and simple service forecasting water quality at 40 locations, providing health alerts direct to the public and accessible via multiple platforms.
15 to Float – A compelling campaign that focuses on community preparedness and enhancing knowledge that just 15cm of water is all it takes for a car to start to float.
EXCELLENCE IN RESPONSE AND RECOVERY
New South Wales SES
Media App – an app accessible by all NSW SES volunteers enabling users to more quickly and easily disseminate information to the media and is especially useful during emergency responses. The app also allows users to be tracked in real time by SES State Headquarters, allowing them to be deployed more effectively to where they are needed.
NSW Office of Emergency Management
Dedicated Disaster Recovery Facebook Page – For the recent bush fire disaster in Tathra, NSW OEM launched a dedicated disaster recovery page on Facebook alongside a community-focused engagement strategy. The dedicated focus on one recovering community is novel and has proven valuable to the impacted residents of Tathra.
EXCELLENCE IN EMERGENCY MEDIA
Emergency broadcasting cyclone Marcus – ABC Darwin’s coverage of Tropical Cyclone Marcus in March 2018 on radio, television and social media, began the week prior with preparedness information. They continued throughout the cyclone where radio was a lifeline to more than 30-thousand homes without power at the height of the storm. Presenters were calm, empathetic, and provided reassurance during the cyclone and also broadcast in Kriol, the predominant Indigenous language group in the region. After the storm had passed, ABC Radio Darwin’s focus became recovery information. While continuing to provide re-assurance to the audience, the station focussed in providing practical information such as boiled water alerts, regular updates on when power would be restored and details of school closures and road reports.
EXCELLENCE IN RESEARCH
Bushfire & Natural Hazards CRC
Managing animals in disasters – Australian’s love their pets – and this influences how people behave during an emergency, with emergency services incorporating findings from research to influence their plans and policies during disasters. Led by Dr Melanie Taylor from Macquarie University, the Managing animals in disasters research project has identified best practice approaches to animal emergency management.
Highly Commended – Bushfire & Natural Hazards CRC
Communication and warnings for natural disasters – Research is shaping public warnings and information campaigns that prepare and protect communities from flood, fire, heatwave and other natural hazards in Australia. The insights from CRC researchers at the Queensland University of Technology and at Macquarie University have combined to equip emergency service agencies around Australia with better-targeted long-term public safety campaigns, as well as urgent warning messages delivered to at-risk populations in the face of imminent natural hazards.
The Judges’ award is given to entries that may not fit a particular category but hold the judges’ attention and regard.
Shire of Harvey
Stories from the Fireground – A beautiful, sometime poignant, collection of stories and photos from community members who were impacted by the Waroona, Yarloop and Harvey January 2016 Bushfires. The book was published and officially launched in July 2017 and more than 1000 copies have been sold or distributed so far.
“To have such a record is important and to tell our story was essential. We hope that others can learn from our experience.”
High Profile Events | Conference Secretariat