Exploring the Impacts of Disasters – The Exchange

Few regional locations would be more familiar with the impacts of natural disaster than the residents of the Scenic Rim.

Since 2019 this area of southern Queensland has experienced bushfires, floods and a Christmas ‘tornado’.

HealthWISE hosted The Exchange at The Centre, Beaudesert on Thursday 14 March to explore the theme of Recover Adapt Connect. 

Following a Welcome from Aunty Geraldine Page and Aunty Delores Paulson and lunch, 60 guests heard physician and academic Dr Arnagretta Hunter describe the personal and professional impacts of high risk weather events. 

Ongoing heatwaves present a conundrum – exercise is a powerful intervention for individuals mentally and physically, yet undertaking exercise in heatwave conditions is not advisable and can have adverse outcomes.

Longer periods of physical inactivity can result in loss of muscle tone and strength, changing blood pressure, metabolic changes (including glucose and insulin) and increase frailty.

Susan Glas, Dr Arnagretta Hunter and Anne Williams

HealthWISE Care navigator Susan Glas presented her experiences from community work undertaken in the last two years. Ms Glas has been actively supporting recovery efforts not just from the Black Summer but most recently survival and recovery from damaging summer storms.

Community connection was highlighted as the vital ingredient for endurance in recent circumstances. When power is cut and water and telecommunications are interrupted, it is your closest neighbours who can support you. While you may be isolated, neighbours who can remove fallen trees and check on your welfare when normal support systems of geographically dispersed family and friends are unable to reach you, are invaluable. Becoming a volunteer to support your local community, wherever you live, was also encouraged.

This event received grant funding from the Australian government.

Disaster preparedness resources are available here.

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