Communities and organisations throughout Victoria are adopting and using the Community Based Emergency Management (CBEM) approach to better connect and work together before, during and after emergencies.
As part of Victoria’s emergency management reform, the ongoing development of the CBEM approach assists communities to identify and build upon their own strengths, together with the appropriate support from organisations.
Adapting and using the CBEM approach provides communities with opportunities to lead, while inviting people from emergency services, government, business, industry, non-government organisations and the not for profit sector to also participate in decision making processes that affect them.
This approach enables local community members, including volunteers and staff from organisations, to strengthen connections and build relationships by working together to identify priorities and develop solutions. This may be achieved by connecting and working with existing community based groups, networks and processes, or by developing new ones if required.
As every community is different the CBEM approach can be adapted to draw expertise from within the community and from external sources.
The following key focus areas are provided to guide these processes and build on combined strengths:
- connect people and networks
- use local knowledge
- identify stresses and shocks, including emergencies
- develop goals and solutions, and
- continue to learn, share and improve.
An online CBEM portal is also being developed for communities and organisations to better connect and share ideas, information and plans.
It is expected that these processes will support the further development of the CBEM approach to include community based planning, community based response and community based relief and recovery activities in the future.