News
03 May 2021

Prime Minister Meet & Greet with Nepean Shores Community

Successful evacuation of flood-effected Nepean community acknowledged by prime minister

In March our Nepean Shores Penrith community in Greater Western Sydney experienced an emergency evacuation situation due to high-risk flooding in the area. We’re immensely proud of our Nepean team who handled the delicate procedure with great care and respect for our residents, leading to a successful outcome that received acknowledgment from the Prime Minister.

As a result of COVID during 2020, the usual evacuation drills had to be postponed in favour of desktop evacuation training updates. However, despite these restrictions, management ensured that wardens had the most up to date information on emergency procedures. This information was then effectively communicated to each home owner in lieu of physical drills to make sure they were fully prepared.

This planning proved fortuitous when severe weather warnings were raised in late March. The Nepean Community Manager then called a staff planning session to reaffirm procedures, roles and responsibilities in the event of mandatory evacuation. As the weather worsened he was in regular contact with the Asset Manager and grounds staff to ensure risks were mitigated.

The SES and police visited to consult with staff, who then visited residents and phoned those who weren’t home to brief them. When mandatory evacuation was ordered later that day staff once again visited every home to ensure all residents were aware of the situation.

The efficiently executed process was a great example of how we work collaboratively with police and SES, who messaged all mobile phones in the area and helped arrange a bus for 20 residents who required assistance to evacuate. They were collected from their homes and transported to an evacuation centre and by 7pm almost 200 people in total had been evacuated.

The Community Manager stayed with those who had nowhere to go and assisted with welfare checks alongside Anglicare volunteers, arrangement of accommodation and food provisions. By midnight he had seen to all residents and wrapped up what was deemed a successful evacuation. Just two days later, residents could return home as the weather subsided, albeit still on high alert.

This particular flood situation occurred quickly and without significant warning, demonstrating the importance of being prepared in advance. Feedback from residents regarding the evacuation was positive, with great confidence that our staff were well equipped. The following weekend Prime Minister Scott Morrison attended a meet and greet with residents affected by the recent events, acknowledging the great work of our team.

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