The Simtables for Community Empowerment project will provide the Hunter region with two state-of-the-art simulation tools to help communities understand and prepare for natural disasters.
Extreme weather and natural disasters – such as fires, storms, floods and extreme heat – threatens lives, property and the environment. These events are becoming increasingly frequent and severe. However, there is increasing evidence to suggest that investment in preparedness aids the response and recovery of individuals and communities, as outlined in this report from the Red Cross.
The Hunter JO has purchased two Simtables; sophisticated “digital sand tables” that display high quality models of natural hazards such as bushfires and floods. They will be used in workshops across the Hunter to improve community awareness of these hazards and how best to respond.
The Simtables work by showing a simulation of how a hazard moves across and impacts a landscape. Because they use local maps and data, the Simtables will provide Hunter residents with a highly realistic demonstration of how their properties and communities may be affected. The workshops will provide attendees with a deep understanding of their risks, strengthen community connections, and enable the development of tailored and detailed response plans.
The Simtables have been purchased with a grant from the NSW Government’s Bushfire Community Recovery and Resilience Fund (BCRRF) for the LGAs that were disaster declared in the 2019-20 Black Summer bushfires. Along with the Hunter JO, the Canberra Region and Mid North Coast Joint Organisations have also received Simtables, supporting increased collaboration and consistent disaster resilience advice across vulnerable regions of the state.
This project will make the Hunter region one of the earliest users of Simtable technology in Australia. Ku-ring-gai Council has previously used a Simtable as a part of their highly successful Climate Wise Communities program.
The Hunter JO has a number of other disaster resilience resources available, including:
- A communication framework for Councils
- A resource toolkit for the community service sector
- A ‘Beat the Heat’ toolkit
For more information about the Simtable project, please contact Chris Dart, Regional Project Officer at firstname.lastname@example.org or 0460 038 197.
This is a Bushfire Community Recovery and Resilience Fund project through the joint Commonwealth/State Disaster Recovery Funding Arrangements.
Although funding for this product has been provided by both the Australian and NSW Governments, the material contained herein does not necessarily represent the views of either government.