Meals on Wheels offers emergency toolkit seminars

Seniors Expo volunteers spread the information.

VULNERABLE people in their homes are getting more help to prepare for emergencies.

Meals on Wheels NSW has developed a toolkit called ACT!, in conjunction with emergency services and representatives of in-home care organisations and the University of Sydney.

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This ‘toolkit’ is a set of resources for providers who service people living in their homes, ranging from fire safety to emergency planning.

“The catalyst for the project was pre Covid as there were a number of fatalities of older people, which was unnecessary,” said Jenny Harding, project officer for the Collaborative Toolkit ACT! for NSW Meals on Wheels.

“Fire and Rescue spoke to us about that and to avoid this, we pieced together a toolkit of information.”

Then it was broadened to all hazards after a number of disasters and subsequently, MOW got Australian government funding to roll out the program to do training presentations and promote the program.

“The Australian Red Cross will come in and do a ready plan, fire and rescue do safety visits and the Rural Fire Service do vegetation clearance,” Jenny told News of the Area.

“Some people don’t see a soul except for someone who delivers their meals and their isolation was clear during the pandemic and the subsequent disasters that have happened in the North and South coast of NSW.”

In-home care organisations have a list of vulnerable clients and the toolkit is ideal to use with those clients.

One of the questions in the toolkit is: what’s one thing can you do now?

Jennifer has been doing presentations and training face to face and online throughout NSW.

“The idea of training is that staff visiting their clients can prompt such conversations, plus [they] learn how to make referrals to our emergency service agency panel,” she said.

One suggestion included in the toolkit, which is left in the home, is to make up a ‘grab-and-go bag’ so they are ready in an emergency.

“They get flyers about how to look out for your neighbours and a fridge magnet with emergency numbers and a space for the person to add special contact people as in family, friends and carers,” she said.

“Often when people go in to rescue people, there is no time for anything,” said Jenny.

Jenny came to Coffs in February for the Seniors Expo and will return in August and September to deliver more talks and is hoping for more local requests.

NSW Meals on Wheels have a training online site ACT! Or you can email Jennifer at


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