Activity 2: Gathering Information for Resilience
Some items in the ARI may be easy for your team to answer, and others will require expert knowledge. For example, people involved in the fire department, first response or search and rescue may have knowledge about disaster and emergency plans and equipment in the community. Local and regional government representatives may provide important information, such as the community’s demographics, and land use and economic plans. Others may know what hazards pose risks for the community, and how prepared the community is to face them. The Working Together – Community Meetings Resource listed in the top right hand corner of the screen may provide you with some helpful information on how to host community meetings to gain additional input from your community.
Remember that the more community members you involve in the process, the more you build awareness of disaster preparedness and resilience. The more you build awareness the more resilient your community becomes.
Once you have a good handle on the information you will need to decide on what method or methods you will use to gather it. Some of these are quick and easy, others are more time consuming, but are likely to gain richer, more accurate information.Click Here for Methods
- Consult Subject Matter Experts. Some members of your community, such as the fire chief, local governance representatives, (such as the Chief/Mayor and Council), first responders, or those responsible for emergency management will have specific information for the Disaster Management section and parts of the Community Resources section of the ARI.
- Conduct Interviews and/or Focus Groups. One-on-one interviews or small group interviews (focus groups) are a good way to get community members’ opinions about the community and its resilience.
- Hold Community Meetings. In some communities, attendance at Town Hall meetings is high, not so in others. Community meetings are a way to reach a number of people at once, and the discussion is especially valuable in getting a deeper and shared view of resilience factors.
- Distribute Surveys. A short survey with specific questions is an inexpensive method of getting community input on resilience factors. These can be distributed at high-traffic areas such as band council office, the post office or library, along with a collection box at the distribution site. They can also be used like questionnaires to guide the interviews and focus groups.
- Transect Walk or Drive. Sometimes called a “walk about”, this method is to travel through the community to visually inventory resources, assets, vulnerabilities and other important community features including where key buildings are, where rivers and other natural features are that may present risks, where groups of potentially ‘at risk’ people might live or gather (such as a care facility, school).
- Photo Voice/Collage. Take photographs of community features such as key infrastructure (fire hall, community hall, school, bridges, communication towers, etc.), areas of vulnerability (flood plain or landslide areas, public facilities in disrepair, etc.) and other interesting features that you feel help “define” your community. Create a collage of these photographs in a high-visibility location such as the community hall. (Note: you can combine this with your map from Step 1.)
- Research Documents. Some information might be available from Stats Canada, broader-level organization (e.g., Assembly of First Nations), your community’s local government office (if you have one) or the local library or historic archives.
For more information about the various ways of gathering information in your community, click on the resource links on the top right side of this page.[/three_fourth_one_fourth] [three_fourth_one_fourth_last]