Calling all FIFO Mums – have you ever wondered how you would cope in an emergency if your husband or partner was away at work, and the only person left to deal with the fall out was you?
FIFO Mums, have you ever been in this situation?
“Its 2am and the dog made a low growl at the front door. It was just me and my 2yo daughter as OH was away working. I froze and just didn’t know what to do”.
“There was a severe weather warning for the area and by the time I picked the kids up from school it was so windy and the rain was sideways, it was pushing us over the road. I slept on the floor with the kids that night (and the dog) as I was just so scared and consoled the kids. I could hear banging out the back and we lost power. My Husband was away for work “
“I saw someone jumping our back fence at 3am. I just panicked. I didn’t know what to do or who to call. My neighbour is elderly and my husband was away”
“It was 1am when I had to make the call for an Ambulance as my 4yo daughter was non-responsive and I was so panicked that I could not think on how to dial the emergency number. I was shaking and scared and all on my own as my partner was away on Site.”
Vulnerability in times of emergency
Feelings of vulnerability can affect anyone at any time and we can feel especially vulnerable in times of disaster and emergency when our home support network is not available.
Research reports that disasters and emergencies can affect all communities, but they don’t affect all community members equally. It is recognised that there are groups in our community that are already facing disadvantage and due to a wide range of reasons are the hardest hit in emergencies. These groups are referred to in our community as ‘vulnerable’.
What is the Safer Community Network?
The City of Bunbury believes that FIFO families in our community may be vulnerable.
Research also shows that a ‘connected community’ is more resilient. After a disaster or emergency, a connected community’s time of recovery is dramatically reduced. They also recover more completely.
The City of Bunbury has secured a grant to develop the ‘Safer Community Network’. They hope to empower those vulnerable members of the community to be resilient in emergency events and disasters, through social interaction.
South West Mums and the City of Bunbury have come together to recognise that FIFO Mums in particular can feel vulnerable in times of emergency or disaster.
Through the Safer Community Network, the City of Bunbury endeavours to engage with the FIFO section of the Community. They want to gain an understanding of their vulnerabilities and how the City of Bunbury can assist in changing that.
What can you do?
The City of Bunbury would love to hear from FIFO families.
Over the next few days, I will be posting questions asking about your experiences, vulnerabilities and what the City of Bunbury can do to help you and your family be more resilient.
Your feedback is going to be invaluable in helping the City of Bunbury gain an understanding of what the FIFO network requires to improve overall resilience to emergency events in our community.
So let’s begin …
If you’d like to read about my own FIFO Emergency Experience, you can read about it here – Bushfires, Babies and a FIFO Husband.
About the Author
Kate is the founder of South West Mums, coffee connoisseur, FIFO Wife and Mumma of two boys. She loves to explore and write about life in South West WA, motherhood, business and the effects of FIFO on family life. You can connect with her on Instagram and Facebook, join her Facebook Group or read more of her blog here.