Orange Pouch Project to prepare Shire of Gnowangerup residents in case of emergency

Headshot of Kellie Balaam
Kellie BalaamGreat Southern Herald
Shire of Gnowangerup's Orange Pouch Project.
Camera IconShire of Gnowangerup's Orange Pouch Project. Credit: Shire of Gnowangerup/Facebook

The Orange Pouch Project is encouraging residents to be prepared for emergencies in a shire which has had its share of serious bushfires in recent years.

The orange pouch is a waterproof wallet that can be used to store important documents such as passports, insurance polices and birth certificates all in one place should residents need to grab them in the event of an emergency.

The Shire of Gnowangerup project aims to educate people about emergency preparedness after the Boxing Day fires in the Stirling Range and at Camel Lake.

Emergency evacuations during those fires highlighted the value of preparation and having plans for property, pets and livestock.

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The kit contains general emergency contact numbers, information from St John Ambulance, a storm-smart booklet, advice for driving in floodwaters, and a guide to preparing animals in emergencies.

Shire of Gnowangerup's Anrie Van Zyl with an orange pouch.
Camera IconShire of Gnowangerup's Anrie Van Zyl with an orange pouch.

Shire corporate risk officer Anrie Van Zyl initiated the project by approaching councillors last year.

“I received a similar document wallet from a Queensland council eight years ago and thought it was great,” she said.

“I have always used mine for the purpose intended and thought it would be great to give something similar to our community to increase their awareness in relation to being prepared for an emergency.

“Being prepared for an emergency is the biggest gift you can give yourself or your family.

“Knowing where to go and what to take in advance takes the pressure off a very stressful situation.”

Every ratepayer received a wallet with this year’s rates notice early last month. Non-ratepayers can collect a wallet from the Shire administration office, Ongerup Community Resource Centre, or the Borden general store.

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