Community kept informed following bushfire incident

Monday, 24 July, 2023 | Supplied by: Granicus

Community kept informed following bushfire incident

The Shire of Denmark is a local government area located in the Great Southern region of Western Australia. With a population of just over 6000, the Shire is home to a variety of landscapes, seascapes and waterways. It’s also prone to bushfire risk, and a daunting place to be on an extreme fire danger weather day. As such, residents of the Shire of Denmark are highly engaged with their local government and expect regular communications, especially during times of crisis.

Local officials knew that during such incidents, residents turn to their office rather than the state government. Staff also understood that as a bushfire incident evolved they would need to provide a dynamic information hub to expand resident knowledge. Shire of Denmark officials thus sought a technology solution which would help them reach as many residents as possible and easily disseminate time-sensitive information.

In 2022 the community faced a major bushfire emergency, making the delivery of swift, accurate information to residents critical. During the emergency, officials turned to Granicus’s all-in-one digital engagement platform as one of its tools to keep residents informed, manage communications about recovery services and collect feedback. Internally, the customer service team also used the tool to find information to accurately and efficiently answer questions from the community.

“We used EngagementHQ (EHQ) because of the ease of use,” said Courtney Walsh, Shire of Denmark’s Communications & Engagement Officer. “We were able to produce a project page within minutes and populate it rapidly as info came in.”

The Shire of Denmark garnered strong results — both physical and intangible — by using Granicus’s engagement platform. Timely information dissemination was key following the bushfire emergency, as officials were able to communicate in half the time using the digital platform rather than the Shire’s principal website. As a result, nearly 70 homes were saved.

Shire officials were also able to gather feedback from residents immediately following the bushfire about how their communications helped or could be improved. The communications team gathered 160 survey responses from residents immediately following the bushfire, which helped to benchmark community satisfaction and improve communication for future disaster events.

“Working with the EHQ platform saves a lot of time and has the capability to help you produce quality content quickly,” Walsh concluded.

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