Samaritan's Purse Australia showcases Disaster Relief Unit in Ararat, Horsham

A DISASTER relief agency’s ‘toolbox on wheels’ toured the Wimmera on Thursday.

Samaritan’s Purse Australia showcased its new Disaster Relief Unit in Ararat and Horsham.

The custom-built unit helps co-ordinate relief workers in a disaster zone.

It has a fully-equipped office, a workshop and tools, equipment and materials to support 60 to 80 volunteers.

The unit also has its own water and power supply.

Disaster relief manager Kenneth James said the unit had only been in Australia for four weeks.

“The trailer was built in the United States,” he said.

“It was 12 months in the design phase.”

Mr James said Wimmera people were impressed by what they saw.

Samaritan’s Purse has five similar units in the United States of America, and three in Canada.

“Their emergency management and disaster recovery structure is different to what we have here,” Mr James said.

“We’ve done our research to verify the need for the unit and adapted it to our culture and context.

“This resource is a need because it is not something that fits in the scope of what other agencies already do.”

Samaritan’s Purse is a second responder and enters disaster-affected communities after the areas have been declared safe.

Mr James said the unit would contain all of the necessary resources to support recovery.

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