Emergencies

Overview

As the closest level of government to the community, Council plays a vital role in Victoria’s emergency management arrangements.

Council has several key roles in emergency management:

  • Develop a Municipal Emergency Plan in collaboration with emergency services and agencies.
  • Identify and mitigate risks within the municipality.
  • Develop and implement community education and awareness programs, involving the community in emergency management planning.
  • Provide support to emergency services agencies in the response phase of an emergency.
  • Coordinate and support community recovery programs, policies and strategies.
  • Provide support and recovery assistance to those affected by emergencies in the community.

Emergency Planning

The Municipal Emergency Management Plan (MEMP) is developed through liaison and collaboration with local and regional emergency services and agencies. The MEMP Committee meets three times a year to review and discuss mitigation and preparedness activities which are highlighted in the plan.

The MEMP is the overarching document for many Hume City Council emergency sub-plans including:

Plan and prepare for emergencies

If you are in a life-threatening situation, you should always call Triple Zero (000) for police, fire or ambulance.

You can also download the Emergency+App. The app uses GPS functionality built into smart phones to help a Triple Zero (000) caller provide critical location details required to mobilise emergency services.

Download the Emergency+App

What are the warnings?

There are a number of warnings you may receive through the VicEmergency app. or you may hear these warnings on the radio and television.

What do I do if I hear a warning?

  • Stay calm. Stop what you are doing and pay attention.
  • If you don’t understand the warning, get someone to explain by asking neighbours or friends.
  • Follow the advice of warnings immediately. People die or are put in danger because they don’t respond right away.
  • Keep in contact with family members. Make sure they know what is happening and what you plan to do.
  • Stay informed. Keep listening for more information in case the situation changes.

 To learn more about warnings go to the Vic Emergency website.

How do I plan for an emergency?

It is important you plan for emergencies for yourself, your family and your pets. The Red Cross has developed the RediPlan which is a useful tool to plan what you may need to do in an emergency.

Download the RediPlan 

Tips for planning include:

  • Know where to get information in an emergency
  • Know your abilities and if you may need assistance in an emergency
  • Plan for your medical needs
  • Have copies of your important documents – you can download these or have copies with a family member or friend
  • Have a contact list
  • Know where you are going to go if there is an emergency
  • Plan for your insurance – go to insure it website
  • Know how you are going to care for your pets and animals
  • Pack an emergency kit.

 

Non major emergencies

When we talk about emergencies, we often think of the large natural disasters we have seen across Australia over the last few years. A non-major emergency is an event that has occurred on a small scale, where individuals or a family may have had their home or possessions severely damaged or destroyed due to the event.

Council’s Emergency Management Team is here to assist community members who have been involved in a non-major emergency. A brochure has been developed for residents which outlines the following:

  • What you need to do know
  • Making accommodation arrangements
  • Information about insurance
  • How to get assistance
  • Important contacts

Looking after yourself following disaster(PDF, 701KB)

Insurance

Emergencies can have a large, long lasting impact upon households. The Victorian government has developed a toolkit which provides four easy steps to understand what level of insurance you need so you are able to protect your hard-earned assets. The guide outlines how to:

  • Know your risk
  • Calculate the value of your belongings
  • Insure what matters to you
  • Protect your important documents.

Download the toolkit

Health Emergencies

Pandemics

In order to prepare for a possible pandemic, Council developed a Pandemic Planning Committee (PPC) to report to the Municipal Emergency Management Planning Committee (MEMPC). The PPC is made up of relevant internal personnel and external agencies that would play a key role in the management of an emergency of this kind.

Read the Pandemic Plan 

We have all learnt a new way of living in 2020 with the COVID-19 Pandemic. Keep up to date on the latest information from the Department of Health and Human Services.

Heatwaves

Heat kills more Australians than any natural disaster. Know the effects of extreme heat, who is at risk and how you can prepare yourself and others.

Read the Heat Health Plan 

If you or anyone you know feels unwell on a hot day call NURSE-ON-CALL on 1300 60 60 24 or call 000 in an emergency.

Find out more about heat-related illness symptoms and treatments at the Better Health Channel website.

Thunderstorm asthma

Thunderstorm asthma is where a large number of people develop asthma symptoms over a short period of time, which is triggered by the combination of high pollen and a certain type of thunderstorm.

As grass pollen season approaches, here are some things you can do to prepare for pollen season:

  • If you’ve ever had asthma – talk to your doctor about what you can do to help protect yourself from the risk of thunderstorm asthma this pollen season. Remember taking an asthma preventer properly and regularly is key to preventing asthma, including thunderstorm asthma.
  • If you have hay fever – see your pharmacist or doctor for a hay fever treatment plan and check if you should have an asthma reliever puffer – which is available from a pharmacy without a prescription.
  • If you have hay fever, and especially if you experience wheezing and coughing with your hay fever, it is important to make sure you don’t also have asthma. Speak to your doctor today about whether you might have asthma.  
  • It’s important for everyone in the community to know the four steps of asthma first aid so they know what to do if they or someone is having an asthma attack.
  • And finally, where possible avoid being outside during thunderstorms from October through December – especially in the wind gusts that come before the storm. Go inside and close your doors and windows. If you have your air conditioning on, turn it onto recirculate.

For more information about thunderstorm asthma and how to protect yourself, go to the Better Health Channel website.

 

Businesses Emergencies

We often look at the impact of emergencies on the community and environment, but many emergencies also have a large impact on businesses. Businesses are an integral part of the community providing employment, goods and services. Many businesses look at how an internal emergency affects their productivity and employees, but it is also important to plan for those larger external emergencies which could see a business shut down for long periods of time.

Council has developed a simple checklist to assist businesses to identify how prepared they are for an emergency.

Do you have this information?

  • An Emergency Management Plan.
  • Readily available contact lists for all internal and external stakeholders, suppliers and employees.
  • Business Continuity Plan if you are not able to access your business for days or weeks. This would include planning for relocation, asset replacement and service delivery.
  • Contact details for utility providers - water, gas, electricity and phone.
  • The VicEmergency App, so you are able to find up to date information about the emergencies in your area.

Other things to consider in an emergency

  • Back up of all your IT, information and files
  • The risks in your area or to your business
  • Your legal obligations to your employees during and after an emergency.

Insurance resources

Having the right insurance will help protect your business if you are affected by an emergency. It is vital to know what business assets, property, stock or products you can’t afford to lose or if your business is impacted and you cannot operate.

Types of insurance to consider are:

  • Building and contents
  • Deterioration of stock
  • Electronic equipment
  • Goods in transit
  • Evacuation Insurance

Protect your business in an emergency (PDF, 1012KB)

For other resources on protecting your business, please follow these links:

Business Victoria

Insurance Council of Australia

VicEmergency 

Insure it

EPA Victoria

 

Volunteering in emergencies

Volunteers are an important part of the recovery and rebuilding effort in the weeks and months after an emergency.

Emergency Services (e.g. Victoria Police, CFA, SES) are in charge of responding to any event as it happens. Local government has the responsibility of coordinating the recovery and rebuilding effort.

Recovery is an enormous task which can take weeks, months and years. It requires a vast array of skills to support affected communities.

If you are interested in volunteering:

  • Do not go to the scene of the emergency
  • Find out more about upcoming opportunities at the Victorian Government or Go Volunteer website.
  • Get involved early; that way you will have the experience, training and essential skills to help out through your volunteer organisation in an emergency.
  • If you are a trained emergency services volunteer, or you wish to undertake volunteer emergency services training, please contact the CFA or SES.

Storms and Floods

Storms and floods can happen anytime. The State Emergency Service in collaboration with Council have prepared the Municipal Storm and Flood Plan which outlines the areas where flooding may occur within the municipality.

Visit the SES website

Never walk, play, ride or drive in floodwater.