Supporting Communities This High-Risk Weather Season

10 October 2022

Victoria’s emergency services are urging Victorians to be prepared and stay alert ahead of heavy rainfall and flood risks across the state this week with emergency relief on standby for vulnerable communities.

Premier Daniel Andrews and Minister for Emergency Services Jaclyn Symes joined Emergency Management Victoria (EMV), VICSES and the Bureau of Meteorology (BOM) for a briefing on the forecast and extensive preparation done already for upcoming floods and storms, including restocking of Community Contingency Caches.

The caches are designed to equip responders and community members with emergency tools including first aid and hygiene essentials, infant supplies, dust masks and respirators, batteries, water, food and cooking supplies, tents, lighting, bedding and equipment needed to set up an emergency base.

Each of the two caches is able to provide relief for up to 50 people in the immediate aftermath of impact from a major emergency for up to five days. They can be pre-deployed based on predictive services – modelling ahead of significant weather events that points to things like floods or fires, or following emergency events where extended periods of community isolation can occur.

The caches can be deployed via road or components of the caches could also be transported by air, to get emergency supplies delivered to areas in advance of a potential event as quickly as possible. Our fleet of emergency helicopters, including six new arrivals, remains on standby to assist with further airlifts of supplies, equipment and emergency personnel as needed.

More than 200 generators are also on standby, ready to be deployed by the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning (DELWP) to households facing prolonged power outages after a severe weather event. These are the generators purchased during last year’s flood and storm event in June.

Victorians are encouraged to make their own preparations for potential emergencies by having enough supplies on hand to last for up to 72 hours and to set up a support network with friends, family, neighbours and their local council.

VICSES have also been out doing community education in recent months – with community information sessions held in places with high flood risk across regional Victoria including Benalla, Wangaratta, Shepparton, Bright, Euroa and Alpine regions.

Volunteers have also been out knocking on doors across Melbourne and staffing stalls at large events like the Melbourne Royal Show to inform Victorians of the risks of flood season.

The BOM is predicting the worst of the rainfall this week will happen across Northern Victoria on Thursday but will start sweeping across the state tomorrow, with flash flooding and damaging winds possible.

Catchments across Victoria are extremely full and will likely rise even further, staying at extremely high levels into next week.

VICSES and our emergency services have been preparing for these weather events and are ready to respond, but Victorians can help keep themselves safe by never driving through floodwater and avoiding debris, fallen trees and powerlines.

Victorians are urged to keep up to date with the latest advice on the VicEmergency app and to check VicTraffic before travelling for updates on road closures, hazards and to consider alternate routes. Local flood guides can also be found on the VICSES website.

Call VICSES if you need assistance on 132 500, or Triple Zero if you are in immediate danger.

Quote attributable to Premier Daniel Andrews

“Our emergency services are ready – we need Victorians to be ready too. Create an emergency plan, keep updated with the latest advice and make sure you’ve got a support network to keep safe.”

Quote attributable to Minister for Emergency Services Jaclyn Symes

“Our first responders and volunteers do an incredible job preparing and we are grateful for all they do to keep us safe when we need them most. We can all do our bit too by being prepared and following the expert advice.”

Quote attributable to Deputy Emergency Management Commissioner Chris Stephenson

“While emergency services work hard to support everyone, it’s important for communities to be prepared by ensuring they have enough supplies following an emergency. This will ensure our staff and volunteers can focus their efforts on where it’s needed most.”

Reviewed 11 October 2022

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