Preparing for an emergency

Overview

The Victorian Emergency management Act 1986 requires that each municipal council prepares and maintains a Municipal Emergency Management Plan(PDF, 1MB). The West Wimmera Shire Council's plan includes strategies to prevent, prepare, respond and recover from emergencies which may occur within the municipality and impact on residents and infrastructure. This plan is administered by the Municipal Emergency Management Planning Committee, which comprises members from all emergency services, agencies and organisations.

If you have any comments, feedback or concerns regarding the emergency management plan, please contact the Municipal Emergency Resources Officer on mero@westwimmera.vic.gov.au.

 

VicEmergency

The VicEmergency website provides the Victorian community with one, centralised location for emergency warnings and information. The site includes all warnings for fires, hazardous material incidents, storms, floods, earthquakes, tsunamis and traffic hazards. Download the app or save the Website as a favourite with your set watch zones to be notified of events in your area.

Visit the VicEmergency website

Fire

Bushfires are a high risk in West Wimmera. Information on understanding your fire risk can be found at the CFA website - Am I at risk?

Fire Danger Ratings and Restrictions

The Fire Danger Rating tells you how dangerous a fire would be if one started.

It helps you to know when conditions are dangerous enough to put your bushfire survival plan in to action.

Ratings are forecast using Bureau of Meteorology data for up to four days in advance, based on weather and other environmental conditions such as fuel load.

The rating is your prompt to take action to stay safe.

Find out today's fire danger rating

Find out what you can and can't do during a total fire ban day

Bushfire Attack Level

There are many precautions you can take to help protect your home and maximise your safety from bushfire risk.

If you are planning to build or renovate key steps include:

  • ensuring an appropriate building site location
  • using suitable building materials
  • ensuring proximity to independent water resources
  • managing the vegetation surrounding the building and clearing debris close to the building.

It is also important to ensure your property is accessible for emergency vehicles and has a water supply for firefighting.

The aim of the residential building standard for bushfire protection is to improve the ability of a building to withstand a bushfire attack. This will provide greater protection for the occupants who may be sheltering inside while the fire front passes.

The Bushfire Attack Level takes into consideration a number of factors including the Fire Danger Index, the slope of the land, types of surrounding vegetation and its proximity to any building.

If you are in a bushfire prone area you are required to complete the Bushfire Attack Level Assessment Report for any domestic building works. 

Planned burns

The Department of Environment and Primary Industries conduct a number of planned burns across the municipality on the public land estate throughout the year.

More information on planned burns in your area 

Community Information Guides

Community Information Guides - Bushfire are a key source of information for the community and an important tool to emphasise the shared responsibility between the community, fire services and local government.

Edenhope Community Information Guide

Harrow Community Information Guide

Apsley Community Information Guide

More information about Community Information Guides

For information about preparing for floods and storms visit:

Flood

Floods and storms are one of the most frequent and costly natural disasters. In September 2010 and January 2011 the shire experienced above average rainfalls resulting in localised flooding which filled the majority of the wetlands.

It is important that residents understand how to prepare for flooding. Be prepared by following Victoria State Emergency Service advice.

For information about preparing for floods and storms visit:

Heatwave

A heatwave is a period of unusual and uncomfortable hot weather that could adversely affect human health, community infrastructure (such as power supply and public transport) and services. As temperatures rise so does the risk of contracting a heat related illness - a medical condition that results from the body's inability to cope with heating and cooling itself.

Heatwaves can affect anybody and cause illnesses such as heat cramps, heat exhaustion, and heat stroke which can be fatal. The most important things to remember are:

  • Keep cool  
  • Drink plenty of water  
  • Stay out of the sun  
  • Look after yourself and others

For more information visit:

For information about caring for pets and animals and preventing them from suffering heatstroke, visit the RSPCA website.

Drought

Drought is defined as acute water shortage or a longer lasting duration of dryness compared to the historical average for the area. Worst droughts occur when one or two very dry years follow several years of generally below average rainfall.

In our region droughts occur at roughly 20 year intervals. The likelihood of fires and heatwave is greatly increased during a drought and they can occur on numerous occasions.

The prolonged nature of drought adds stress to family units, businesses and community groups.

When a drought is declared, extra resources are appointed in Council and other agencies to assist the community. Further information will only be available when a drought has been declared.

For more information visit: