Wodonga Council
Emergency management

Page URL: https://www.wodonga.vic.gov.au/Services/Safety-Health-and-Wellbeing/Emergency-management

Emergency management

 /  ServicesSafety, Health and WellbeingEmergency management


zOpt_Fire in Wigg Street Wodonga

Emergency management involves the plans, structures and arrangements which are established to bring together the normal endeavours of government, voluntary and private agencies in a comprehensive and co-ordinated way to deal with the whole spectrum of emergency needs, including prevention, response and recovery.

We have emergency management responsibilities because we are a local government organisation and are the closest level of government to our community. We also have access to specialised local knowledge about the environmental and demographic features of our district.

People also naturally seek help from their local council and emergency management agencies during emergencies and the recovery process afterwards.

The council has legislative responsibilities under the Emergency Management Act 2013  that include maintaining a Municipal Emergency Management Plan that provides information on risks, preparedness, response and recovery within our municipality.

All of the agencies and service providers likely to be involved in an emergency have an updated copy of the Municipal Emergency Management Plan and meet as a committee at least twice a year. 

Disasters of a large scale that are beyond the capacity of council resources will be escalated to a regional, state or national level. For emergency contacts including multilingual information, see emergency contact information.

Fire

CFA are the leading authority on fire and bushfire threat in Victoria.

Fire Danger Ratings have been introduced that will detail when fire conditions are severe, extreme or catastrophic (code red). All Victorians need to know what these ratings mean for them and how days of higher risk will affect their Bushfire Survival Plan.

CFA has also developed a new household self-assessment tool that will help you determine if your house has enough defendable space around it. This should be the first step in preparing your Bushfire Survival Plan as it will help you decide if staying to defend during a bushfire is a viable and safe option for you. Even if you don't plan to stay to defend, there are steps you can take now to prepare your home for the summer fire season each year and give it the best chance of surviving a bushfire.

Cleaning out gutters, mowing the lawn, managing vegetation and removing or reducing the number of items that can catch fire within 30m of your house will all help.

It's important to remember that fire doesn't only threaten people who live in dense bush.

Suburban homes can also be destroyed by bushfire.

Embers can travel kilometres ahead of a bush, grass or scrub fire, igniting leaves in gutters, vegetation, fences and other items around the home.

You can view Wodonga's Fire Management Plan 2018-2020 here.

You will find more detailed information at cfa.vic.gov.au or by phoning the Victorian Bushfire Information Line on 1800 240 667.

Storm

Storms can happen anywhere and at any time of the year.

However, in Victoria the most common period for storms are from October to May. We encourage residents to be prepared by taking some simple steps.

These include:

  • Clearing gutters, downpipes and drains of debris;
  • Tidy your yard of loose objects;
  • Secure items such as outdoor settings and trampolines;
  • Trim branches that overhang homes or buildings; and
  • Park your car undercover and away from powerlines and trees.

Further facts and helpful hints can be found by visiting SES Victoria's StormSafe website.

Floods

The Victoria State Emergency Service (SES) is the control agency for flooding in Victoria, which means that they are responsible for planning for floods, and for managing flood response if they do occur.

Their StormSafe website has all the information you need including an emergency toolkit. It is also important to know your area and flood prone areas.

Make sure you know what the terms 'major', 'moderate' and 'minor' flooding mean to your area and at what 'official river height' your home becomes isolated or inundated.

You should also get details of local flood plans, whether you may need to evacuate, and how to get to the nearest safe location.

You can view the Municipal Flood Emergency Plan here.

Residents should take the following precautions during floods:

  • If your property has been flood affected, check your home or buildings for damage before you enter;
  • If your building has been flooded, all electrical and gas appliances should be checked by a licensed technician before you use them;
  • Floodwaters are dangerous - never drive, walk or ride through floodwaters;
  • Floodwaters are toxic - never drive, walk or ride through floodwaters;
  • Don't allow children to play in floodwater;
  • Keep clear of creeks and affected footpaths (including footpaths with silt after a flood);
  • Stay away from waterways and stormwater drains; and
  • Keep well clean of fallen powerlines.

You should also never attempt to drive through floodwaters.

Road closures will be listed on this website and also at vicroads.vic.gov.au. Flood warnings and river levels are monitoring by bom.gov.au/vic

Heatwaves

The Wodonga Heatwave Plan 2015 will be used by us and our partners in the planning for and responding-to heatwave conditions.

Wodonga experiences prolonged periods of heat from time-to-time and a common sense approach is always required including SunSmart policies, air conditioning and staying out of the heat (especially for elderly or at-risk groups).

The plan has been developed using the general principles of emergency management as a guide to planning, preparation, response and recovery.

It is underpinned by a long-term approach in partnership with the North East Greenhouse Alliance and neighbouring shires, to reduce the scale of climate change and decrease its overall impact on the local environment.

The plan has been written to comply with Victorian Government guidelines.

The benefit of activating a heatwave plan during extreme heat events is to reduce illness and death in the community by:

  • Ensuring health information and support is readily available to the community, vulnerable population groups and their carers;
  • Increasing understanding of heatwave planning and management across council and key external stakeholders;
  • Developing partnerships and collaborative arrangements to better respond to heatwaves;
  • Increasing understanding of heatwaves in communities and increasing their capacity to respond during heatwaves;
  • Managing emergencies during heatwaves more effectively; and
  • Developing long-term and sustainable behavioural change to minimise the impacts of heatwaves on health and well-being.
Community Information Guides - Bushfires

Community Information Guides - Bushfire (formerly known as Township Protection Plans) 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.

CFA have created two for the Wodonga municipality including Wodonga and Wodonga West, and Baranduda.

The guides have been developed for a number of communities statewide that are deemed to be at risk of bushfire or grassfire.

Your Community Information Guide provides important direction and information for communities to assist with planning before, during and after a fire.

A full list of the guides for Victoria is available at cfaonline.

To search the updated Victorian Government Bushfire Mapping system, please click here.


Preparing animals in an emergency

The Emergency Animal Welfare Plan (MEAWP) aims to achieve the efficient and effective management of animals, and co-ordinate animal welfare agencies before, during and after an emergency event.

Agriculture Victoria provides members of the public with a wide range of information about animal welfare in emergencies.  The information outlines animal owners’ responsibilities and provides guides for planning for different types of animals, different hazards, and for recovery after an event.

RSPCA Victoria has also placed information on its website on caring for your animal in an emergency and planning for an emergency. This includes pets, livestock and horses.

Prepare and protecting our reserves in a fire