Emergency Management in Yarra

Dights Falls bike path closedCouncil is committed to keeping the community safe. In the case of an emergency situation, Council plays an important role in supporting emergency services and other agencies responsible for responding to emergencies. We also provide community support and a longer term recovery role for those impacted.

We have a Municipal Emergency Management Plan (MEMP) that outlines strategies for responding to a variety of emergencies that may occur within the City of Yarra and the role Council will play in the recovery phase.

The MEMP is the result of the collaborative efforts of all stakeholders with emergency management responsibilities within our city including the Police, SES, MFB, DHS, VicRoads, St Vincent’s Hospital, Ambulance Services and other government and non-government agencies.

Types of emergencies

Council’s Community Emergency Risk Management (CERM) review identified the following as possible emergencies that could occur in Yarra:

  • Major flooding of the Yarra River and Merri Creek
  • Hazardous material releases or spills
  • Severe storms
  • Structural fires
  • Major road and rail transport accidents
  • Epidemics or pandemics
  • Acts of terrorism
  • Heatwaves
  • Flash flooding
  • External incidents (from outside Council’s area e.g. utility failure, contamination of water supply)

Council’s role in emergencies

  • Implementation of State initiated preventative strategies – planning and building codes; and planning for flood, health risk and fire prevention
  • Local risk management and emergency planning
  • Community education and awareness programs, involving the community where possible in emergency management planning
  • Available resources including those not owned, but under Council control, as needed by the response and recovery agencies and the community
  • A plan for use by all available emergency management resources within our municipal district
  • Management of community needs in all emergency management processes
  • Community support and assistance with the recovery needs of those affected to return to routine functioning

Emergency Contact Directory

Here are the contact details of the specialist agencies that deal with emergencies.

Preparing for an emergency

Emergencies can occur at any time and are generally unexpected. It is important to develop your own prevention, preparedness, response and recovery plans to reduce the impact of emergencies to you and your family. Follow the link for a list of things you can do to prepare for an emergency.

Is your organisation prepared for the impacts of an extreme weather event?‚Äč

The Australian Council of Social Service (ACOSS) has launched its new Disaster Resilience Benchmarking Tool to help community organisations get ready in the event of an emergency or disaster.

Resilient Community Organisations is a toolkit to support community organisations to assess their preparedness and build resilience to disasters and emergencies.

Community service organisations are often the first port of call for many people affected by a disaster. But how ready are we?  How prepared is the community sector to support and protect the people most at risk if a disaster hits?

In 2013, ACOSS conducted a survey – the world’s first – to find out how vulnerable our sector is to extreme weather events. The findings were alarming – 50% of organisations would not be able to operate for a week, and a further 25% would close permanently if their buildings and critical infrastructure were damaged.

To help you to find out whether your organisation is prepared, ACOSS has developed the Disaster Resilience Benchmarking Tool.  The tool has six steps, each with its own specific resources, to help you assess and build your capacity for weathering a disaster. You can work through the tools at your own pace; click here to start now.

By planning ahead, and ensuring that our workplaces are prepared, we can be assured that, when disasters and emergencies strike, we will be able to support those affected the most. 

What to do in an emergency

Here are some tips on how to deal with specific types of emergencies.

Protecting your business in an emergency

Emergency management is about successfully adapting your business to changes in its environment in an emergency situation. Resilient businesses prepare for possible risks, take appropriate action during emergencies, and recover.

Business.gov.au has a tools and resources web page to assist businesses in planning for emergencies. The Small Business Institute has also established an online portal to assist businesses in planning for emergencies. The Mind Your Business Guidebook (PDF, 320kb) assists businesses with an easy step by step approach to developing an Emergency Management Plan.

Getting involved in emergency management in Yarra

Emergency Management Exercise – 26 August 2015:  Click here for photos

If you are a resident or member of a community group in Yarra and you would like to be involved in emergency management planning and activities in the City, email lucy.saaroni@yarracity.vic.gov.au or telephone 9205 5550.

If you would like to volunteer in emergencies, you can register as an emergency volunteer through the Volunteering Victoria website. Your details may be passed on to local Councils, or to their nominated volunteer agency, as they establish clean-up and recovery projects in the affected region.

Further information
Lucy Saaroni
Emergency Management Planning Officer
9205 5550

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