Planning for an Emergency
We work with emergency services to prevent and prepare for all types of emergencies. It is important that community members take responsibility for their family, pets, business and properties. Emergencies can occur at any time and often unexpectedly.
Developing Your Personal Emergency Plan
Every home should have an emergency plan. Having a plan could save your life or the lives of others. Below are the commonly used emergency plans.
- Australian Red Cross Rediplan, generic emergency plan for households.
- CFA Your Bushfire Plan, template for developing a bushfire plan.
- VicSES Get Ready, a range of plans to support people at home, work or on the road.
When developing your plan consider the following:
- If you can stay with family or friends if your home is inaccessible or damaged.
- What to do if your children are at home alone when an emergency happens.
- What you will do with your pets in the event of an emergency.
- How you will store important documents including birth certificates, wills, photographs and valuables in a safe place so they will not be destroyed.
- Having a list of emergency contacts, including family, friends, doctor and vet.
- Checking your insurance, your home, business or property are you adequately insured and is the cover up to date. Check what is covered, under what circumstances.
Once you have made your plan, write it down and make sure everyone knows what your plan is in the event of an emergency. If you live on your own, tell a friend or family member what your plan is. If you live with others make sure you all agree to the plan and everyone is clear about their responsibilities.
Take the time to practice your emergency plan as this will reduce the amount of stress and panic you may experience in an emergency and you can make changes before the emergency.
All households should have an emergency kit prepared to help your family in an emergency.
The Australian Red Cross has a checklist that you can consider for you and your family.
It is recommended that you check the items in your emergency kit every year and replace expired items with fresh items. Keep your emergency kit somewhere easy to locate. Make sure that other members of your household know where the emergency kit is stored.
In the event of an emergency, emergency service vehicles need to be able to locate your property easily and quickly and your house number needs to be clearly visible from the road. Guidelines for displaying house numbers include:
- Minimum height for house numbers is 75mm
- Use plain, legible numbers from white or yellow reflective material
- Display the numbers on the front of your letterbox
- Keep bushes and shrubs trimmed around your letterbox
If you live in a unit or flat, make sure your house number is located on the wall next to your front door.
Pets in Emergencies
If you have pets or other animals, it is your responsibility to ensure their safety during an emergency. Ensure the following is available during an emergency:
- Contact phone numbers for your local vet, RSPCA or local animal shelter
- Appropriate identification (name tags or microchipping)
- Secure portable carry cage and leads
- Non-perishable food and water