Municipal Emergency Management

The State Emergency Management Act 1986 and 2013 requires municipal councils in Victoria to produce a Municipal Emergency Management Plan (MEMP)(PDF, 12MB) through the establishment of Municipal Emergency Management Planning committees.

Council has established a Municipal Emergency Management Planning Committee and produced their Municipal Emergency Management Plan in conjunction with the Victoria State Emergency Service (VICSES), generally in accordance with the guidelines contained in the Emergency Management Manual Victoria.

The Municipal Emergency Management Planning Committee consists of key government and non-government emergency management agencies including Hobsons Bay City Council, Victoria Police, Fire Rescue Victoria, Victoria State Emergency Services, Ambulance Service, community and industry representatives.

The aim and objective of the Municipal Emergency Management Plan is to detail agreed arrangements for the prevention of, response to and recovery from, emergencies that could occur within the boundaries of Hobsons Bay City Council.

The objectives of the plan are to:

  • implement measures to prevent or reduce both the causes and effects of emergencies
  • manage arrangements for the utilisation and implementation of municipal resources in response to emergencies
  • manage support that may be provided to or from adjoining municipalities
  • assist the affected community to recover following an emergency
  • complement other local, regional and state planning arrangements

Copies of the MEMP document can be viewed at Council's libraries. The MEMP is periodically audited by VICSES and the certificate of audit can be viewed at the Council offices.

Review of the MEMP Plan is undertaken annually and following any incidents or activations. 

Feedback is welcome. Please provide your comments on the Plan to the Risk, Audit and Emergency Management Advisor via email.

Risk management

A Community Emergency Risk Assessment (CERA) approach of all perceived threats (hazards) to the municipality has been conducted by the Municipal Emergency Management Planning Committee in the planning process. The process involves working with the community and its industries to: identify all hazards in the municipality; analyse and evaluate the risks associated with those hazards; and develop treatment options to eliminate, or minimise the effects on the community. A review of the all hazards and risks is undertaken on an annual basis.

During the recent review or risks that may affect the Hobsons Bay community, the following top eight risks were identified:

Risk Rating – High

• Flood - Riverine

• Extreme temperatures – heatwave

Risk Rating – Medium

• Storm surge

• Flash flood and storm damage (e.g. windstorm/hail)

• Utility disruption (extended)

• Industrial fire

• Hazardous materials release (from facility)

• Human epidemic/pandemic

Assessing these emergency risks helps prepare and plan for emergencies. By understanding these risks, you too can prepare your household or workplace.

Emergency information

An aware and informed public is generally better prepared to cope with emergency situations. This section of the Plan provides information on what to do in an emergency, where to get up-to-date information during and following an emergency, emergency exercises, information releases and the media modes by which the information may be delivered. 

Public information and awareness

The Emergency Management Planning Committee has prepared the following strategy to educate residents prior to an emergency and to facilitate the flow of timely and accurate information to the residents of Hobsons Bay who are, or who are likely to be affected by an emergency.

The plan also facilitates information flow to persons from other areas who are inquiring about the emergency.

Public information before an emergency

Education and awareness information relating to emergency management will generally be relayed to the residents of Hobsons Bay and other interested parties in the following manner:

  • local media  emergency information will from time to time be included in the Hobsons Bay City Council news section of the local print media.
  • newsletter  emergency information will from time to time be included in the Hobsons Bay City Council newsletter.

A brochure has been distributed to all premises in the municipality. The brochure provides general information to guide residents on how to plan for and react in an emergency in their local area.  If you would like more copies please contact 9932 1000.

Major industries in the area also have their own neighbourhood emergency plans and have issued emergency information guides to residents in the immediate vicinity of their facilities.

Public information during an emergency

During an emergency the Victoria Police Municipal Emergency Response Coordinator (MERC) will be responsible for receiving up-to-date information from the Control Agency and will be responsible for ensuring the information is forwarded to:

  • Hobsons Bay City Council appointed representative
  • Victoria Police Media Liaison for updates to the Police Emergency Information Line (PEIL)

To find out more about emergencies within Hobsons Bay and the State of Victoria, visit Vic Emergency.

Up-to-date information during an emergency will be posted on this website and will contain information on:

  • nature and status of emergency
  • time, date and issuing authority
  • location and likely affected area/s
  • what action to be taken by those affected
  • where to get further information and assistance
  • time when next update will be issued

What to do in an evacuation?

During an emergency, Victoria Police is responsible for evacuations, often with the assistance of the State Emergency Service. Advice to evacuate may take different forms, from radio announcements and doorknocks.

If you are required to evacuate during an emergency it is recommended that you stay with family or friends outside the affected areas. Don't forget to take your pets with you.

IMPORTANT: Let someone know where you are staying if evacuated. It is important that you register where you are staying with the Australian Red Cross (Register.Find.Reunite) via their website: https://register.redcross.org.au so your family and friends know you are safe. You can also use this website to look for people you know may be affected by an emergency.

Emergency Relief Centres

Council may also set up Emergency Relief Centres to provide shelter from immediate danger, meals, material aid, support and accommodation. Emergency Relief Centres are set up in predetermined facilities. These facilities are not advertised until the time of an incident, when the appropriate Emergency Relief Centre outside the affected area will be opened. In an emergency, listen to an emergency broadcast radio station (ABC 774) for information on what to do if there is an emergency near you. You can also visit http://emergency.vic.gov.au for further information on the emergency and relief options available.

To find out more about Emergency Relief Centres and financial assistance available from the Department of Health and Human Services visit:

www.recovery.vic.gov.au/home/news/new-videos-about-relief-centres-and-financial-assistance

The Department of Health and Human Services has produced two videos to raise public awareness of arrangements in place to assist communities during emergencies: 

  • 'Your local emergency relief centre' aims to promote an understanding of what to expect at an emergency relief centre
  • 'Getting emergency financial assistance' discusses the types of assistance available from the Victorian Government in emergencies

It is important that phone use is kept to a minimum during an emergency. The preferable media for residents to receive regular updates and information during an emergency is via this website or tuning into an emergency broadcast radio station.

Are you prepared for an Emergency?

Council has developed a handy guide to assist you in preparing for an emergency in Hobsons Bay. This guide outlines the risks and what you may need to do in an emergency. The guide includes information on what you could include in your emergency kit and information on who can help you to develop your own emergency plan.  

Emergency contact details and how to find out about a current emergency is located on a tear off panel. See the link below for a copy of the guide.

The SES have also prepared a guide to preparing your house for emergencies.  Check out the guide here to assist you with your household emergency preparedness.

Flood Emergency Plan

A Flood and Storm Emergency Plan has been prepared in collaboration with the State Emergency Service, Municipal Emergency Management Planning Committee and Council.  To view the plan visit the State Emergency Service website.

Being prepared for flood and storms reduces the impact of the event and assists you in recovering from a flood.  To assist you in your planning, view this State Emergency Service short video here.

There is a history of floods in the Seaholme and Altona areas of Hobsons Bay.  To ensure you are ready for a flood or storm, local flood guides have been developed by the State Emergency Service. To view these guides or for more information click here.