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Preparing for emergencies

As we start a new season, it’s a good time to prepare for changing weather and plan for the potential impacts of natural disasters.

As we start a new season, it’s a good time to prepare for changing weather and plan for the potential impacts of natural disasters. Being prepared can help you and your family to stay safe and recover from emergencies. With the La Nina weather event declared for summer, we can expect a cooler and wetter season ahead. Check out the resources below to get ready.

A sign reads Road Closed, trees have fallen in the background

Stay informed with the VicEmergency website and app

VicEmergency is your one-stop-shop for information and advice about preparing for emergencies. The VicEmergency websiteExternal Link hosts a range of resources to help you to prepare for fires, floods, storms and extreme heat. There is also a VicEmergency app for your smartphone, where you can see the latest information about warnings and incidents in your area. Through the app, you can also set up a ‘watch zone’ to receive notifications when warnings are issued or incidents occur. To download the VicEmergency app, visit the Apple App StoreExternal Link or the Google Play StoreExternal Link for Android phones.

Prepare for floods and storms

This year, Victoria has already been impacted by several severe storms and flooding events. The State Emergency Service (SES) has seen the two busiest periods in its history within the past six months following significant storms in June and October.

You can prepare your home for storms by cleaning your gutters, downpipes and storm water drains to ensure they are not blocked. Put your safety first when using a ladderExternal Link and know your limits. People aged 65 years and over are hospitalised the most with injuries from ladder falls. Ask a family member or friend for help, and make sure another person is at home if you are on a ladder, in case you need help.

If windy weather is forecast, check that loose items such as outdoor furniture, umbrellas and trampolines are safely secured well before the storm arrives, and park your car undercover and away from trees.

For more tips and advice visit the SES websiteExternal Link .

Get ready for extreme heat

Extreme heat can affect anyone, but older and younger people and those with medical conditions are at greater risk. Heat can cause illnesses such as heat cramps and heat exhaustion which can lead to the life-threatening condition, heatstroke, which is fatal in up to 80% of cases.

On hot days, plan ahead to stay somewhere cool, drink plenty of water and check in on others. Postpone non-essential outings and plan essential activities and appointments for the coolest part of the day. For a full list of practical tips visit the Better Health ChannelExternal Link .

Check your insurance

Victoria is a great place to live. But now and then, we face storms, floods and bushfires that can cause damage to homes. Now is the time to financially prepare to make sure you and your family are ready if things go wrong. The InsureIt websiteExternal Link is a great resource that steps you through what to do to ensure you’re protected.

The road to recovery after emergencies

The stress and emotional impacts of emergencies can affect our mental health and wellbeing. In a video series, disaster psychologist Dr Rob Gordon discusses some of the emotions and emotional stages you may experience after an emergency, and suggests strategies to manage these feelings throughout your recovery.

Watch the full ‘Travelling the road to recovery’ video series on the Department of Families, Fairness and Housing websiteExternal Link .

Reviewed 19 July 2022