Towong Shire

Preparing for an Emergency

Bushfire, flood and storm events have taught us much about the importance of preparation. Council urges every household to plan ahead – it could save your home and even the lives of you or your loved ones.

What Can I Do?

Prepare Your Home

  • Clear vegetation and leaf litter from roof, gutters and immediate surrounds.
  • Find out how to turn off your home’s electricity, gas and water supply.
  • Review your insurance policies to ensure they are current and adequate.
  • Learn some basic first aid. it pays to have first aid skills because you can't learn it in an emergency.
  • Store important documents safely (e.g. wills, passports, birth and marriage certificates, insurance policies) in case of a fire in a waterproof container or safe deposit box.

Make an Emergency Plan

A home emergency plan can reduce the impact of the situation. The Home Emergency Plan tool available from www.ses.vic.gov.au may assist your family to develop an Emergency Plan.

Involve Your Family

  • Create a home evacuation plan. Draw a floor plan of your home, marking up the main escape route, and back-up escape routes. It should include routes out of your neighbourhood, the location of equipment and medications you need, and a meeting place outside your home.
  • Give a copy of your evacuation plan to your family and household members and keep a copy on your fridge. Practice your evacuation plan with all household members.
  • Create a contact list, including details of all family members/carers and local emergency telephone numbers. Good ones to include are the SES, local council, gas, electricity and water. Keep them near your phone.
  • Decide how family members will stay in touch in the event of, or after, an emergency. Agree on how you will contact each other if not at home, who will collect children from school, who will check on elderly or disabled neighbours.
  • Identify meeting places for everyone in your household – one close to your home and one further away in case you are unable to return to your neighbourhood.
  • Organise an out-of-town person that your family can contact in case you are separated and make a list of that person’s contact details and provide them to your workplace or your children’s school. Inform schools and childcare authorities of people who are permitted to pick up your children if you are unable to do so.

Looking After Pets

Responsible pet ownership requires a collaborative approach and a lifetime commitment. In the event of an emergency or disaster it is up to you to prepare for the safety and welfare of your pets. There are several things you can do to ensure you and your animals are prepared:

  • Include your animals in your household emergency plans
  • Keep vaccinations and worming up to date
  • Ensure your emergency kit includes appropriate pet supplies, including medication and a copy of your pets most recent immunisation records, food (including treats), bottled water, a familiar pet blanket, bedding or toys and suitable cleaning supplies
  • Ensure your pet is accustomed to being put into a carry cage or crate. You can use your own carry cage/crate so don’t forget to add it to your emergency plan. Leads/harnesses are also required for exercising your pet
  • Properly identify your pets, e.g. Lifetime registration tags, name tags with current contact details and ensure your details are up to date with your microchip provider
  • Keep a list of important phone numbers, such as veterinarian or Animal Management Centre handy.

We understand that your pet is part of the family. By acting early and seeking help from friends outside of the emergency area, the likelihood of you being reunited with your pet will be much greater:

  • Know where you are going to take your animals well in advance of an emergency
  • If moving animals to a safer place do so early to avoid unnecessary risk
  • If staying at home secure animals indoors so that they do not take flight or run away
  • Provide adequate food and water in large, heavy bowls
  • Place pets in separate rooms with small or preferably no windows e.g. laundry or bathroom
  • If left outside do not tie the animals up
  • Do not leave pets in vehicles

For more information and advice about preparing your pet for an emergency, visit the RSPCA website Emergency Planning Page

Your Emergency Kit Checklist

A disaster supplies kit is simply a collection of basic items your household may need in the event of an emergency. Try to assemble your kit well in advance of an emergency. You may have to evacuate at a moment’s notice and take essentials with you.

  • Battery-operated radio (plus spare batteries)
  • Torch (plus spare batteries)
  • First aid kit and manual, disposable gloves, face masks, goggles
  • Medications (and repeat prescriptions), tissues, toiletries
  • Special needs for infants, the aged and people with disabilities
  • Spare clothes including, strong shoes, broad brimmed hat, leather gloves and sunscreen
  • Sleeping equipment (sleeping bags etc)
  • Mobile phone, spare, battery and charger
  • Strong plastic bags (for clothing, valuables, documents and photographs)
  • Extra car and house keys
  • Copies of important documents (birth and marriage certificates, passports and licences
  • Details for your agreed out-of-town contact
  • Credit cards, debit cards and cash 

For situations where power, water or gas may not be available in your home, have the following at hand:

  • Bottled water and a three day supply of easily prepared packaged food
  • Fire blanket or fire extinguisher
  • Barbeque or portable stove with fuel

An emergency pantry planning list is available at www.pantrylist.com.au

Last updated: 06 December 2016