In this issue:                                                                     November 2014

Bushfire and Natural Hazard CRC updates seasonal outlook
EM-COP and Code Red workshops

Mildura Flood Forum
VCOSS and MAV Emergency Management Forum Report
Pandemic Influenza
New app for hearing impaired

Bushfire and Natural Hazard CRC updates seasonal outlook

An unseasonably dry spring across most parts of south eastern Australia has prompted the Bushfire and Natural Hazard Cooperative Research Centre (CRC) to revise its seasonal outlook. The new outlook expands the geographic area that is forecast to experience above normal fire conditions this summer.

New additions include Wyperfeld, the far south west, the Otway Ranges, the eastern Melbourne region, forests in the Great Dividing Range as far east as the Tongio Plateau and the Cobberas Range, Melbourne’s water catchments, the foothills of South Gippsland, Wilsons Promontory and the Latrobe Valley.

With the Bushfire and Natural Hazard CRC now warning of a potentially major fire season, Emergency Management Victoria (EMV) has urged agencies and communities to plan and prepare for a long, hot and dry summer fire season.

EM-COP and Code Red workshops

EMV is currently running regional workshops, and these workshops will continue into early December.

These sessions will include an introduction to EM-COP (Emergency Management Common Operating Picture), which is a web-based collaboration tool designed for use across the emergency management sector.

Trials of EM-COP at the incident level will take place from November to May 2015, with the aim of having EM-COP used at all levels of incident management by August 2015.

Following the EM-COP presentation, a Code Red workshop will be held. This workshop will explore the roles, responsibilities and actions of emergency management agencies, councils and other key service providers involved in response and recovery at regional and municipal levels in readiness for a Code Red day in all or part of the state.

This is a good opportunity to test your Code Red plans and assess their interrelationship with other agencies. EMV is strongly encouraging all agencies including councils to attend any one of the sessions below:

  • 2 December – Hume
  • 4 December – Barwon South-West
  • 9 December – Gippsland
  • 11 December – State Control Centre
  • TBC – Grampians

For further details regarding locations and registration email Carolyn Cole-Sinclair or call 0407 651 154.

Mildura Flood Forum

The Mallee Catchment Management Authority (CMA) hosted the two-day flood forum in Mildura on 13-14 November.

Themes covered included community engagement, levee management, emerging technology, lessons learned from recent floods and environmental considerations. Presentations will be available on the Mallee CMA website in the next few days.

For more information contact Emma Lake.

VCOSS and MAV Emergency Management Forum Report

In June the MAV and the Victorian Council of Social Services (VCOSS) held an Emergency Management Forum in Seymour. A report from the conference is now available that provides a detailed summary of the presentations.

The MAV and VCOSS would like to once again thank all of the presenters for their time and excellent presentations.

Crisisworks update

A majority of councils are now using Crisisworks incident management software, produced by Datalink. Crisisworks version 4 will be released in December. It will include improvements identified through consultations and exercises held earlier in the year and approved by the MAV in July. Datalink will maintain Crisisworks 3 over summer and will upgrade individual customers to their schedule.

Free webinars will soon be organised to showcase the differences and outline how to upgrade.

A new Post-Impact Assessment Recovery form is also undergoing the final stages of development, and will eventually replace the current ‘People & Property’ form. The mobile Post-Impact Assessment system has been made freely available for training purposes and single property events for this summer, for councils that wish to use the system but only pay if they use it in an actual event.

Datalink has also launched a 12-hour turnaround on their ‘field form builder’ service, which delivers tablet survey forms to the field for ad-hoc community and environmental surveys. This can provide a rapid, flexible way to collect data from the field.

For further information, contact Scott Davey at Datalink.

Pandemic Influenza

The updated Victorian Health Management Plan for Pandemic Influenza (VHMPPI) is now available.

The plan aims to provide a framework to minimise with the impact of an influenza pandemic on the health sector and community, and describes the health response to the planning and preparedness arrangements, including response and recovery from a pandemic.

The Department of Health has committed to reviewing the local government planning guide and resources in the near future.

Visit the Department of Health’s Pandemic Influenza website for information on seasonal and pandemic influenza for health professionals, business, government and the community.

For further information, email Elizabeth Birbilis or call 9096 5220.


My CFA is a tool to ensure that information relevant to a resident’s local area, which is tailored to their risk profile, is delivered in a timely way.

The initial focus of My CFA is to target properties within 150 metres of the bushfire hazard in extreme and very high-risk communities. It will supplement regional CFA services and reinforce key fire safety messages.

To date, more than 7,000 homes have a registered person who will receive risk advice and preparedness information via email. They will also be linked to local fire educational opportunities.

Community members can register online or by phone (1800 240 667). Once registered, they will be contacted via email with fire safety information throughout the year. To avoid confusion with official One Source One Message (OSOM), Emergency Alert and FireReady App messages, this service doesn’t include warnings or any communications about incidents.

Councils wanting further information about My CFA registrations within their municipality can contact Paul Harris.

New app for hearing impaired

Building on the AusLan Fire Ready videos, VicDeaf along with EMV have launched a Community Safety Information page and app. The OpenAccess Alerts is a free smartphone app that shares text-based public information.

OpenAccess Alerts provide a communication option for people who have difficulty hearing in public spaces. The text-based messages are time stamped and geo-located so users are provided with current and targeted messages for their information needs wherever they are.

The Android app can be downloaded here, and the Apple app here.

Upcoming MAV events...

4 December

MAV Mayoral Program

10 December

Native Vegetation Regulations

15 December

Sector conversation about the results of the VBA audit


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