In this issue:                                                                     November, 2013

Update on government response to ENRC Flood Mitigation Infrastructure Inquiry
Other news from the MAV emergency management team
2013 edition of the Emergency Relief Handbook
Release of the State Health Emergency Response Plan
CFA’s Fire Ready Kit and Tourism Business Fire Ready Kit
Save the Children report - Don’t leave me alone
Resilient Australia Awards
VicEmergency – A new way of getting information about fire
Funding round open for National Emergency Management Project
ABC1 Catalyst disaster behaviour special – Sunday 1 December, 7.30pm

Update on government response to ENRC Flood Mitigation Infrastructure Inquiry

The Victorian Government released its response to the Environment and Natural Resources Committee’s (ENRC) Inquiry into Flood Mitigation Infrastructure report (Aug 2012) last month.

A number of the ENRC recommendations were not supported by the MAV but have been supported fully or in-principle by the State Government.

The MAV has met with the Department of Environment and Primary Industries (DEPI) to discuss the response and their plans for implementation.

The MAV has been invited to be a member of the Victorian Floodplain Management Strategy (VFMS) reference group and will continue to advocate on councils’ behalf throughout the implementation process and development of the new strategy.

Other news from the MAV emergency management team

A new financial management of emergencies guide for councils was launched at a recent MAV forum. The guide provides recommendations to assist councils to develop knowledge and financial processes in advance of an emergency that will support council planning and decision-making throughout an emergency, and during the relief and recovery stages.

The guide and presentations from the forum are now available on the MAV’s e-library in the EM Capability Building/Financial Management of Emergencies folder.

The MAV has undertaken a survey of councils on community engagement and resilience. We received 54 responses from 48 councils across the state. The results have been analysed and a report has been completed. The results will be shared with the State as an advocacy tool for local government in this area.

The Emergency Management Cluster Pilot Project has progressed to the stage where all four council CEOs have agreed on a governance model for sharing emergency management resources to pilot during the year ahead. The MAV will continue to monitor the project throughout the next stage.

2013 edition of the Emergency Relief Handbook

The 2013 edition of the Emergency Relief Handbook has been released, and covers a broad set of relief planning considerations and guidance for local government.

The MAV, in partnership with the Red Cross, Department of Human Services and numerous municipal councils and government agencies, have worked together to conduct the third review of the handbook. The Red Cross and the MAV convened and worked with a reference group consisting of various councils to discuss potential changes to the handbook and provide input towards the revised version.

The key areas of revision include:

  • Development of planning information for the whole of emergency relief
  • Clarifying financial planning and reimbursement information
  • Guidance for managing communication priorities
  • Practical planning information for psychosocial support and early outreach
  • Planning information for children and young people
  • Updated guidance notes and checklists
  • Case studies to highlight good practice by councils.

The revised Handbook is available on the Department of Human Services website.

Release of the State Health Emergency Response Plan

The third edition of the State Health Emergency Response Plan (SHERP) has been released. The SHERP is the Victorian pre-hospital and hospital response plan for emergency incidents and is a sub-plan of the Victorian state emergency response plan.

The SHERP outlines the arrangements for coordinating the health response to emergency incidents that go beyond day-to-day business arrangements.

It also describes the principles, command and coordination arrangements, and roles and responsibilities for a health emergency response that involve pre-hospital care, patient transport, receiving hospitals and other healthcare facilities.

All health and emergency service workers are encouraged to familiarise themselves with the revised edition.

CFA’s Fire Ready Kit and Tourism Business Fire Ready Kit

Ahead of the upcoming summer season, the CFA is promoting its Fire Ready Kit and Tourism Business Fire Ready Kit.

The Fire Ready Kit has been designed to help you understand your risk, prepare your property and develop a Bushfire survival plan.  Additionally the CFA has developed a template at the back of the Tourism Business Fire Ready Kit that businesses can use as a basis for an emergency plan.

Save the Children report - Don’t leave me alone

In October this year Save the Children released a report – Don’t leave me alone, Protecting children in Australian Disasters and Emergencies.

Recent disasters in Australia have consistently demonstrated that children need special protection in emergencies, both physically and psychologically. Emergency management planning, activities and processes must be designed to ensure that children are protected and that this is integrated across the country into routine emergency management planning.

For more information on this report, contact Susan Davie, Save the Children.

Resilient Australia Awards

The State Government has congratulated the Victorian winners of the Resilient Australia Awards program that recognises innovation in emergency management and community safety. The Resilient Australia Awards celebrate emergency management initiatives that improve community safety and resilience through better risk assessment, education and training, knowledge management, prevention, preparedness, response and recovery.

The MAV would like to congratulate all finalists and winners of the 2013 Victorian Resilient Communities awards, particularly the Northern Grampians Shire who won the local government category for their Monash / Stawell steps, a risk mitigation project that implemented two flood spillways to ensure businesses and houses in Stawell will not be damaged by flood waters in the future.

Good luck to all Victorian winners who will be finalists in the National awards.

VicEmergency – A new way of getting information about fires

The Fire Services Commissioner will soon be delivering improved emergency information and warnings to all Victorians. The Vic Emergency website will provide timely, tailored and relevant community information and warnings to improve the safety of Victorians and visitors, and will allow Victorians to seek all necessary information from one site rather than multiple agency websites. The website aims to be a one stop shop for emergency information before, during and after an emergency.

The link above will currently take you to the CFA website, and will continue to do so until the new site is launched.

The website will go live before the 2013/14 summer season, and Victorians will be given the opportunity to provide feedback.

The Fire Services Commissioner will also be releasing a new Fire Ready app in time for the upcoming summer season. It will provide access to official warnings, information on planned burns and other types of incidents across Victoria

A video has also been created about what’s changing with community information and warnings.

Funding round open for National Emergency Management Project

The FY2014-15 National Emergency Management Project (NEMP) application round is open for a period of four weeks. The NEMP grant program aims to fund emergency management projects of national significance, and applications must demonstrate benefits to three or more jurisdictions

Successful projects will support measures to strengthen communities, individuals, business and institutions to minimise the adverse effects of disasters in Australia. Projects funded through a NEMP grant are designed to improve the ability to prevent, prepare for, respond to and recover from disasters across social, economic, environmental and governance elements.

Applications are due by Friday 6 December. For more information, including a covering letter, application form and guidelines please visit the Australian Emergency Management website.

ABC1 Catalyst disaster behaviour special – Sunday 1 December, 7.30pm

ABC1 (TV) Catalyst program will be broadcasting a special feature on Sunday 1 December at 7.30pm called ‘Don’t Panic’, which uses live scenarios to demonstrate how people behave in disasters and why plans, and practicing plans, are so vital.

The program aims to increase community understanding of disasters, as well as reinforce emergency education messages about the importance of planning for your family and household.

A trailer is available to view.


Upcoming MAV events...

5 December

LGICT December Forum

18 December

Local government preventing violence against women

4 March

Company Directors' Course


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