Emergencies can happen at any time. They can be as large as a bushfire, flood or cyclone or as personal as a death in the family. The better you prepare for them, the easier it is for you and your family to recover.
While emergency services do all they can to help, the person most responsible for your wellbeing before, during and after an emergency is you.
Council has developed five free disaster preparedness forms that will help you prepare your household or farm for any emergency.
The Household Emergency Plan, Individual Emergency Plan and Farm Plan are editable PDF documents. This means you can fill them in using your computer or print and fill in manually.
If you haven't prepared and made a plan, an emergency could disrupt your life in ways you don't expect. Get prepared and you'll be more confident, more in control and more likely to cope in the situation.
Under Victoria’s current COVID-19 Directions and the Roadmap for Reopening, restrictions to travel within some parts of Victoria still apply.
With the summer fire season imminent, there is a need for owners of properties to prepare for the fire season. While there are provisions to allow travel beyond the current travel restrictions that applies in some areas of Victoria, for example if the property owner has been issued with a Fire Prevention Notice, a process has been developed that will allow councils to issue a letter of support for a travel exemption for property owners to attend their property to undertake fire preparedness work.
Under an exemption to the current Chief Health Officer (CHO) Directions, an owner of a property, or a nominated representative, will be allowed to travel to their property to undertake fire preparedness work.
To request an exemption to travel to their property, an owner must contact their relevant council to request a letter. The council will determine if the owner meets the eligibility criteria and issue a letter accordingly.
Travel under the scheme may be undertaken from 11 October 2021 until advice from Government that the scheme is no longer required.
Can I apply for a permit to travel to prepare my property for floods, storms, or other emergencies?
The permit scheme is limited to preparations for the summer Fire Danger Period.
If preparation works for any type of emergency are urgent and essential, property owners or occupiers may travel to carry out that activity. When you leave home, you must wear a face mask unless you have a lawful exception for not doing so, and observe all other COVIDSafe requirements including gathering limits, physical distancing and good hygiene.
If you need to undertake urgent and essential emergency preparation, all restrictions travel with you. This means that if you live in metropolitan Melbourne and your property is in regional Victoria then the restrictions applying to metropolitan Melbourne travel with you. This also applies if you are subject to local restrictions in regional Victoria and travelling to a different part of regional Victoria.
I have been issued with a Fire Prevention Notice. Can I travel to my property?
You should visit your property to undertake the necessary work to respond to the Fire Prevention Notice. You should only leave your property to remove waste or collect pre-purchased materials. Removing waste includes depositing debris at a landfill site, or a waste transfer station or recycling centre.
When you leave home, you must wear a face mask unless you have a lawful exception for not doing so, and observe all other COVIDSafe requirements including gathering limits, physical distancing and good hygiene.
Do I need any evidence to show police I am travelling to my property to prepare it for emergencies?
Yes. If you are travelling outside a Restricted Area, you will need to show the Fire Prevention Notice or permit (hardcopy or electronic) you received from the local council where your property is located, as evidence of your reason for travel.
Can I buy or borrow equipment to clean up my property?
If you live in an Unrestricted Area, you can buy or borrow equipment. Keep a distance of 1.5 metres from others, wear a face mask and practise good hygiene, including washing your hands regularly.
If you live in a Restricted Area, you should buy or rent equipment online and have it delivered, or use contactless ‘click and collect’. Wash or sanitise your hands before and after picking up your items. Do not travel any further than you need to.
If you live in metropolitan Melbourne or a regional area with restrictions, those restrictions travel with you to your second property.
My parents live in regional Victoria. Can I travel to help them prepare their property for emergencies?
If you live in metropolitan Melbourne or another Restricted Area, you cannot travel to regional Victoria to help family or friends prepare their property, unless you provide care or support to them because they have particular needs including age, infirmity, disability, illness, chronic health condition or matters relating to health.
When you are doing essential emergency preparation work, you should be mindful of the risks of transmittingCOVID-19 to elderly people. Older people are especially vulnerable to COVID-19.Keep a distance of at least 1.5 metres between yourself and your parents and wear a face mask. You should not hug or kiss them.
If you live in regional Victoria and not in a Restricted Area, you can travel to help family or friends prepare their property if it is also in regional Victoria, and not in a Restricted Area. Keep 1.5 metres distance, wear a face mask while you assist them, and comply with social gathering limits.
If you live in regional Victoria you cannot travel to help family members or friends prepare their property if it is in metropolitan Melbourne or a Restricted Area, unless you provide care or support to them because they have particular needs including age, infirmity, disability, illness, chronic health condition or matters relating to health.
Can I travel to a tip, landfill site, recycling centre, or Waste Transfer Station to deposit debris or waste aspart of preparing my property?
Yes, if you live in a Restricted Area or your property is a Restricted Area then landfills and waste transfer sites are permitted to open to residential customers for disposing of bushfire preparation materials.
Can I take friends to help me prepare my property for emergencies?
No. if you live in a Restricted Area you may only nominate members of your immediate family or household to assist you. When you apply to the local council, you may nominate members of your household (provided you are permitted to gather with them under the restrictions) to help you prepare your property for emergencies. If your travel is approved by the local council, the letter of support issued will provide details of the household or immediate family members you have nominated to assist you in preparing your property for emergencies. Anyone travelling with you must be from your household and you must have provided their names and details to the local council when you applied for travel.
Can I take my children with me to our regional property?
If you live in a Restricted Area, children may travel with you while you prepare your property for emergencies if necessary. The letter of support issued by your local council will specify the names and ages of the children you have nominated to accompany you.
Can I stay at my regional property once I have finished preparing it for emergencies?
No. If you reside in a Restricted Area, your permit from local council will specify a timeframe in which the works must be completed (generally72 hours) and you must return to your primary place of residence within this timeframe.
If you do not complete the required works within the specified timeframe, you are required to return to your primary place of residence and reapply for a second permit.
I have more than one property within regional Victoria, can I travel from one property to another?
If you live in a Restricted Area, you can apply for a permit to travel to each of your properties to conduct emergency preparations or repairs. If you have properties in different local government areas, you will need to apply to both of these local councils.
There is no house on my property, can I still apply? Where do I stay?
Yes. You can apply for a permit even if the property does not have a house. Current restrictions allow for residents of Restricted Areas to book accommodation Victoria if absolutely necessary. Wherever possible you should not stay in accommodation, and if necessary, stay for as short a duration as possible.
My property is occupied (renters or other people) can I still apply?
A property owner may attend their property to undertake critical emergency preparation activities if approved by council, even if it is occupied, where this also meets the requirements of the rental agreement. While undertaking the work, the property owner must keep 1.5 metres distance from any occupant of the property and wear a face mask. In these circumstances property owners are encouraged to consider the use of contractors, local businesses or their tenants to undertake necessary preparation work.
Can I travel for supplies in regional Victoria (for example, tools)?
When traveling with this permit, you must comply with the restrictions of the local government area that you reside in. This means you will not be able to visit local businesses to purchase supplies. You should try and travel with the tools and equipment you will require.
If you absolutely must obtain equipment while visiting an Unrestricted Area, you should buy or rent equipment online and have it delivered or use ‘click and collect’. Pick up should be contactless. Keep 1.5 metres away from others and arrange payment before pick up. Wash or sanitise your hands before and after picking up your items. Do not travel any further than you need to.
How many contractors can be onsite at anyone time?
Details regarding maintenance and repair activities and the restrictions that apply are available at Homes and Property.
If you would like to volunteer please register at the Volunteer Victoria website or call (03) 9208 3353.
You are encouraged to register and list what support you can offer. Council has access to the register so we can utilise the skills of registered volunteers to meet community needs during emergencies.