Information about evacuating in the event of an emergency. Remember – leaving early is always the safest option.
What is ‘Evacuation’?
Evacuation is the planned relocation of people from a dangerous or potentially dangerous area to a safer area. This is a safety strategy that uses distance to separate you from the danger.
Evacuation will only be recommended if there is an imminent threat to you, and evacuation can be undertaken safely. There may be some circumstances where a safe evacuation is not possible and you need to seek an alternative shelter option. In fast-moving emergencies you may not always receive a warning or a recommendation to evacuate.
Victoria Police are the lead agency in Evacuation.
Why should I leave early?
The safest option in the lead up to an emergency is always to leave early. Leaving early is the recommended course of action and should be your first consideration and included in your planning.
What are the types of emergencies where I may be advised to evacuate?
There are many types of emergencies that may require you to consider evacuating. These emergencies may include fire, flood, storm, landslide and chemical hazard or spill. If there is a bushfire in your area you should not rely on a call to evacuate. On Code Red, Extreme and Severe days the safest option is to leave high risk areas before fire threatens
How will I know when to evacuate?
You should remain vigilant on days of severe or extreme weather events, such as Code Red fire danger days, for warnings and other information about the emergency. Key sources of information are:
- Listen to your emergency broadcasters: ABC Local Radio, commercial radio and designated community radio stations or SKY NEWS Television.
- For bushfires – Check Warnings and Incidents or ring the Victorian Bushfire Information Line (VBIL) 1800 240 667.
- People who are deaf, hard of hearing, or have a speech/communication impairment can contact VBIL via the National Relay Service on 1800 555 677.
- For floods and storms – VICSES Flood and Storm Information Line 1300 842 737 or visit www.ses.vic.gov.au.
You may also receive an emergency warning from a number of sources including telephone, Emergency Alert (fixed line & SMS), emergency service websites, or from a local option such as doorknocking or police car loudspeaker.
Who is responsible for co-ordinating an evacuation?
Victoria Police is responsible for co-ordinating an evacuation in an emergency.
What do I do when I am advised to evacuate?
Secure your premises if time permits. You should immediately follow the directions contained in the evacuation advice. When evacuating, follow ALL directions and instructions from emergency services.
What should I take with me?
Medication, protective clothing, drinking water, personal identity documents, mobile phone charger, battery powered radio, change of clothes and personal hygiene items.
Where should I go?
You should go to the safe location advised in the warning. The warning advice may recommend a route. Once you have evacuated to the safe location you may be required to register your personal information.
What do I do about my animals?
You need to pre-plan for pets and livestock in the event of an emergency. Leave early with your pet emergency kit (see www.dpi.vic.gov.au) with leads and cages for transportation and containment. Livestock and horses need to be evacuated early or left with internal gates open so they can move freely within the property.
What if I require assistance to evacuate?
If you would require assistance to evacuate this should be taken into account as part of your planning.
If you do not have a means of transport to leave the area you need to have an alternative plan in place, such as leaving with your neighbours or arranging for family to help you evacuate. Remember: - Leaving early is always the safest option.
When can I return?
Police or emergency services will advise you when it is safe to return to your home. Do not return until you are advised that it is safe to do so.
What if I do not want to evacuate?
If you choose not to evacuate you may place your life and that of your family at risk, particularly if you do not have a plan in place which has been practised and communicated to your family.
Continue to listen to the ABC or other emergency broadcasters for updates. Be aware that in a fire smoke will reduce visibility on the roads. Turn on your car headlights. Drive with caution at all times as roads may be blocked by things such as flood water, fallen trees or power lines. Don’t drive, ride, or walk through floodwaters. Never attempt to move power lines from the road.
THE PRESENCE OF POLICE OR OTHER EMERGENCY SERVICES DURING AN EVACUATION CANNOT ALWAYS BE GUARANTEED.