Identifying; analysing; evaluating; and treating risks.
The emergency risk management approach assumes that even though major emergencies occur infrequently and unpredictably, the risk of emergency is always present. To maximise community safety, Council must evaluate risks and devise prevention and mitigation strategies that reduce the likelihood of emergencies, or reduce the impact of the events should they occur. Constructing an overpass to replace a dangerous road or rail crossing or reducing combustible fuel prior to summer are examples of a risk management strategies.
Communities and individuals can promote their own safety in two ways: by eliminating or reducing the possibility of an incident occurring; and strengthening and preparing themselves to reduce the consequences of an emergency.
The Pyrenees Shire Municipal Emergency Management Planning committee has conducted a risk analysis of the shire. The purpose of this analysis was to identify the likely causes of emergency situations that could occur in the Shire and to devise strategies that could prevent or reduce the possibility of this happening, or reduce the impact of the event should it occur.
The committee identified bushfire as the highest risk factor, with the possibility of storm or flood damage, and major transport emergency or chemical spillage as the other most likely risks in the Shire. Following on from this analysis, separate strategies have been implemented to address each risk, fire, the highest risk, is subject to a distinct fire prevention plan.
Planning & Preparation
Large emergencies are disruptive and can affect council's ability to provide services and support to its community. For this reason, council needs to take special measures to anticipate how to handle an emergency situation.
Under the Emergency Management Act, 1986, Council has a responsibility for the development and ongoing revision of a Municipal Emergency Management Plan (MEMP). The aim of this Plan is to detail the agreed arrangements for the prevention of, the response to, and the recovery from, emergencies that could occur in the Pyrenees Shire Council.
The MEMP records Council's emergency management arrangements, in accordance with the Emergency Management Manual Victoria, and includes:
- Planning & Preparation
- Key geographic and demographic information about the shire
- The results of emergency risk analyses performed
- Outlines of risk reduction strategies
- Information about public awareness and education campaigns and other actions taken to increase community resilience
- Arrangements for the management of response and recovery activities
- Contact lists of key council staff and other personnel needed during an emergency
- Information on access to resources owned or controlled by the council, which are available for prevention, response and recovery activities, including the contact details of suppliers.
The Municipal Emergency Management Plan is an integral part of Council's strategic planning framework and complements Council's corporate plan.