SES releases Horsham, Natimuk flood guides

HORSHAM and Natimuk residents will be more prepared to deal with floods after the State Emergency Service released new guides.

Service community resilience co-ordinator Melissa Douglas said the guides were created to ensure the community was as prepared as possible for a flood.

“Many people have lived through floods before or they live near rivers, so it’s good for them to know that the information is out there,” she said.

Ms Douglas said the SES developed guides across the state following the 2011 floods.

“We also worked with the Wimmera Catchment Management Authority, which have done flood studies, and therefore we can get new information about things like water heights,” she said.

Assistance chief officer Stephen Warren said in the next few months, SES volunteers would door-knock known high flood-risk homes and businesses in Horsham and Natimuk to present the flood guides.

“Residents are encouraged to talk with volunteers during the door-knocks to learn how they can be prepared when there are flood warnings and to also share their past flood experiences,” he said. 

“The door-knocks aim to provide an opportunity to learn about or share experiences of flood risk as it relates to people’s home and property.”

Mr Warren said a little preparation in homes could go a long way.

“We all need to take responsibility for our safety and learn the flood risks,” he said.

“Flood water is the biggest killer of adults in Australian waters, it’s not just drowning that kills.”

The SES also worked with Horsham Rural City Council to develop a municipal flood emergency plan. 

This plan captures the roles of all agencies in preparing for, responding to and recovering from flood events within the municipality. 

“This emergency plan is greatly supported by residents understanding their own flood risk and ensuring they are ready for floods or any emergency,” Mr Warren said. 

“This also takes the pressure off emergency services to reduce the need to respond to incidents that could have been prevented.”

Mr Warren said copies of the flood guides would be available at Horsham Rural City Council offices, information centres and on the SES website www.ses.vic.gov.au.

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