Preparing For An Emergency

Emergencies have an unsettling habit of occurring unannounced and in unpredictable ways. Whether it’s a natural disaster, a fire, or extreme weather, being prepared can make a critical difference in safeguarding lives and property. Having a comprehensive emergency plan not only mitigates the impact but also expedites recovery.

Importance Of Planning

Planning and readiness are cornerstones for dealing with emergencies effectively. A carefully constructed plan acts as a reliable guide through chaotic times, offering a sense of stability and enables better decision-making.

Preparing Your Emergency Plan

Having an emergency plan in place is important when an emergency hits. The Australian Red Cross website has some great tools and examples that help you make a plan that fits exactly what you need. It’s like having a step-by-step guide to get ready for anything unexpected that might happen.

Use Local Guardians Emergency Plan to record important information about your health, medical system and contact numbers.

Assembling An Emergency  GO KIT

Ensure you have crucial items readily available in a GO KIT, this should be stored where you can easily access it during a quick evacuation.

Suggested items to include in your GO KIT

  • water
  • phone or radio (battery-powered), including device chargers
  • torches
  • a supply of batteries (sizes to fit your radio and torches)
  • food – some nonperishable basics, like tinned food (ring pull), muesli bars, packed snacks
  • warm, waterproof clothing and comfortable shoes
  • spare medication, copy of your prescriptions
  • a first aid kit
  • cash – have your wallet and ID readily available
  • printed copy of your emergency plan
  • spare set of reading glasses
  • if you have a pet, pet food, medication, gear like bowls and leads

Fires & Bushfires

In the event of a fire, having a predetermined plan will increase the chances of getting out safely.

Things to consider include:

  • Have working smoke detectors in your home
  • Keep up to date with fire alerts if you live in a bushfire area
  • Consider staying with family, friends or in Respite away from the impacted area
  • Know how to get out of every room, including those that are on a second floor
  • Have a designated meeting point, such as the letter box
  • Do not lock deadlocks if you are in the home, and ensure keys are kept in locks
  • Have a method of calling 000
  • Discuss with your neighbours how you will support each other in an emergency
  • Let your Care Advisor know that you have been impacted and work out how your HCP can contact and support you

Find more information on how to plan and prepare for a fire emergency at home on the Country Fire Authority (CFA) website.


When flash flooding is likely, it is best to leave low-lying homes well before flash flooding begins, but only if it is safe to do so. If you are trapped by rising floodwater, seek refuge in the highest part of a sturdy building and call 000.

Things to consider include:

  • Complete a Home Flood, Storm or Tsunami Emergency Plan
  • Have your GO KIT and printed Emergency Plans ready
  • Seek assistance from your support network
  • Consider staying with family, friends or in Respite away from the impacted area
  • Never drive, ride or walk through floodwater
  • Stack possessions, records, stock or equipment on benches and tables, placing electrical items on top
  • Secure objects that are likely to float and cause damage
  • Relocate waste containers, chemicals and poisons well above floor level
  • Keep listening to your local radio station for information, updates and advice
  • Be prepared to evacuate if advised by emergency services
  • Act early as roads may become congested or close
  • Call ‘000’ (triple zero) if you need rescuing
  • Let your Care Advisor know that you have been impacted and work out how your HCP can contact and support you

Extreme Heat

Extreme heat can seriously impact health, especially for those who are more vulnerable. Planning in advance by finding cool places, drinking enough water, and rearranging plans to avoid the hottest times of the day are smart steps to take. Websites like the Better Health Channel provide really helpful tips to help you stay safe during scorching heat waves.

Read the Local Guardians Blog  Keep your cool this summer

Accessing Information During Emergencies

Staying informed during emergencies is pivotal. Official emergency broadcasters like the ABC provide up-to-date information and advisories.

Subscribing to platforms like ABC Emergency on social media or downloading your States Emergency app will help keep you updated on unfolding situations and advisories.

Additional Information & Resources

  • Ensure any expensive critical aids or equipment are included in your home’s insurance policy
  • If relevant contact the State Emergency Services (SES) in an emergency, even if they can’t attend immediately, you will be provided with a reference number to have works such as tree removal or digging mud slides completed
  • State Emergency Services  (SES) 132 500
  • The Australian Redcross website
  • The Australian Warning System for warnings on bushfires, cyclones, storms, floods and extreme heat, as well as links to your States Emergency website.
  • Your States Country Fire Authority (CFA)
  • Carers Gateway Emergency Care Plan
  • Nurse on Call 24/7 helpline
  • Emergency Plus app for Apple and Android
  • The Red Cross First Aid app Get Prepared

Information from the SES Plan and stay safe website, the Australian Red Cross Emergency preparedness guide and the CFA Fires in the home website have been used in this blog.