Emergency Plans

emergenciesCouncil Saville asked the following question of Council officers. There response is included below:

Where is Council up to with regards to strategic emergency management planning?
What strategic plans are in place?
What organisations are involved?
In which organisations related to strategic emergency planning, is Council involved formally/at executive level?
How can Council keep Councillors and the community updated?

While New South Wales emergency management arrangements are based around local government areas the role of local government in emergency management is poorly defined. The Local Government Act 1993 (NSW) makes very little mention of Local Government in emergency response.

With regard to preparing for an emergency, the local council is to provide secretarial and technical support to the Local Emergency Management Committee (LEMC) which prepares the local emergency plan. The LEMC is made up of a representative from the local council, Ambulance Services of NSW, Fire & Rescue NSW, NSW Police Force, NSW State Emergency Services (SES), LEOCON (Police) and the Regional Emergency Management Officer (as an observer) and has the General Manager of the local government authority or his representative as the chair of this committee. While Council does have some role to play in emergency management, it is the State agencies, appointed committees and to a large extent the police officers appointed as the Local and Regional Emergency Operations Controllers who have a more significant role in managing, planning, preparation for and response to a local emergency.

It is a requirement that the local LEMC prepares a local Disaster Plan for the Willoughby and Lane Cove Local Government areas. This plan includes emergency preparedness, response to and recovery arrangements and ensures a coordinated response by all agencies having responsibilities and functions in emergencies. Our Local Displan was recently updated this year and staff contributed to this review.


One thought on “Emergency Plans

  1. The “DISPLAN” should be published prominently on Council’s website, where it can be accessed intuitively from the home page by traumatised panic-stricken residents unfamiliar with the operational complexity of Council’s website.

    Ideally, the Plan should provide for rapid response evacuation in case of sudden bushfires. It should provide near real-time information by internet to evacuees, and include the objective to have fit and trained organised groups, such as Community Fire Unit teams, kept together ,and with a plan to return to their nominated residential fire-ground to combat the local spontaneous ignitions from blown embers.These groups would need to be able to request assistance from police, Fire and Rescue, ambulance, SES, and local power and cable providers through the incident controller. It is assumed these hard core defenders would retreat to their local safer place when endangered, and be redeployed by the incident controller minutes after the fire front passes.
    All other evacuees would need to disperse far away from the potential fire ground, after leaving details of their group members, departure time, route, and destination,and an alternative destination if the first choice is inaccessible. The gridlock of major roads should b e expected and planned or, and notified to evacuees on the internet site.
    Neighbourhood Watch should include evacuation planning, including contact and assistance for disabled, young and old, pets, and fuel, water and journey clothes and food. Most of this should be pre-planned using RFS planning sheets, perhaps evolved to use popular Facebook software. (It may be recalled that the original DARPA net objective was to provide command and control of civilian evacuation during nuclear war, and thereafter.)
    The “Eyewatch” police computer system should have the ability to assemble these household plans into a database that can be interrogated to locate and contact households at destinations and en route.
    Information on the state of preparedness of each evacuated house should be collected and filed using award-winning laptop software developed by Victoria’s Whittlesea Council, during annual checks of the residential/bush interface.

    JIm McCredie.

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