What we do
The Victoria State Emergency Service (VICSES) is the control agency for flood, storm, tsunami and earthquake in Victoria, managing responses to these emergencies and helping communities to prepare through planning and education.
As well as operating the largest road rescue network in Australia, we also assist the Victoria Police in search and rescue operations and play an important support role during major bushfire responses.
For a detailed overview of the ways VICSES responds to the community, view our services fact sheet:
Wondering when to call SES in a flood or storm? Check out this handy infographic:
- Should I call the SES?.pdf (136 KB)
Coordinating emergency preparation and response for flood, storm, tsunami and earthquake is the organisation’s primary role. SES Victorian Headquarters works with the regional offices to prepare and warn communities with public safety advice and emergency plans.
Detailed information regarding the types of warnings and notifications issued for each emergency event can be found on the following pages:
SES units sandbag to protect property and infrastructure from floods, as well as assisting Victoria Police with evacuations.
Following severe storms, SES units can provide temporary repairs – like tarping – to damaged structures, and clear fallen trees and branches so that they no longer pose a danger. Note that SES does not remove this debris from your property.
SES units provide warnings and public advice, along with assisting evacuations and undertaking search and rescue following tsunamis.
Along with assisting in evacuations and temporary repairs, SES units undertake search and rescue following earthquakes.
We are the largest provider of road rescue in Victoria, and SES units provide aid in some outer metropolitan suburbs of Melbourne and most of the state’s country areas.
More than 100 SES units across the state are approved road rescue providers, and volunteers undergo rigorous training using specialised vehicles and equipment.
Community planning and education
SES works closely with municipal councils throughout Victoria to develop emergency management plans, providing advice, information, education and training. We are also required to audit Municipal Emergency Management Plans every three years.
SES also engages directly with communities, educating Victorians on how to prepare for natural hazards. Programs are aimed at building resilient communities that are less affected by flood, storm, tsunami and earthquake.