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Local knowledge

Incorporating local knowledge is a vital part of managing and planning for emergencies and SES is committed to ensuring this happens.

Knowledge obtained from local communities and organisations is a valuable part of the picture available to emergency services before, during and after emergencies. This local knowledge provides an invaluable ‘on the ground’ understanding of an unfolding situation from the people who understand the area best.

SES has implemented a number of local knowledge initiatives including the development of a Local Knowledge Policy, which sets out how SES will incorporate local knowledge before, during and after emergencies.

Other initiatives include:

  • Identifying and working with existing networks that are a source of local knowledge
  • Identifying community observers to provide information and observations during emergencies
  • Identifying community observers within relevant emergency plans including Municipal Flood Emergency Plans
  • Establishing command and control arrangements with other emergency service providers

For further information, view the Local Knowledge Fact Sheet.pdf (256 KB), which outlines:

  • All the local knowledge initiatives SES is implementing
  • How you can support and be involved in these initiatives
  • Next steps for local knowledge initiatives

Further information

For more information, please contact your local SES unit or regional office, or the SES State Operations team on or (03) 9256 9000.