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Second busiest month in a decade

Second busiest month in a decade

Published 17/11/2016
October 2016 became the second biggest month on record in a decade.

Victoria SES volunteers responded to over 9,400 requests for assistance in October 2016. This made it our second busiest month in a decade.

It fell short of the 9,600 requests we received in February 2011 during the major Victorian floods that year.

“October saw unprecedented back to back low pressure systems,” says David Baker, VICSES Deputy Chief Operations Officer - Capability. “We saw more water in Victoria than we had since 1916. Basically it was wet, windy and constant.”

The result was significant damage and disruption to the Victorian community, including damage to property, major flooding for towns in the mid, south west and northwest of the state and widespread power outages.

“The emergency actually started in September, and is still going,” adds David. “We are now only seeing the departure of water that hit us in September and October.”

Breakdown

  • 67% of requests for assistance were centred around metropolitan Melbourne
  • 90% of requests were storm or flood related
  • The majority of calls in Victoria’s north east were directly relating to flooding of the Murray-Riverina river systems.

Almost all VICSES volunteer units across the state were involved. Our volunteers spent their time on tasks such levy building and sand-bagging at-risk homes and businesses, flood monitoring and preparation, and deployment to heavily flood ravaged South Australia to assist their emergency response.

“Our units clear trees off houses, roads and cars, deal with other obstructions and flash flooding down suburban streets, making areas safe, and continue to provide a road rescue service,” says David.

“For every five members that are in the field getting wet, dirty and tired, we have one member in incident control and support to ensure that our field units are fed and have what they need.”

Be prepared

When an emergency passes and the weather clears, it’s a good time to get prepared.

SES have a number of emergency preparedness plans to help you be ready. When you prepare for an emergency it can reduce the impact and help you recover quicker.

Learn about being:

We also have information about being prepared for an earthquake or tsunami.

Our safety plans help you prepare at home, work, school and if you are caught out on the roads during an emergency event.

“Months like October remind us that volunteers remain the backbone of our frontline Victoria State Emergency Service,” says David.