Severe weather and risk of thunderstorms
Press Conference - Tuesday 10 November 2020
- Diana Eadie, Senior Meterologist, Bureau of Meterology
- Tim Wiebusch, Chief Officer, Victoria State Emergency Service (VICSES)
- Dr Angie Bone, Deputy Chief Health Officer, Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS)
- Justin Dunlop, Director, Emergency Management, Ambulance Victoria
VICSES key messages:
- Think about where you will be on Wednesday and what you need to do to be ready for severe weather that might come your way.
- VICSES is the control agency for floods, storms and landslides in Victoria.
- Our SES volunteers will enhance their readiness arrangements and particularly for Wednesday afternoon and evening but we need the community to play their part too.
- For outdoor hospitality venues, we’re asking you to ensure that loose outdoor items such as tables, chairs, umbrellas and mobile barriers are tied down or safely secured. These objects can quickly become airborne in a severe storm and we’re conscious that some providers may have only recently set up in an outdoor capacity and may not be familiar with what a Spring thunderstorm can bring. Learn more about preparing your business for thunderstorm and strong winds.
- For those at home, take the time now to clean your gutters, downpipes and drains to ensure they are not blocked, and to park your car undercover and away from trees.
- In strong winds, be mindful of the risk of falling trees. The safest place to be during a storm is indoors.
- Tragically, three Victorians lost their lives to falling trees in late August so please be vigilant to the risk both on the roads and as pedestrians. Monitor conditions and avoid travel or exercise when the storm is impacting your area. Bureau of Meterology warnings available here.
- Flash flooding can occur quickly due to heavy rainfall. Stay safe and never drive through floodwater. It can take just 15cm of water to float a small car. That’s the height of an average pen. Please never drive on flooded roads.
- VICSES volunteers responded to 175 flood rescues relating to vehicles in 2019-20. This absorbs valuable resources and can put you and your life at risk.
- Remember to call 132 500 you require assistance from the SES during floods and storms, and always call Triple Zero (000) in a life-threatening emergency.
The Bureau of Meteorology has issued a high-risk forecast for Epidemic Thunderstorm Asthma for four districts in the West of the State today (Wednesday). High or extreme levels of pollen are forecast across the State.
Those at risk of thunderstorm asthma including people with asthma or hay fever and people with undiagnosed asthma. These people should avoid exposure to thunderstorms, particularly wind gusts that precede them, keep their reliever inhaler handy and familiarise themselves with the four steps of asthma first aid. Anyone experiencing wheezing or shortness of breath contact their GP or nurse on call, and in an emergency dial 000 for an ambulance.
If you have symptoms such as cough, shortness of breath, or runny nose, and these symptoms are different to your usual hay fever or asthma symptoms - get tested for coronavirus and stay home until you receive your results.