52 volunteer units activated for sudden storm event

52 volunteer units activated for sudden storm event

24/03/2023, 9:00 AM

Thank you to all of our Victoria State Emergency Service (VICSES) volunteers who were involved in the response to yesterday’s storms.

Volunteers were deployed from 52 units throughout the state, not only in their own communities but throughout their wider region.

An enormous tree that came down at Congupna - about 10 kilometres from Shepparton - as well as roofs blown clean off homes, illustrate the speed and ferocity of the storm in photographs posted by VICSES Euroa Unit.

Key facts:

  • In the 24 hour period on Thursday, VICSES volunteers received 234 requests for assistance (RFAs) statewide
  • 93 RFAs were received by Shepperton Search and Rescue and VICSES Tatura Units; equal to the number received from all of metropolitan Melbourne (93)
  • This included 79 for downed trees, 77 calls relating to building damage, and to 42 calls relating to the impacts of flooding
  • Busiest units were Shepparton (48), Tatura (45), and Moorabbin (12)
  • The most affected suburb was Shepparton, where residents made 33 calls to VICSES, as well as Mooroopna (20) and Tatura (20)
  • An Incident Control Point was set up at Shepparton Incident Control Centre to triage and respond to the large number of calls.

Assisting VICSES Tatura Unit were volunteers deployed from VICSES Kyabram and Euroa Units, who worked alongside the Shepparton Search and Rescue crews to answer most RFAs by yesterday evening.

This storm is a reminder to communities that early preparation is the best defense against storm damage.

Here are some steps you can take before a storm event, to protect yourself from its impact:

  • Maintain your yard and balcony. Secure or store items that could blow around in strong winds. Strong winds can pick up even large items such as outdoor furniture, trampolines and roofing iron causing damage to windows, roofs and cars.
  • Clean your gutters, down pipes and drains regularly to prevent blockages. Blockages can cause the water to overflow under the eaves into the roof cavity.
  • Trim trees and branches that could potentially fall on your home or property.
  • Fix any damage to your roof, including broken or missing tiles.
  • Check your insurance policy is current and adequate.
  • Make a Home Emergency Plan for your family that outlines what you would do in an emergency. Consider where you’ll go and how you’ll get in contact with each other along with any special circumstances or considerations for your household. 
  • Prepare an emergency kit with essential items in case you lose power or need to leave home in an emergency
  • Listen to your local emergency broadcaster, or check the Bureau of Meterology and VicEmergency app for weather warnings.

When to call VICSES:

  • Call 132 500 for emergency assistance from VICSES during floods and storms.
  • If you have damage to your home, property at risk of flooding, or a tree fallen on your car, or home, our volunteers are here to help.