Preparing for an emergency

Emergencies can happen at any time and come in many forms, impacting your life in ways you don’t expect.

You may not feel like you have time to get prepared for emergencies, but taking action now will save you and your family a lot of stress and help you recover after an emergency.

Preparing for an emergency is everyone's responsibility.


You can be more prepared for an emergency by following these steps:

Write an emergency plan

Practice it regularly.

Download our emergency plan template

Info: VICSES, Red Cross

Write a bushfire plan

If you’re in a bushfire prone area, write a bushfire plan.

Info: CFA Fire Ready Kit, CFA Bushfire Survival Planning template

Download the VicEmergency app

Download the VicEmergency app to your phone or other devices – the app provides emergency information and warnings on current incidents.

Arrange a meeting place

Have an agreed meeting place where you will gather with other members of your household if you are separated.

Make plans for pets and livestock

If you have animals, make sure they are part of your emergency plan and consider where you’ll relocate them.


Get your insurance policies sorted

Make sure your insurance cover is up to date, and that you understand what you are covered for.

Info: Insure it. It's worth it

Make copies of important documents

Create copies of important documents such as passports, insurance papers and medical scripts, and/or save them onto a portable drive or USB stick.

Pack an emergency kit

Keep it somewhere that’s easy to access.  

Download our emergency kit checklist

Info: Red Cross

Save contact, emergency and hotline numbers into your phone

Prepare a list of emergency contacts and sources of information. Save important contact numbers into your phone, such as family members, friends and the VicEmergency hotline (1800 226 226). 

Download our emergency contacts and information sources list

Stay in touch with your neighbours

Talk to your neighbours about your emergency plans and see if there are ways you can assist each other.

Get involved in emergency planning in your local community

Look for local volunteering opportunities or other community groups you can get involved in. Build connections within your community.

See: Community-led emergency planning

We support a range of community projects that help build community resilience.

You might decide to run your own local emergency preparedness program through a nearby school, sporting club, interest group or religious group. This will enable you to practice what you and your community will do in emergency situations. 

You might cover:

  • what to do when the power goes out
  • what to do when the water is off
  • what goes in an emergency kit, and how to use it
  • what emergency messages mean
  • how to communicate with children in an emergency
  • the role of social media in an emergency.

Local community-led emergency planning groups

Emerald and Cockatoo Emergency Support Team

The Emerald and Cockatoo Emergency Support Team are a volunteer group, trained and equipped to support our local community to recover from major local emergencies.. More information: Emerald Emergency Support Team website or email:

Upper Beaconsfield Bushfire and Biodiversity Tool

A community led values-based bushfire risk mitigation intiative. This community led Safer Together funded intaitive was supported by local government, land and fire agencies, academics, environment and fire experts. Supporting residents to identify actions that can be taken to protect what they value most from the risk of bushfire. The story map supports residents to make informed decisions. More information please see the Upper Beaconsfield Bushfire and Biodiversity Tool Website 

Online resources 

·       Our video series on emergency planning has videos on:

  • emergencies in Cardinia Shire
  • helping others plan for emergencies
  • preparing yourself and your family for emergencies
  • preparing your property for emergencies
  • emergency planning in the community.