Resources to inform development of an emergency management plan

On this page

  • Emergency Risk Assessments

  • Emergency Risks in Victoria

  • Regional Emergency Risk Assessment

  • Community Emergency Risk Assessment

  • The interconnected nature of risk assessments

  • Victorian Preparedness Framework

  • Regional environmental scans

Emergency Risk Assessments

Across Victoria, emergency risk is:  

  • assessed at a state, regional and municipal level
  • addressed within corresponding emergency management plans.  

All tiers of emergency risk assessment are currently performed based on:  

Emergency risk assessments undertaken across the state must align with the Victorian Government Risk Management Framework (External link). Departments and public agencies must identify and manage emergency risk where they are the control agency. Results from emergency risk assessments are used to create hazard specific sub-plans at municipal, regional and state levels. These sub-plans identify and implement mitigation strategies to inform municipal, regional, and state emergency management plans. 

Risk assessments throughout the emergency management framework includes:  

Emergency Risks in Victoria

Emergency risks at the state level for Victoria are defined by any risk that is assumed to have an equal emergency risk throughout the state. Although it is known the impact will not be equal across the state, it is important to have a consistent view of the emergency risk across the state. This is to ensure strategic planning and mitigation can be performed. 

State level emergency risks that are identified and planned for may not include all emergency risks that could occur. They are emergency risks that will have the most economic, social, and environmental impact to Victoria. 

When risk is identified via this process, a State Emergency Management Plan (SEMP) sub-plan must be created. This is to outline how the emergency risk will be planned for and mitigated against. 

Example of a State Emergency Risk: “There is a risk that a major flooding event will occur that will affect multiple municipalities and regions, requiring resources and response beyond capacity and capability of these jurisdictions.” 

Emergency risks in Victoria are identified and reviewed every 3-4 years as part of the initiative, National Strategy for Disaster Resilience (NSDR) that is required of all states and territories across Australia. The emergency risk assessments are performed by senior representatives of Victorian Government departments and key agency identified based on the emergency risks identified. Like the municipal and regional emergency risks, the state-level emergency risks are assessed incorporating NERAG and ISO 31000:2018 into the process.  

The state emergency risk assessment provides information on emergency risks that have the potential to impact the entire state. State-wide risk assessment results are explored in the Emergency Risks in Victoria report.

It identifies and analyses significant emergency risks in Victoria, including:  

  • a comparison of the consequences of emergency risks
  • in place mitigations
  • agency response arrangements. 

Similarly, to the other tiers, the state level risk assessment can inform the RERA and CERA processes, and vice versa. 

Approval and reporting 

The Emergency Management Commissioner prepares the Victorian Emergency Risk Assessment (VERA). This is approved for publishing by the State Crisis and Resilience Council.  

Once the state-wide emergency risk assessment is completed, the risks are summarised and published for public access in the Emergency Risks in Victoria report. 

The risk assessment should be reviewed every 3-4 years to inform the planning cycle. 

Key stakeholders 

  • Emergency Management Commissioner  
  • Emergency Management Victoria  
  • Control agencies of previously identified risks 
  • Regional Emergency Management Planning Committees (REMPCs).

Regional Emergency Risk Assessment

Regional emergency risk assessments focus on identifying region specific emergency risks that are: 

  • likely to overwhelm the capability and capacity of municipal emergency management arrangements, requiring regional level assistance 
  • likely to impact multiple municipalities, requiring a coordinated approach at the regional level (including hazards with potential to impact across regional boundaries). 

Some regional emergency risks may be similar to those at the municipal level. The RERA examines a coordinated response and collaboration of resources where the consequences of the emergency escalate beyond that of the municipality’s capability and capacity.

REMPCs provide support, and guidance of preparedness and response activities related to major emergencies based on the RERA. This approach is used where a coordinated, multi-agency effort is required. 

A state-wide consistent methodology and tool was developed in 2021 to capture emergency risks at the regional level, using NERAG and ISO31000:2018.  

With regions using a consistent risk assessment methodology and tool, the outcomes from RERAs:  

  • can be used to inform other regions
  • as state level emergency risks and mitigations. 

RERA are not published for the public to access. They are used by REMPCs to create hazard specific sub-plans and mitigate against identified risks. RERA are available on the REMPC’s Microsoft Team’s channel. 

Approval and reporting 

A REMPC or REMPC sub-group prepares the RERA, and a summary is approved by the EMC. 

The summary results of the RERA are then added to the next Regional Emergency Management Plan. 

The RERA is reviewed every 3 years.

Key stakeholders 

  • REMPCs 
  • Regional representatives from control agencies of previously identified risks. 

Community Emergency Risk Assessment

The CERA (External link) is the municipal level emergency risk assessment. 

Municipal emergency risk, is any emergency risk that can be: 

  • managed by resources and personnel at the local level 
  • resources can be shared across municipal boundaries, where it does not require the assistance from the regional level to respond and contain the emergency risk.

Emergency risk assessments should be undertaken every 3 years by the MEMPC or Alpine Resort Victoria (ARV) to inform the MEMP

The CERA was developed by the Victoria State Emergency Service for MEMPC.

The CERA is an all-hazards risk approach to:

  • work closely with stakeholders to provide them with relevant emergency risk information
  • help inform their planning and mitigation at a municipal level.  

Whilst MEMPC’s can use any form of risk assessment in their MEMP, CERA is now used by all municipalities and ARV across the state. 

The CERA process moved to an online platform in 2020. This allows: 

  • data access by committee members in real time
  • supporting mapping data layers can be used to help inform decision making when performing and reviewing the emergency risk assessments
  • providing output products to help interpret emergency risk assessment outcomes. 

This enhancement to CERA has:  

  • seen a shift in the data being only used at a municipal level
  • allowed results and mitigations to be aggregated to support and inform the RERA.

The results of the emergency risk assessments are used to create municipal emergency management plans and mitigations for specific hazards. Community emergency risk assessments are not accessible for public to view. Summaries of the risk assessments are still required to be published in the MEMP.

Approval and reporting 

A MEMPC or MEMPC sub-group prepares the CERA, and a summary is approved by the relevant REMPC. 

The summary results of the CERA are added to the next MEMP. 

CERAs should be reviewed every 3 years. 

Key stakeholders 

  • MEMPCs 
  • Municipal representatives from control agencies of previously identified risks 
  • Community subject matter experts. 

The interconnected nature of risk assessments 

Although the emergency risk assessment at the state, regional and municipal level are all performed separately, each level can be used to inform each other.  

In practice, results from the municipal tier CERA can be:  

  • aggregated to help support and inform the emergency risks identified
  • used to implement mitigation strategies at the regional level. 

Emergency risks that are rated high or extreme at the municipal level, and have very low effective controls, are considered at the regional level to provide additional support. The municipal emergency risks can also help identify key emergency risks across regions and highlight mitigation strategies that may be able to be streamlined across the region to save on costs, resources, and personnel.   

This process can be reversed with the RERA feeding back into the CERA. This is done by ensuring all relevant regional emergency risks have been considered. It can also be referenced to ensure municipalities are aware of the regional level mitigation plans that may influence or impact them at their level.  

Outcomes of the RERA and CERA process can be aggregated to inform state-level emergency risk management processes. This is done by identifying emergency risks that may require state-level assistance and coordination, including regional funding grants. It can highlight gaps at regional and municipal levels where additional support may be required to assist in mitigating emergency risks from becoming a state level risk. 

Victorian Preparedness Framework

The Victorian Preparedness Framework (VPF), is a planning tool which sets out the capability requirements, with the aim of reducing the likelihood, effect, and consequences of emergencies. The VPF incorporates relevant agencies, resources, governance, systems, and processes in aim of this goal. A summary of the VPF reflects the emergency management capability in Victoria, including the 21 core capabilities. To be effective, the core capabilities are interdependent, while also being coordinated. They overlap across mitigation, planning, preparedness, response, and recovery.

The VPF is to be used in emergency management planning. The preparer of a plan should:

  • identify a risk or scenario from their emergency risk assessment  
  • identify the core capabilities that would align with the risk or scenario 
  • determine if the relevant region or municipality could manage the chosen risk through the selected core capabilities.

The following VPF Education Video covering the 2022-23 VPF Review, includes:

  • an introduction to the VPF
  • the recent review
  • resulting updates.

Regional environmental scans

In 2020, Emergency Management Victoria developed regional environmental scans in collaboration with REMPCs.

These provide each of the regions with a comprehensive and consistent source of information from which to draw on in developing their unique REMP. The Environmental Scans now belong to each REMPC to evolve and develop as they see fit.

There is a minimum review period of every 3 years.

The versions as of 2020 are linked below: