THE Victoria State Emergency Service (VICSES) hosted a multi-agency flood exercise in Port Fairy earlier this month.
The purpose of the exercise was to raise awareness of flood risk within Port Fairy and demonstrate the flood intelligence and flood mapping resources available.
VICSES were joined by members of the Victoria Police, Country Fire Authority, Moyne Shire Council, Department of Health and Human Services, Glenelg Hopkins Catchment Management Authority and Wannon Water.
The day consisted of flood scenarios, sandbag training, sandbag demonstrations and a presentation on community flood risks.
Exercises such as this are a way to showcase how the community can come together in order to create awareness and understanding of the collaborative efforts required to protect the community from possible flooding.
VICSES south-west regional manager Alistair Drayton said the organisation was very happy with the response not just from the local VICSES units but also the other agencies.
“Flooding occurs so infrequently, and given that recent flood events in Port Fairy have been very small with little damages, we thought it was important to undertake a flood training exercise to raise awareness of the flood risks, to build flood preparedness, and ultimately community resilience.”
Wannon Water OHS and emergency management co-ordinator Brent Smith said the event reinforced the importance that Wannon Water placed on protecting its assets.
“Exercises such as this allow us to work hand-inhand with other agencies to enhance our knowledge.
They also provide an opportunity to improve our performance in responding to real events”.
VICSES Port Fairy unit officer Hannah Torney said a major flood would cause significant damages to Port Fairy, with more than 180 houses isolated and 40 buildings flooded above floor.
“Having access to flood maps is critical to guiding where sandbagging is needed and for communicating with the community where the flood water will go before the flood arrives.”