Are you prepared?

Graphic with the words


Nillumbik has seen floods, fires, storms, accidents and other emergencies.

Council works with government, agencies and our community to minimise the impact of all emergencies in Nillumbik.

It is your responsibility to prepare for an emergency to minimise risk to life and property. This information will help you plan and prepare.

Creating a plan

During an emergency, there will be many questions to answer and decisions to make. Where are your family photos? Should you take the dog? Where is your medication? How will you get the horses out?

An emergency situation will raise your levels of stress and adrenaline, which could lead to panic - potentially putting you and your family in more danger.

  • Consider the important decisions and writing these down before you are faced with an emergency - this will avoid regrets later.
  • After you have created your plan, make sure the people around you understand the plan and know their role in an emergency. This might even include people outside of your household such as your neighbours and/or local community group.


Information to help you plan

Resources for creating a plan

Take a look at some of the resources and templates below. Choose one that's right for you or use them to create your own plan.

Supporting people with additional needs

People with disability or those who are frail due to age may have complex support needs. Here are some resources to help people with additional needs to prepare for an emergency:

Flagstaff’s EMBER Program

Flagstaff’s EMBER program includes a website and mobile app that uses simple language, formats and resources to support people with disability to plan for emergencies and natural disasters and to gain confidence in what to do when there is an emergency. 

The P-CEP toolkit

The Person-Centred Emergency Planning toolkit helps people with disability to start planning for an emergency. 

Rediplan - Easy English version

An Easy English version of the Red Cross Rediplan booklet.

E-learning for workers and carers

The CFA has created online learning modules for people who work, travel or care for people in high bushfire areas

Auslan resources

The DeafNav website has information in Auslan about preparing for emergencies, as well as what to do during and after emergencies.

Prevent, Detect, Escape - Home Fire Safety

A free eLearning module available to community members and in-home support workers to improve home fire safety for people who are at higher risk from fire.

There are accessible resources including a Home Fire Safety plan template available to download.

Planning for pets and animals

Do you have pets or other animals? Make sure to plan for them as well. The resources below will help you develop a plan with your animals in mind.

Planning for emergencies as a business owner

If you are a business owner you may have staff or customers to consider when a bushfire, flood or storm hits.

View the information below to get started thinking about protecting your business.



Preparing yourself mentally

You may have a plan on how to save your home and yourself in an emergency, but have you considered how an emergency might affect the mental health of you and your family?

When it comes to mental health, the events that occur after an emergency can be just as damaging as what happens during an emergency.

If you have been through an emergency event, delaying getting help or talking about your experiences is more likely to result in a slower recovery or post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

The actual emergency event may not be what causes the greatest impact to mental health. Often, it's the disruption in day-to-day life that people struggle to cope with.

The links below provide guides and resources to help you learn how disasters can impact mental health and how you can support yourself and people close to you.


Preparing your property

It is critical to consider how you will prepare your property ahead of an emergency.

For disposal of grass, leaves, bark and twigs Council has several options that may help you:

How can I get support to reduce fuel on my property?

Council Land Management Incentive Program Grants

Council offers Land Management Incentive Program Grants to help reduce weeds which has positive fire preparation outcomes. The program offers residents and community groups with financial support and advice for sustainable land management activities that have positive environmental and/or sustainable land management outcomes.


To be eligible your property needs to be located in Nillumbik and be in the Green Wedge Zone, Rural Conservation Zone or have an Environmental Significance Overlay.

Full details and eligibility criteria are provided in the Land Management Incentive Program Guidelines, attached below. 


Project activities may include weed control, revegetation, indigenous seed collection, works for threatened species conservation, rabbit control, fox control, deer control, pasture management, sustainable/regenerative agriculture enhancements, environment and land management education, and biodiversity or exclusion fencing.

Funding details

A maximum grant of up to $2,000 is available per (eligible) single property, or up to $10,000 for a community led cross-tenure or landscape-scale initiative.

A 50% (matching) co-contribution of funds, materials or in-kind labour will usually be required.

Council officer advice is available to help you assess your land management options and priorities, and to help you apply for the grant.

For more information or to apply, visit Council’s Land Management Incentive Program Grants webpage.

CFA Property Advice Visit Service (PAVS)

Property Advice Visit Service (PAVS) is designed to reach residents living in high bushfire risk areas.  This ‘door knocking’ service enables the delivery of fire safety information relevant to the resident’s risk.

Talk to your local Brigade or District Office to see this service is delivered in your area. Visit CFA’s website to find your local brigade.

See further information about:


Check your insurance

Recovering from an emergency when you are not insured or underinsured can make a difficult situation even more difficult.

Grants and financial assistance may be available as a result of a declared emergency, but will not be enough to rebuild a home and replace contents and assets.

Conduct an annual insurance check up

Make sure to check your policy every year to ensure that your policy provides you with enough cover to rebuild to a standard that you are comfortable with.

Underinsuring is a common problem. It might mean home owners need to borrow extra money to rebuild, or compromise on the type of home they want such as size or features.

A bushfire, flood or other emergency could destroy driveways, retaining walls, gardens, sheds, fencing, swimming pools and more. Call your insurance broker or insurance company to discuss your policy limits and coverage.

Did you know that floods cause more damage than any other natural disaster in Australia? Many policies do not automatically include flood cover so make sure you know what your policy includes.

If you need to rebuild your home after an emergency, building costs may be increased if you are in a bushfire-prone area. To find out if this might affect you, contact the Planning Department at Nillumbik Shire Council or enter your address into the VicPlan website (select 'Layers' and then 'Bushfire').

Know what your policy covers

Will your policy cover accommodation, removal of debris or demolition costs? These details matter. Understand if you have a replacement cost policy that pays to replace all your items at current market price or an actual cash value policy that takes depreciation into account and pays less for aged items.

Make a home inventory

Rebuilding or replacing lost items is easier if you have an accurate home inventory.

To document the contents of your home before an emergency occurs:

  • Use your smartphone to video/photograph your belongings
  • Take a walk and video the outside of your property as well, fences, retaining walls, shed, garages and their contents
  • Keep your inventory and photos at another location to your home or store this information online

More information

Find out more at the Understand Insurance website.