You should read this update for support and important information on recovering from the impacts of severe weather.
This update is for the North East / Hume Region and surrounding areas who have been impacted by the severe weather that occurred at across the North East of Victoria yesterday afternoon into evening.
Victoria State Emergency Service (SES) is warning locals, holiday makers and drivers across the North East to take care over the next few days after wild storms brought down hundreds of trees and interrupted power supply to many areas.
The storms resulted in damage to many homes and buildings with over 440 requests to North East SES Units and other emergency services for assistance including: one house uninhabitable, report of houses missing roofs and over 100 tree down/traffic hazard calls. Emergency and clean up crews will return at dawn to work on roof tarping and temporary repairs to the remaining 60 buildings damaged and tree clearance.
Local areas with the most significant impact included Kilmore, Wangaratta, Tatura and Shepparton. Fortunately there are no major injuries reported and only 3 households requiring relocation.
As at dawn today (Wednesday), nearly 30,000 homes and businesses were still without power after winds gusting over 100km/h, widespread dry lightning and thunderstorms damaged powerlines and blew the roof off several homes and big trees down on to buildings.
If safe, check around your property for damage and keep watch for damaged powerlines, rooftop solar panels etc that might still be electrically charged.
In situations like this storm, it is so important to check if your family, friends and neigbours are OK.
Power outages can also effect people with home-based medical equipment. Contact your electricity supplier in the first instance.
Call 000 if your situation becomes life threatening.
Tie up pets and other small animals that may be frightened by the storms that may continue for a while today.
Storms like these can result in floodwater, trees or debris on roads, making road travel extremely dangerous, especially overnight when debris on the road is almost impossible to see.
To help keep everyone safe, the community and the emergency workers, don’t be out on the road unless you really need to be.
If you approach emergency service vehicles with their lights flashing and crews working on tree clearing or storm clean up, you must slow to 40km .
- If you have any questions about recovering from the impacts of severe weather, you should phone the VicEmergency Hotline on 1800 226 226 or go to www.emergency.vic.gov.au/relief/.
- Financial support is available to help Victorians impacted by an emergency. To find out if you are eligible, go to Personal Hardship Assistance Program or phone 1800 226 226.
- Keep clear of damaged buildings, power lines and trees.
- Check your home or building for damage before you re-enter.
- If your home has been damaged, all electrical and gas appliances should be checked by a licensed technician before you use them.
- When cleaning up, wear strong boots, gloves and protective clothing, and wash your hands and clothes regularly.
- Mental health support: - Lifeline go to www.lifeline.org.au or phone 13 11 14. - Beyond Blue go to www.beyondblue.org.au or phone 1300 224 636. - Kids Helpline go to www.kidshelpline.com.au or phone 1800 551 800. - SANE Australia go to www.sane.org or phone 1800 187 263.
- Be aware of road hazards such as mud, debris, loose roofing itrn, fallen trees and branches and damaged roads or bridges.
- Drive slowly and obey all road signs.
- Traffic lights, street lights and other safety lights may not be working
- For more information on road closures go to the VicRoads website traffic.vicroads.vic.gov.au or phone 131 170.
- Use generators with extreme caution and only to power appliances directly.
- Do not connect the output to the switchboard or wiring as this can cause a safety risk for AusNet Services’ own field workers.
- Make sure a registered electrician undertakes any such work.
- Try to keep cold and frozen food as cold as possible. This is the most important thing. If food is still cold to touch (less than 5 C), it is safe to use.
- Once cold or frozen food is no longer cold to touch, it can be kept and eaten for up to four hours and then it must be thrown away or, if it is raw meat, it should be cooked and eaten. Eat hot food within four hours of it being hot, or throw it away. If the power comes back on when frozen food is still solid, the food is safe to refreeze.
- Move food from the fridge to the freezer. If available, put bagged ice under food packages and trays stored in freezers and fridges if the power failure lasts more than one hour. Place an insulating blanket over cold or frozen food where possible
- Only open the fridge and freezer doors when absolutely necessary. This will keep the food and air temperate colder for longer.
- For storm warnings and information, phone the Bureau of Metereology on 1300 659 217 or go to www.bom.gov.au/vic/warnings/.
- For life threatening emergencies phone Triple Zero (000).
- For severe weather related emergency assistance from the SES, phone 132 500.
- If your property is damaged, contact your insurance company as soon as possible. Take photos of any damage.
- Go to www.emergency.vic.gov.au.
- For road closure information, go to traffic.vicroads.vic.gov.au or phone 13 11 70.
- Listen to ABC Local Radio, commercial and designated community radio stations, or Sky News TV.
- Phone the VicEmergency Hotline to talk to someone about this newsletter on 1800 226 226 (freecall).
- People who are deaf, hard of hearing, or who have a speech/communication impairment can contact VicEmergency Hotline via the National Relay Service on 1800 555 677.
- For help with English, phone the Translating and Interpreting Service on 131 450 (freecall) and ask them to telephone VicEmergency Hotline. If you know someone who cannot speak English, provide them with this number.
- Download the VicEmergency app or follow VicEmergency on Twitter (#vicstorms) or Facebook.