Before an Emergency

Emergency Preparedness

As a rural Council, Ararat and the surrounding areas are susceptible to several different hazards such as storms, flood and fires. It is important that all individuals, families, businesses, primary producers and organisations  are prepared for emergency events, to alleviate strain on our emergency services for assistance and ensure safety for everyone.

Ararat Rural City Council works with emergency services, support organisations and community groups to support the local area and ensure that its response capacity for emergency events and the community is comprehensive and cooperative with its partners in emergency management.

Ararat Rural City Council encourages the use of tools, apps and checklists that are available to prepare as an individual, family, or business for emergencies, which have been developed by Emergency Service Organisations specialising in emergency response, relief and recovery. Great resources and organisations include:

Australian Red Cross

Preparing for emergencies:

Country Fire Authority

Your Bushfire Plan:

Victorian State Emergency Service

Get Ready – Planning for Emergencies:

For up-to-date information on emergencies, Emergency Management Victoria have developed a comprehensive system through the VicEmergency website, or the VicEmergency App. VicEmergency provides information on warnings and current incidents. The App is available for Android & iOS devices and is customisable to allow for more concise information to be delivered to users based on their area and concerns, including weather alerts, incident notifications and more.



In the wake of the Black Summer Fires during the 2019/2020 Fire Danger Period, it is more important than ever that people and properties are prepared for the risks of fire, especially in the months leading into the Fire Danger Period (FDP).

Being prepared and having a written and practiced plan for high fire risk days is the best way to ensure safety in the event of a fire event.

Community Information Guides can help develop a plan. The CFA has developed these guides in consultation with the community for Ararat, Elmhurst, Lake Bolac, Moyston, Pomonal, Streatham, Willaura and the surrounding area which can be found on the CFA website.

Whether pets are at home, relocated during fire risk days or brought along on holidays, it is important to plan and prepare for their safety as well as. Information on how to prepare pets for an emergency is available by clicking here.

Council has assessed a number of Neighbourhood Safer Place-Bushfire Place of last Resort for our community as last resort survival options. These do not replace having a well thought out and practiced survival plan. Going to a Neighbourhood safer place is only a last resort if all other plans have failed.

Preparing property for fire is another important part of an emergency plan. The Municipal Fire Protection Officer conducts inspections of properties throughout the municipality in the months leading up to the Fire Danger Period, to ensure the maintenance of fire safety practices and land management before the FDP commences. For information on preparing property for the fire season, please visit the CFA’s How to Prepare Your Property page.



Large volumes of rain, be it in short bursts or over longer periods, can cause a build up of water in the municipality’s waterways and flood onto roads and properties, damaging assets and affecting livestock. The Ararat area has a history with flood events, so it always pays to be prepared and aware of the options should flooding occur near or on your property that may affect safety.

If your property is prone to flooding, you may wish to consider keeping a store of sandbags on your property. For a guide on sandbagging and how it is used to protect  properties, see the Victorian SES guide to sandbagging here.

In the event of flood events, Ararat Rural City Council has two sandbag collection points:

Ararat Rural City Council Depot – Flatley Street. Ararat

Wickliffe Recreation Reserve – Willaura-Wickliffe Road, Wickliffe

(Please note: These locations are only activated at the discretion of the Control Agency (VICSES) and when activated, residents will be advised through Council’s social media and other notification channels)

For more information on preparing for floods, visit the Victorian SES FloodSafe page. For information about flooding in the Ararat area, please see the local flood guide for the Ararat area.