Preparing for emergencies


Accessing information during an emergency

The following services can help you access information during an emergency:

Key emergency contacts list

If you're in immediate danger, always call 000.

Emergency response agencies


  • After hours reporting or to contact our Ranger Services  5261 0600
  • For all general requests, complete our online form

Utilities, report fault or outage



Health advice

Bushfires, floods and storms can pose a threat to you and your property. Being prepared with a well thought out and practiced plan is critical.

In the event of an emergency, it is highly unlikely that anyone will come knocking on your door to help. Emergency services are often stretched to the limit and cannot help everyone. You need to be prepared so you can increase your chance of survival.

Make a Plan

The Australian Red Cross has been supporting people during times of disaster for many years, for information on how to prepare yourself and your family for an emergency, visit the Australian Red Cross emergency preparation website.


Go to our Fire Ready page for information on how to prepare yourself and your family for fires.

Floods and storms

Floods are among the most frequent and costly natural disasters. Flash flooding is most likely to occur between December and February in the Surf Coast Shire. For information about preparing for floods and storms see the SES website.

If you experience road related drainage issues, call us on 5261 0600. Major roads such as the Great Ocean Road are managed by Regional Roads Victoria who can be contacted on 133 RRV (133 778), or go to the VicTraffic website for up-to-date information on road closures and traffic diversion.

Painkalac Creek Flooding - overview

Painkalac creek.jpg

Surf Coast Shire Council is responsible for artificially opening the Painkalac Creek estuary to reduce the risk of flooding. Recent La Nina weather patterns have seen an increase of unpredictable storm events and rainfall. It has resulted in increased flooding risk to residential properties, businesses and critical infrastructure near the Painkalac Creek. These issues are expected to worsen as climate change impacts continue to emerge.

Around 50 private properties near Painkalac Creek are at risk of inundation from flooding without intervention, such as artificial (i.e., non-natural) estuary openings. Surf Coast Shire Council has the challenge of balancing the protection of property and infrastructure and the impacts on the environment when deciding whether to open the estuary. The diversity of estuary habitats, land use and land tenure typically requires various agencies to undertake management roles.

For more information on the History and some Facts about the Painkalac view Painkalac Creek: Facts on flooding(PDF, 197KB).

Further detailed information about the creek and its catchment can be found in the Painkalac Creek Environmental Flows study: (Corangamite CMA Knowledge Base (

You can learn about estuaries at

Painkalac Creek Flooding Information session 26 June

Council and partner agencies held a Painkalac Creek Flooding Information session at Aireys Inlet on Sunday 26 June.

Agencies were able to share their obligations and considerations they take into account when considering an artificial opening, and community members were able to voice their concerns around environmental impacts and flooding of properties and infrastructure.

See the notes from the community engagement session(PDF, 547KB) held on 26 June

The notes were taken by Council Officers at the session.

See the questions and comments(PDF, 146KB)

The Sticky Wall questions were copied out word for word. We have started to answer some of the questions, and will update this document as further answers are provided by teams within Council, and by external agencies. 



A heatwave is a period of unusual and uncomfortable hot weather that could impact human health, community infrastructure (such as the power supply and public transport), and services. Heatwaves can affect anybody and cause illnesses such as heat cramps, heat exhaustion, and heat stroke which may be fatal.  The most important things to remember are to:

  • keep cool
  • drink plenty of water
  • stay out of the sun
  • look after yourself and others

The government's Better Health Channel has more information on surviving the heat.

Places to go on high risk days

As part of your bushfire and heatwave planning you need to think ahead about the places you will go to on Severe, Extreme or Code Red fire danger days or even during heatwave alerts. If you live in a bushfire prone area, part of your plan should be to pack up your family and pets and leave early. You may need to stay a night in a hotel or caravan park in a safer area, or you may have family or friends you can visit for the day. Here are some ideas of other things you could do:


  • Geelong, Eastern Beach and Geelong Waterfront
  • Torquay, Cosy Corner and surf beach
  • Torquay, Whites Beach


Community Houses


Swimming pools

Shopping Centres

Other places