4.2 Community Emergency Risk Assessment

4.2.1 Introduction

A key element of Councils role in emergency prevention and mitigation relates to the identification of potential and man-made hazards within the municipality and plans for their mitigation and management. The principal mechanism for undertaking this hazard identification is through the CERA process.

The CERA process developed by VicSES, provides the MEMPC with a framework for considering and improving the safety and resilience of the community from hazards and emergencies.

The CERA approach aims to understand the likely impacts of a range of emergency scenarios upon community assets, values and functions. As such, CERA provides an opportunity for multiple community impacts and consequences to be considered enabling collaborative risk treatment plans and emergency preparedness measures to be described.

The outputs of the assessment process can be used to inform emergency management planning, introduce risk action plans and ensure that communities are aware of and better informed about hazards and the associated emergency risks that may affect them.

4.2.2 Aim

The CERA process is designed to systematically identify hazards, determine risks and prioritise actions to reduce the likelihood and effects of an emergency.

4.2.3 Background

The CERA process has evolved from the Community Emergency Risk Management (CERM) process. The CERM process has been used in the development of previous iterations of the Colac Otway Municipal Emergency Management Plan. CERA is consistent with ISO 3100:2009 Risk Management Principles and Guidelines. It has been developed to align to the National Emergency Risk Assessment Guidelines(NERAG). Further information can be found at http://ses.vic.gov.au

The Colac Otway Shire MEMPC is currently in a transition phase from the CERM to the CERA and this section of the MEMP and Appendix 7 – Community Emergency Risk Assessment Plan will be updated accordingly once the transition is complete.

4.2.4 Development of Colac Otway Shire CERA

The CERA process comprises a five step framework which includes Risk Assessment and Risk Treatment and has replaced the CERM Plan.

The CERA process underpins the MEMP by providing a mechanism for the identification of hazards, the determination of risk associated with those hazards and how those risks are to be managed. The CERA process aims to reduce the incidence and impact of risks within the Colac Otway Shire community by identifying the risks that the community may face, assessing the vulnerability of those at risk and providing options, treatments and/or elimination of the risks.

It is acknowledged that some risks will span municipal boundaries. In these instances treatments will be developed in collaboration with adjoining municipalities.

Step 1 – Establish the Content

  • Establish the objectives of the CERA process.
  • Define how CERA will benefit and respond to the needs of community, regional and state level stakeholders.
  • Define the approach and identify key participants.
  • Define the risk assessment criteria that will be used.
  • Develop a municipal profile.

Step 2 – Identify Emergency Risks

  • Through primary and secondary sources, identify and review the universe of potential emergency risks.
  • Based upon historical data, loss events and other relevant analysis (VFRR, etc) select a short list of risks for further assessment relative to the municipality.

Step 3 – Analyse Emergency Risks

  • Estimate ratings of consequence, likelihood and mitigation/preparedness for each risk.
  • For each risk – determine high-level changes required, if any, in collaborations with other municipalities and state-level agencies.
  • For each relevant share attribute group, facility and/or location – estimate the level of action, if any, relative to emergency risks.

Step 4 – Evaluate Emergency Risks

  • Review the preliminary analysis to determine the extent of actions to be taken relative to risks and/or shared attribute groups.
  • Determine if further, in depth analysis is required for certain risks and/or shared attribute groups.
  • Determine best approach, resources and participants required to develop specific actions relative to each risk.

Step 5 – Treat Emergency Risks

  • Determine specific actions for improving controls and preparedness, generally.
  • Define specific actions to enhance collaboration with other communities and/or state level agencies.
  • Determine specific actions to better control/mitigate the risk and related impacts, particularly across shared attribute groups.
  • Leverage the results of the CERA to inform your MEM Plan and other related documents/processes.

Given the combination of the municipality’s geomorphology, history of natural disasters and the socio-demographic trends in its communities, the Colac Otway Shire potentially faces significant issues in the event of a natural or man-made disaster. The following maps provide a pictorial view of some of the risks faced by Colac Otway Shire.

Figure 19 – Priority Waterways and 1 in 100 Year Flood Mapping (click on map to open within interactive portal)

Source: EXTENT_200Y_ARI – Department of Environment and Primary Industries – 18/10/2013

Figure 20 – Identified Landslide and Erosion Potential (click on map to open within interactive portal)

Source: Erosion; Landslides – COS/ Fed University (previously Ballarat University) - 2008 Residual risk ratings for identified hazards are listed in the table below:

Figure 21 - CERA hazard residual risk rating table

Source: CERA Assessment for Colac Otway Shire

A risk treatment schedule and plan is contained in the Community Emergency Risk Assessment. This schedule and plan is provided in Appendix 9 – Community Emergency Risk Assessment-

The progress of implemented treatment options is monitored by the MEMPC through reports provided by the MERO and responsible agencies at MEMPC meetings.

Figure 22 – CERA heat map

Source: CERA Assessment for Colac Otway Shire

4.2.5 Monitoring and Review

The emergency risk management process is subject to minor reviews lead by VicSES annually in June and will undergo a major review at least once every three years, between audits. The progress of implemented treatment options is monitored by the MEMPC through reports provided by the MERO and responsible agencies at MEMPC meetings and through the annual risk assessment process.

The cyclic review of the risk management process will result in a report provided to the MEMPC at its August meeting, identifying any adjustments required and will also be used by the committee to identify if any amendments or updates are required to the MEMP.

This process will be administered by the Executive Officer and if required, an updated draft plan will be presented to the MEMPC at the November meeting for endorsement.

Once the CERA is complete the MEMPC will make the output of the CERA process available on the Colac Otway Shire website for feedback and review from the community.

4.1 Introduction

4.3 Hazard, Exposure, Vulnerability and Resilience