Getting prepared for fire season

Wodonga Council employees joined agencies and community members in a training exercise simulating an emergency scenario at The Cube Wodonga.

As part of the Municipal Emergency Management Plan, more than 40 people attended the exercise from various organisations such as SES, Ambulance Victoria, Victoria Police, Red Cross, Salvation Army, local and state government as well as community members.

The group practiced opening a relief centre after a mock storm came through the city and more than 2000 homes were without power. Due to the damage, the restoration of power is expected to take several days and more than 150 to 200 residents have been displaced.

The power outage was compounded in a number of areas due to closed roads and damaged road infrastructure.

Wodonga Council's Emergency Management Co-ordinator and director of exercise Paul Leddy said the training exercise was important in the lead up to bushfire season.

"We haven't had to open the relief centre since the 2015 fires in Indigo," he said.

"That's a good thing. But having these exercises means that we can be prepared if and when an emergency happens.

"Everything went well in 2015 but there's always room for improvement so we can get things right when we have to."

Mr Leddy said the exercise was a part of Wodonga Council's commitment to emergency management planning.

"Giving people somewhere to stay and food is the first stage of emergency recovery," Mr Leddy said.

"Having this exercsie means we know we can open and operate a relief centre and this is essential to supporting our community during an emergency."