HOW TO FIND OUT WHAT IS HAPPENING AT OUR COLLEGE IF THERE IS AN EMERGENCY
1. On the internet: go to the College’s web page www.kwrsc.vic.edu.au – there will be a message on the first page under RECENT POSTS which will be regularly updated.
2. Go to the College’s official Facebook page: there will be updates there.
3. SMS: parents who have provided their mobile phones numbers will be sent a text with the latest information.
4. Information from the government and education department: always check radio stations and the CFA site for the latest information.
Concern about students’ mobiles: Given that over 90% of our students have mobile phones it is likely that they will seek to communicate with their parents in the event of an emergency. Please keep in mind that while we hope the information they send is correct it is not the official information from the College or the Education Department.
If the Police and emergency services notify us that the school should go into LOCKDOWN – where all staff and students go into designated buildings and the buildings are locked to prevent external access – please note that we will not be able to release students until so directed by the police and emergency services. Parents and guardians will be kept up to date with what is happening via SMS messages and the College website under LATEST NEWS. Please do not come to the school to collect your child during a LOCKDOWN.
FLOODS and EVACUATIONS
FOR SCHOOL BUS TRAVELLERS SMS is fantastic and the best way to communicate with you. It does however take time to ring the bus companies and Region, SES and Vic Roads to gather the information. The sms may not come earlier enough in all cases. If there is any doubt from you, be safe and keep the child at home. We do not want children waiting at bus stops for buses that may not come. Radio station and the websites help you to make that decision. CLOSING a school: this decision is made only by the Regional Director. It does take time to make that decision as many sources of information have to be sourced to get the best picture of what is really going on. Again, monitor the safety of your child and if you are concerned come to school and collect them through the office.
IF THE SCHOOL IS EVACUATED OFFSITE WITHIN THE TOWN
If the police and emergency services notify us that we need to evacuate the school from our site, the school will walk via Moody Street to the Kooweerup Recreation Reserve in Denhams Road Kooweerup. On the map below it is at A5.
IF THE SCHOOL IS EVACUATED OFFSITE TO ANOTHER TOWN
This has happened once in the past when rising floodwaters meant that roads in and out of Kooweerup would be cut. Students who were absent at the time on a camp were sent to the official evacuation centre for Kooweerup Secondary College – the Cardinia Cultural Centre, Lakeside Boulevard Pakenham. Phone: 1300 887 624
Kooweerup Secondary College is NOT listed on the Bushfire at Risk Register and therefore will not be pre-emptively closed on CODE RED (catastrophic) days. However we are a regional school and our students come from a very wide geographical area. The majority of students travel on the school bus system but there are also students who are driven by their parents from outside our zone.
CAN YOU KEEP YOUR CHILD AWAY FROM SCHOOL IF YOU ARE CONCERNED ABOUT THE RISK OF FIRES – EVEN THOUGH THE SCHOOL REMAINS OPEN?
Yes. If your family decides to enact its bushfire survival plan, the most appropriate place for your child may be with you and your family, and not at school. Please advise us by phone or email as soon as possible of your child’s absence.
PARENTS WHO DRIVE THEIR CHILDREN TO SCHOOL
Parents who drive their children to school and come from areas which may be affected by bushfires are always advised to enact their family fire plan on days of emergencies. If necessary, do not send the children to school on days of high risk – particularly if there are concerns about travelling through the area and getting home again in the afternoon.
SCHOOL BUS TRANSPORT DURING A FIRE DANGER PERIOD
It is possible that some of our school bus routes may be ‘at risk’ in an emergency given past history of bushfires, where the routes terminate and the nature of the local environment. The government’s position is that if any part of school bus route would place students at risk in the event of a bushfire then the entire bus route is closed down. We will not close down the whole school bus system but individual bus routes passing through high-risk areas will be closed on high-risk fire days. A school bus route will be closed if it has to pass through an area affected by fire even if our school is not affected by fire and remains open. If a bus route is threatened by unexpected fire, the school will enact its local emergency management plan. Buses will not be released from school until appropriate authorities have been contacted and any risk assessed. The above will also apply to excursions and camps (both departing and returning).
WHAT HAPPENS IF BUSES ARE NOT ALLOWED TO LEAVE THE SCHOOL
Students will remain at school under the supervision of staff until Emergency Services indicate that it is safe for buses to leave.
PARENTS COMING TO THE COLLEGE TO COLLECT THEIR CHILDREN
As it is unsafe to be on the roads during a time of bushfire and given that the police are likely to close roads in some areas to allow access for emergency vehicles, we encourage parents to listen to the local radio or contact police/emergency services to determine when it may be safe to collect their child. If you do arrive to collect your child during an emergency we request that parents line up in the foyer of the General Office area and speak to one of the Assistant Principals so that your child can be located and signed out. Please note that at such a time, the school can only release students to a parent or legal guardian in person.
WILL SCHOOL OFF-SITE ACTIVITIES (e.g. camps and excursions) CONTINUE TO OPERATE DURING BUSHFIRE SEASON? WHAT HAPPENS IF MY CHILD’S OFF-SITE ACTIVITY IS THREATENED BY FIRE?
Yes, off-site activities will continue throughout the year as they are an important part of school programs. We will assess the likely threat of fire when organising off-site activities during the bushfire season. If an off-site activity is threatened by fire, our school will enact its emergency management plan. Off-site activities in areas affected by a predicted Code Red day will be cancelled or recalled. If you have any questions about the College Emergency Procedures, please contact the Assistant Principals. Further information is available from the CFA website: www.cfa.vic.gov.au/ and the Education Department website: www.education.vic.gov.au/about/bushfires
INFORMATION FROM THE SHIRE OF CARDINIA
Emergency management plans, policies and processes
The management of emergencies in Cardinia Shire is a shared responsibility involving many people and organisations in the community. It is not something done by any one organisation or sector of the community, although some organisations have specialist roles in dealing with emergencies, including Council.
Our emergency management planning involves the identification and documentation of multi-agency arrangements that are in place for the prevention of, response to and recovery from emergencies that affect the Shire.
On this page you will find information regarding the Municipal Emergency Management Plan and links to other emergency management plans, policies and processes.
Municipal Emergency Management Plan (MEMP)
The Municipal Emergency Management Plan (MEMP) (PDF, 1.58MB) is developed by the Municipal Emergency Management Planning Committee (MEMPC) for the geographic area of Cardinia Shire. The plan details the general arrangements in place for the management of emergencies that may occur in the Shire. The MEMPC comprises of agencies within Cardinia Shire who are responsible for emergency response, relief and recovery. The committee ensures that the arrangements detailed in the MEMPlan are tested and updated regularly via facilitation and participation in emergency management exercising and training.
The MEMP is an overarching emergency management document that is underpinned by a number of sub-plans and guidelines.
Appendices of the MEMP
- Appendix A – Administration
- Appendix B – Emergency contacts
- Appendix C – Special plans and arrangements
- Appendix D – Municipal maps
- Appendix E – MEMPC and sub-committees Terms of Reference
- Appendix F – Community Emergency Risk Assessment
- Appendix G – Acronyms and abbreviations
- Appendix H – Council resources list
*The apendices are secure as they contain sensitive information. For more information on these documents please contact the Community Risk and Emergency Management unit on 1300 787 624.
- Cardinia Municipal Fire Management Plan (PDF, 2MB)
- Cardinia Municipal Flood Emergency Plan – hosted on the State Emergency Services website.
- Cardinia Shire Municipal Relief and Recovery Sub Plan 2015 (Word, 402KB)
Other policies and processes
INFORMATION FROM THE CFA
Introduction and Contents
Foreword by Chief Officer Euan Ferguson and contents of the kit. Download the Introduction and contents – pdf 560k
Am I at Risk?
Understanding your level of risk is the first step in developing your Bushfire Survival Plan. Download Am I at risk? – pdf 1121k
Prepare for bushfire: Leaving early is the safest option
Plan and prepare to leave before bushfire threatens. Leaving early is the safest way to survive a bushfire. Download Preparing for Bushfire – pdf 1164k
Your property: How prepared is it?
What you must do as a minimum to reduce the effects of bushfire on your property. Download Your Property: how prepared is it? – pdf 2139k
Plan for survival
Know your trigger to act and survival options if leaving early is no longer an option. Download Plan for survival – pdf 1513k
Bushfire Survival Planning Template (Leaving Early)
Use this guide to help you write your Bushfire Survival Plan. Download the Leaving Early planning template – pdf 249k
Defending your property – Stay and actively defend
Learn what it takes to actively defend your property and understand the risks involved. Download Defending your property – pdf 1791k
Bushfire Survival Planning Template (Stay and actively Defend)
Use this guide to help you write your Bushfire Survival Plan if you plan to stay and actively defend your property. Download Stay and actively Defend planning template – pdf 266k