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Media Releases

Victorians urged to prepare for severe weather

8 August 2019

With the coldest front to cross Victoria this winter at our doorstep, the Victoria State Emergency Service (VICSES) is urging Victorians to plan and prepare for the severe weather expected to hit the state overnight.

Early planning and preparation will be the best defence. Once the storm rolls in, it may be too late. 

The Bureau of Meteorology (BOM) is forecasting damaging wind gusts of up to 120km/h across Melbourne, with destructive winds between 130-140km/h in coastal areas. 

With the strong winds, a storm surge is predicted for the Victorian coastline from Thursday night continuing into the weekend, potentially resulting in waves of up to six metres big. 

A particularly cold air mass is also predicted, resulting in snow levels dropping to 500 metres on Friday. 

With winds expected to be destructive, VICSES advises everyone to ensure loose items such as outdoor furniture, umbrellas and trampolines are safely secured. This includes items and furniture on apartment balconies, and even portable signage belonging to local businesses. 

Driving conditions may become hazardous, with blizzard like conditions expected in the alpine regions. If you are on the road when the severe weather hits, please drive to the conditions - if conditions become dangerous, safely pull over away from trees, drains, low-lying areas and floodwater. 

Ensure to prepare your power outage kit, which should include a torch, battery-operated radio, and a list of important contacts such as relatives and emergency services and spare batteries. 

Make sure to consider the wellbeing of pets, check on family and friends and ensure to park vehicles undercover and away from trees. 

Widespread rain may lead to flash flooding in some parts of the state. Remember to never enter floodwater, it can take only 15 centimetres of water to lose control of your vehicle and float. 

VICSES volunteers are highly trained and equipped to respond to this kind of weather event, with volunteers today door knocking across the south west and central regions to warn community members of the risk of a storm surge. 

If VICSES assistance is required, call 132 500. For life threatening emergencies dial triple zero (000). Remember to stay updated via the VicEmergency app and website via

Quotes attributable to Tim Wiebusch, Victoria State Emergency Service Chief Officer

“Now is the time to prepare ahead of this weather event. If it’s safe to do so, tie down any loose items around your home such as outdoor furniture or trampolines. Remember to also ensure your drains and gutters are clear.”

“It’s important to remain alert when behind the wheel. These strong winds may create dangerous road conditions, such as debris or fallen trees and powerlines.”