The third version of the Melbourne CBD Safety Plan has recently been released. This was developed from lessons learned from the World Trade Center attacks and also following on from CBD emergency response plans such as ‘Sydney Alert’.
Evacuating any city CBD in part, or in whole, is not easy because of three main reasons;
- Communicating with all affected,
- The sheer numbers, and
- Coordinating the mass movement of people in a short period of time
It is important that all property managers know and understand this new version of the Melbourne CBD plan. Let me give you a brief overview.
Some assumptions have been made in devising this CBD safety plan. The first assumption is that buildings within the affected areas will have their own internal emergency plan and procedures and have trained people to enact those plans. I know that most of you have this in place.
The second assumption is that advice regarding the warning, informing and directing affected people will be conducted primarily by ABC radio 774am. Mainstream media will also be alerted as will the use of emergency related websites.
One major advancement is that the Victorian Government has led negotiations with telecommunication companies on behalf of all states and territories and announced that all mobile phones within Australia will have access to new text message emergency warning system by late 2013. Telstra customers should be enabled by November 2012 and Optus and Vodafone customers will have access by November 2013.
Most importantly, key Melbourne landmarks have been nominated as public relief centres and will serve as evacuation centres, medical aid points and transport hubs in the event that thousands of people are required to evacuate, not just their building, but also the CBD. The public will be advised on the day of the emergency, which Emergency Relief Centres are operating: It may be one or more of the following:
- Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG);
- Melbourne Exhibition Centre;
- Melbourne Museum; and
- Etihad Stadium (formerly Telstra Dome).
Revising your building’s emergency plan and the training that your emergency Wardens receive to ensure that the bigger picture is included in your plan and communicated to Wardens is the first step. After all, the only plan that works is the plan people do.
If you occupy, or manage a Melbourne CBD building, does your emergency plan include reference and information for these four landmarks?