Updates regarding fire season

Accord operates an Emergency Planning Committee which oversees fire season. 

To clients, families and carers, 

Accord operates an Emergency Planning Committee which oversees fire season, decisions are made based on the Fire Danger Ratings. Fire Danger Ratings tell you how dangerous a fire could be if one started.

A new Fire Danger Rating system was introduced in 2022 across Australia so whether you're at home or travelling, you will see the same rating system. Ratings are forecast using Bureau of Meteorology data for up to four days in advance, based on weather and other environmental conditions such as vegetation.

Image of fire danger ratings Victoria

For the upcoming Fire Danger Period (commenced December for most council areas for Accord sites and ending 1st May for all areas), we will closely monitor warnings from the Vic Emergency App and website and will follow all advice and directives given by the Emergency Authority.

Catastrophic Days

A Catastrophic Day will be announced up to four days in advance and no later than 1pm the day before. This will allow Accord time to implement the changes required and to advise clients/families of these changes.

Accord’s response following an announced Catastrophic Day is as follows:

Community Campuses & Individualised Services
Accord will NOT provide services to clients in areas affected by a Catastrophic Day. We will advise clients/families as soon as possible after a Catastrophic Day has been announced that services will be withdrawn until such time as the Code Red is over.

Accommodation & Respite
Clients will remain at the Accord facility while it is safe to do so and Accord staff will take direction from the relevant authorities. Accord will evacuate clients as directed by Emergency Services.

Specialist Services
On a case by case basis, Accord will make decisions following a Catastrophic Day announcement and advise caregivers, clients/families as required in regards to service provision on these days.

In the event of MODERATE, HIGH or EXTREME weather conditions such as major heat events, storms or thunderstorm asthma warnings Accord reserves the right to modify or cancel any/all activities that would normally occur on such days pending advice from the Emergency Planning Committee for the safety of both clients and staff.

Emergency Resources

During an emergency, there are a range of ways you can get warnings and information, see this page for further information

VicEmergency App

The VicEmergency app aligns with the VicEmergency website to provide a centralised location for Victorians to access timely emergency information and warnings. The app includes warnings and incident notifications for fire, flood, storm, earthquake, tsunami, weather warnings, shark sightings, beach closures and more. In order to receive location specific app alerts when warnings are issued or incidents occur, you need to set up your watch zones, instructions below. 

You can download VicEmergency from the App Store or Google Play.

How to create a watch zone 

Creating a watch zone on your device allows you to be notified of incidents and warnings in a particular area of your choice. This can be a variety of incidents, such as fire, floods, severe weather, gas leaks and air quality.

1. On the home screen, select “Create a watch zone”
2. On the next screen, you can then type the address or suburb into the search box at the top and select the location from the suggestion list that drops down
3. Next adjust the watch zone radius by selecting the plus or minus buttons
4. If you’re happy with the area that the blue circle covers on the map, select next
5. Choose a name for your watch zone and type it into the text box
6. If you want to modify your alert settings, then scroll down to the “Incidents” section, select the arrows and choose what you want to receive notifications for
7. Once you’re happy with your settings, just select the “Save” button
8. You will then see a pop-up that says “Your watch zone has been created”
9. If you want to pause your alerts for a particular watch zone, you can switch them on or off on the home screen  

Please click here to watch a video tutorial on how to create a watch zone.

For further app support, please visit the VicEmergency Knowledge Base.


Rebecca Cattermole

CEO St John of God Accord