Decide when to act

How will you know when it’s time to evacuate your property or activate your emergency plan? Developing a clear set of triggers will increase your ability to react quickly and make decisions when a crisis event occurs.

Identify triggers to act

Make your triggers concrete, measurable and suitable to your specific business situation. 

When setting your triggers, consider:

  • The level of physical risk to your business and the risks to people’s lives
  • The location of your premises or business activities
  • Your duty of care to your employees and customers and how long would it take to inform them of a risk or threat, especially if they are vulnerable or have special needs
  • The advice provided by the emergency services agencies

Tip: Set your triggers now and revise details as needed when the crisis event occurs.

Triggers for different crisis events

Certain crisis events have more lead-time than others, so you’ll need different triggers for different crisis events. This needs to be based on your risk assessment. Read more about assessing risk in the Managing Risk section


If you operate in a high risk bushfire area, use the advice under the Fire Danger Rating system and the advice provided for the three warning levels (Advice, Watch and Act, and Emergency) to determine the triggers for your bushfire safety procedures.

Other crisis events

You may wish to define other triggers suitable to your specific business situation, including:

  • An incident on your premises such as a fire
  • An emergency warning issued by the emergency services agencies
  • Local information and observations (i.e. forecast of heavy rainfall)
  • The scale and tone of the media coverage of the event (this always spikes the public’s need for information)
  • Advice from your regional tourism board or DEDJTR tourism branch
  • A severe Weather Warning or Severe Thunderstorm Warning issued by the Bureau of Meteorology

Emergency alerts 

Advice from emergency services agencies may be one of the following:

  • An emergency alert message provided by Victoria’s emergency broadcasters
    • Commercial radio
    • ABC Local Radio
    • SkyNews Television
    • A number of community stations
  • A message via the new national telephone-based warning system, Emergency Alert
    • Voice message on landline telephone
    • Text message on mobile phones

The warning system provides emergency service organisations with enhanced ability to issue emergency warnings to the community and is another tool for tourism operators to provide advice to clients.

Decide how to activate your plan

After you have identified your triggers to act, you'll need to define how your plan is activated. Decide who has the authority to activate the emergency management plan and what steps that person (or persons) will take to initiate activities. Include these decisions in your Emergency management plan: template (23 kb)PDF

Stay informed

Put in place a system to monitor your identified triggers such as:

  • Checking the local newspaper for forecast heavy rain
  • Listening to the radio on high risk days

For further information, see the Stay informed page

Last Updated 1st September 2017