An emergency is a situation which, due to the actual or imminent occurrence of an event, will –

  • endanger or threaten the safety or health of any person,
  • destroy or damage any property or infrastructure,
  • endanger the environment.


  • road accidents, traffic crashes, spillage on road surface,
  • burst water mains, floods, fires and storms,
  • statutory requirements under Emergency Management Act 1986.

Australian Emergency Management Glossary

The Australian Emergency Management Glossary defines an emergency as:

  1. An event, actual or imminent, which endangers or threatens to endanger life, property or the environment, and which requires a significant and coordinated response.
  2. Any event which arises internally or from external sources which may adversely affect the safety of persons in a building or the community in general and requires immediate response by the occupants.
  3. An unplanned situation arising, through accident or error, in which people and/or property are exposed to potential danger from the hazards of dangerous goods. Such emergencies will normally arise from vehicle accident, spillage or leakage of material or from a fire.
  4. In terms of dam operation, any condition which develops unexpectedly, endangers the integrity of the dam or downstream property and life and requires immediate action.

Victorian Emergency Management Act 1986

Section 4 of the Victorian Emergency Management Act 1986 states that:

Emergency means an emergency due to the actual or imminent occurrence of an event which in any way endangers or threatens to endanger the safety or health of any person in Victoria or which destroys or damages, or threatens to destroy or damage, any property in Victoria or endangers or threatens to endanger the environment or an element of the environment in Victoria including, without limiting the generality of the foregoing—

  • an earthquake, flood, wind-storm or other natural event; and
  • a fire; and
  • an explosion; and
  • a road accident or any other accident; and
  • a plague or an epidemic or contamination; and
  • a warlike act or act of terrorism, whether directed at Victoria or a part of Victoria or at any other State or Territory of the Commonwealth; and
  • a hi-jack, siege or riot; and
  • a disruption to an essential service;

Related Pages

External Links & References

  1. Wikipedia
  2. Australian Emergency Management Glossary
  3. How to prepare for and emergency (Whittlesea City Council)
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