Types of Emergencies

Extreme heat events are increasing in regularity and severity, posing risks to many members of the community, especially the young, elderly and those with a chronic illness.

The ACT’s elevation and inland location results in the ACT experiencing four distinct seasons, ranging from hot summers, often marked by extreme heat events and bushfires, through to cold winters.  These geographic and climatic conditions mean that the ACT can be exposed to a wide variety of emergencies. 

The ACT regularly experiences severe bushfire events, which on occasion may enter urban areas causing loss of life and property.  The worst of these was in January 2003 and which resulted in the loss of four lives, destroyed over 500 dwellings and incurred the highest cost of any natural disaster in the ACT, including property losses valued between $600 million and $1 billion.

Extreme heat events are increasing in regularity and severity, posing risks to many members of the community, especially the young, elderly and those with a chronic illness.

Canberra also infrequently experiences severe storm and flooding events, including the flash flood that occurred on Australia Day 1971 which killed seven people including four children, injured 15 and affected a further 500 people.

Less well known is that the ACT experiences on average one earthquake a year.  It lies within a broad north east – south west trending belt of epicentres.

The ACT Government has a comprehensive emergency management framework that adopts an all hazards approach for managing the possible effects of emergencies.