Flood Evacuation & Emergency Planning

We are one of Australia’s leading firms in flood consulting and we are arguably the leading firm in flood evacuation analysis and planning, flood emergency response planning and the design and implementation of flood warning systems. We consult widely with the community and other stakeholders to ensure the systems are practical and effective.

Our team members have decades of experience in investigating, evaluating, designing and commissioning natural hazard warning systems including flood, bush-fire and tsunami warning systems, using a total warning system model.

We help organisations develop emergency response and evacuation plans. This ranges from plans for small businesses through to large events. We have also developed evacuation models for evaluating and planning the mass evacuation of up to 75,000 people.

An Evacuation Plan was done for 'Splendour on the Grass' held in North Byron Shire Parklands

Flood Evacuation Plan for "Splendour on the Grass"

North Byron Parklands - Flood Emergency Response Planning

This site was developed to host the iconic Splendour in the Grass music festival which has attracted up to 50,000 participants, most of whom camp on site over four days. The site will also host several other music and cultural events for groups of between 300 and 30,000.  Molino Stewart was engaged on this project to identify flood risks at the site and work with site management to develop a practical warning system and flood response procedures which met NSW SES and approval body requirements.  This included a matrix of escalating alert levels based on thresholds of forecast rainfall, observed rainfall, upstream flood gauge levels and water levels on site and reducing lead times from two weeks in advance to real time observations.  This approach allows precautionary actions to be taken commensurate with the anticipated flood risks to minimise people and property being directly impacted by flooding.

Preparation & Review of Flood Emergency Management Plans on the Gold Coast

Due to its extensive experience in developing Flood Emergency Management Plans and understanding of the flood behaviour within this region, Molino Stewart has a long history of preparing of Flood Emergency Management Plans for many new developments on the Gold Coast. These have included Plans for schools, Commonwealth Games venues, cultural facilities and numerous multi-unit residential developments.

Molino Stewart has also been commissioned to undertaken independent review of Flood Emergency Management Plans prepared by others for a range of new developments such as apartments, townhouses, nursing homes and hospitals.

Design of Total Flood Warning Systems for Port Fairy and Russells Creek catchment, south-western Victoria

Design of a Total Flood Warning Systems for Port Fairy and Russells Creek catchment

Molino Stewart designed total flood warning systems for the seaside town of Port Fairy and for the flash flood catchment of Russells Creek in Warrnambool, south-western Victoria for the (Glenelg Hopkins CMA). Molino Stewart used hydrologic and hydraulic data analysis and social research to estimate potential savings in damages as a result of flood warning system options. Developed a business plan for the implementation of high priority options.

Warning System Technology Review for Flooding & Tsunami

A Review of Warning System Technology for Flooding & Tsunami for the State Emergency Service in NSW

Molino Stewart investigated and compared old, new and emerging technologies for disseminating flood alerts and warnings. This process was also undertaken for available and emerging technologies for the dissemination of tsunami warning information along the NSW coast. From the research conducted on the flood alerts and warnings, Molino Stewart developed a methodology for selecting a combination of warning methods and technologies to ensure maximum coverage and minimum failure risk.

Hawkesbury Nepean Flood Intelligence Support

 Flood Intelligence Support regarding the Hawkesbury & Nepean river done for the State Emergency Service in NSW

The NSW SES is responsible for planning and co-ordinating flood response. In the Hawkesbury Nepean Valley a repeat of the flood of record could require the evacuation of more than 60,000 people, the flooding of more than 8,000 houses and collapse of infrastructure and services including loss of power to more than 50,000 premises which are not flooded.  More extreme flooding would directly impact more than 75,000 people with that number increasing annually as more development takes place.  Since 1997 Molino Stewart has periodically been engaged to update development and population data, liaise with the infrastructure owners to determine how assets and vulnerability have changed and provide updates on the potential impacts of flooding to enable the NSW SES to update its plans for the Valley.   Molino Stewart updated the SES GIS with the most up to date information on infrastructure, populations and flood impacts.

Life Safety Modeling in Hawekesbury Nepean Floodplain

LSM modelling done in Windsor for the Hawkesbury Nepean floodplain. Proposed development on the floodplain of the Hawkesbury-Nepean River presents significant challenges to flood evacuation. The NSW Department of Planning commissioned Molino Stewart to develop a regional flood evacuation model of all urban areas within the floodplain using the NSW SES Timeline Evacuation Model. The purpose of the model was to inform planning of regional evacuation and evacuation infrastructure needs and determine the capacity for future development across the floodplain.

Molino Stewart determined the at-risk population within the Hawkesbury-Nepean floodplain, developed a large scale regional flood evacuation model for the Hawkesbury-Nepean floodplain (which includes 75,000 residents), evaluated the capacity of evacuation routes both now and into the future, determined critical locations along evacuation routes and assessed options for evacuation route upgrades.

Subsequently Molino Stewart used the model to inform development capacities of proposed new subdivisions across the floodplain and provided advice on subdivision design and road infrastructure upgrades to maximise evacuation success.  Since 2012 Molino Stewart has been using the Life Safety Model (LSM) to better analyse the complexities of multiple developments sharing evacuation routes with staggered evacuation triggers.  The Life Safety Model (LSM) is an agent based computer simulation model which integrates two dimensional flood modeling with warning dissemination modeling, traffic modeling and evacuee fate modeling to determine the likely success of an evacuation, identify the weak points in the system, estimate the consequences of evacuation failure and test mitigation options.  The software evolved from work pioneered by British Columbia Hydro in assessing life safety risks downstream of its dams and Molino Stewart works in close association with HR Wallingford who are the commercial developers of the software.  Molino Stewart has assessed the flood evacuation impacts and constraints for more than 30,000 new lots proposed for the floodplain.

North-West Sector Flood Evacuation (NSW Department of Planning).

A regional flood evacuation model was done for the NSW Department of Planning

Proposed development on the floodplain of the Hawkesbury-Nepean River presents significant challenges to flood evacuation. The NSW Department of Planning commissioned Molino Stewart to develop a regional flood evacuation model of all urban areas within the floodplain using the NSW SES Timeline Evacuation Model. The purpose of the model was to inform planning of regional evacuation and evacuation infrastructure needs and determine the capacity for future development across the floodplain.

Molino Stewart determined the at-risk population within the Hawkesbury-Nepean floodplain, developed a large scale regional flood evacuation model for the Hawkesbury-Nepean floodplain (which includes 75,000 residents), evaluated the capacity of evacuation routes both now and into the future, determined critical locations along evacuation routes and assessed options for evacuation route upgrades.

West Dapto Flood Evacuation Planning

Molino Stewart evaluated the impacts of flooding on accessibility for various road network upgrade options for future development of a 14,000 lot growth centre at West Dapto.

VIC SES Role in Flood Education and Warning

Recommendations prepared on the role the SES should have in flood education and flood warning in Victoria

Molino Stewart reviewed the role of the SES in flood education and flood warning with recommendations to the SES Board on appropriate actions and resources to improve both through SES initiatives. In relation to education, Molino Stewart carried out a literature search of community flood education programs in Victoria, elsewhere in Australia and overseas and analysed these programs and VIC SES’s FloodSmart program in relation to best practices ascertained by research. Based on findings, they recommended approaches to VICSES to position it as the ‘champion’ of community flood education in Victoria.  In relation to flood warning, Molino Stewart reviewed roles and responsibilities in the various components of the total flood warning system through interviewing the Bureau of Meteorology and Councils, Catchment Management Authorities and SES regional staff across the whole of Victoria.  Prepared a report on where there were gaps in the system which the SES would be best placed to take responsibility for.  Molino Stewart prepared a business case for a VICSES submission to government which resulted in increased funding to the SES and the creation of additional roles within the organisation for emergency planning, flood warning and community education.