Victoria’s thunderstorm asthma event of 21–22 November 2016 affected the health of thousands of Victorians and sadly, is thought to have contributed to the death of nine people.
The Victorian Government requested the Inspector-General for Emergency Management (IGEM) to identify opportunities to learn from this event in order to improve future preparedness and response arrangements and performance.
While thunderstorm asthma is known to have occurred in Victoria in the past, the events of 21 November were unprecedented in scale.
The rapid onset of this emergency and the scale of its consequences were unprecedented. The event tested the ability of Victoria’s emergency management system to consider and respond to Class 2 emergency health consequences arising from a Class 1 emergency – in this case, a storm.
Government released IGEM’s Review of response to the thunderstorm asthma event of 21–22 November 2016 – Preliminary Report on 1 February 2017.
IGEM's Preliminary Report is available from the link below.