THE Bureau of Meteorology has predicted Australia's south-east could experience wetter conditions leading into the end of the year with also an increasing chance of widespread flooding.
Senior climatologist Robyn Duell said from October to the end of the year it was likely rainfall would be above average.
"This means a wet end to the southern growing season," she said.
"There is a strong indication that La Nina is developing in the Pacific Ocean.
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"We see that classic La Nina signature of cooler than usual water in the central and eastern Pacific and warmer than usual water to the north of Australia.
"We're also seeing warming to the North West of Australia in the Indian Ocean which means a negative Indian ocean dipole may develop as well.
"For Australia with both potential for La Nine and a negative Indian Ocean dipole to warm the ocean to our north, it increases the chance of wetter than normal conditions in the eastern half of the country.
"It also increases the chance of widespread flooding in these regions."
Stawell SES deputy controller Brody Stewart said the emergency services crew had been briefed on the upcoming weather situation.
"Due to the expectation of higher than average rainfall from the end of September through to November we're preparing our ability to assist the community if calls come through," he said.
"One of the big challenges we need to be prepared for is around COVID-19 safety. It's made the preparedness very different for previous years.
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"In the past where you might have centres set up and there could be up to 10 people acting in charge in one room those people will have to get split between different sites."
From an operation view, Mr Stewart said the Stawell SES were checking their equipment supplies.
"That equipment includes sandbags and tarps," he said.
"At Stawell, we're lucky we have a sandbagging machine and a lighting trailer.
"We've also been going to our major concern areas and notify people of the potential for heavy rain."
Mr Stewart said within the Stawell SES coverage area, Halls Gap and Glenorchy were the major areas of concern when talking about floods and landslides as a result of above-average rainfall.
"Those places historically have experienced flooding - flash flooding at Halls Gap and riverine flooding at Glenorchy," he said.
"We're just making sure everyone in those communities is aware and prepared. Generally speaking, the community are normally very good at this stuff."
Mr Stewart said residents who live in the hotspots are generally prepared for floods.
"It's those who might not be ready or unsure of what to do are the ones we want to assist in getting prepared," he said.
"There are many things people can do to make sure their property is safe from the potential damage a large amount of rainfall can do.
"If you do see warnings come through via places like the Vic Emergency app or website make sure you read them and take note of what is expected when it's expected and what time frame of when the severe weather is expected to hit.
"A couple of really simple things you can do can be lifting things off the ground if you do think there is any risk of flooding.
"Making sure gutters and stormwater drainage is clear is a big one. Often we find a lot of problems with people's roofs caving in simply because gutters aren't clear and water gets into the house."
Mr Stewart said the information could be found on the SES website or residents could call 1300 842 737.
"Another warning is not to drive in floodwater," he said.
"It's very dangerous to drive through floodwaters. A small car can float in just 15cm of water.
"If you can't see the road clearly - how do you know the road is still there?
"If it's flooded forget it. If a road closed sign is up it's for a reason. People will just need to find another way around."
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