Emergency relief and recovery
We are the lead agency for emergency relief and recovery at the local level.
The Macedon Ranges is one of the most fire prone areas in Victoria and has a history of bushfires occurring throughout the shire. The most devastating fire occurred on Ash Wednesday in 1983 which virtually destroyed the townships of Macedon and Mount Macedon. But fire is only one of many potential emergencies including:
- Transport accidents
- Chemical or industrial accidents
An emergency may affect a whole community, such as a bushfire or storm, or it may be a localised event that affects one or two families, such as a house fire or a flood.
Unless the emergency is very large, relief and recovery management happens at the local level led by Local Government.
Council's role in relief and recovery
Our relief and recovery staff aim to help people immediately after an emergency particularly where residents have lost the basic necessities of life including somewhere to live, clothing and food.
We coordinate the delivery of information and assistance that people need after an emergency to secure these basic needs. We can also assist with animal welfare and refer people to other agencies for support such as financial aid and counselling.
A range of government departments, local community organisations, health agencies and volunteer groups work with us to provide recovery assistance. Longer term recovery efforts may be managed through a community recovery committee with representatives from Council, government and voluntary agencies, special interest groups and the affected community.
A relief centre may be opened during an emergency event. It provides a place for people who have to leave their home with a temporary gathering place to get information and basic support services such as food and accommodation.
A relief centre provides only very basic amenities and should be considered an option only if going to family, neighbours or friends is not feasible. Pets and animals are also welcome at relief centres as long as they are contained (e.g. in horse floats, animal cages or on a leash).
If there is a major emergency in the municipality, you can get up to date information including the location of relief centres on the Vic Emergency App or by listening to the radio. All major Melbourne radio stations and ABC 91.1 FM are official emergency broadcasters.
If a major event has affected a whole community, it is likely that a recovery centre will be established. This is a 'one-stop-shop' for people affected by an emergency.
A recovery centre is usually located in the affected community and provides a place where residents can access support from Red Cross, Salvation Army and other services; and information regarding such things as insurance, accommodation and financial support. It is also commonly used as a meeting place for the community to come together and support one another.