Emergency Relief Centres
In the event of an emergency that significantly impacts the community, an Emergency Relief Centre (ERC) is often established.
An ERC is a place that provides information about the emergency and the support and referrals available to help a community cope with the impact of the emergency.
Due to the current COVID-19 restrictions, a physical ERC may not be possible.
An ERC is not a refuge or recovery centre, rather, it is a place where affected individuals can go to:
- get emergency information,
- reconnect with their community,
- register their details on Register Find Reunite, and
- access relief support services to assist with their immediate needs.
An ERC can become very busy, and while staff working in the ERC are there to assist you and your family, it is your responsibility to ensure the safety of any children in your care.
There is no provision for animals at an ERC, an alternate location may be identified and opened to care for animals of affected people.
Notifications about the opening of an ERC will be available on the VicEmergency App or by tuning your radio to ABC 774AM, or 106.5FM
If you are relocating during an emergency you are encouraged to go to family and friends in a location well away from the emergency area.
Register Find Reunite (RFR)
In the event that you go to an Emergency Relief Centre or if you relocate to another location, you should take the time to register you and your family’s details on Australian Red Cross' Register Find Reunite (RFR). By registering on RFR your family and close friends will be able to find out basic information about your safety and whereabouts if they cannot contact you directly.
Find answers to commonly asked questions about ERCs, below:
What is an emergency relief centre?
An emergency relief centre:
- is a designated location used for the assembly of emergency-affected persons
- it should be considered only as one of a number of options.
What is an emergency relief centre for?
An emergency relief centre provides only basic support services such as food, clothing, blankets, first aid, emergency shelter and information.
Who decides to set up an emergency relief centre?
The representative of the agency leading the emergency response (Incident controller) will decide whether or not to set up a relief centre, in consultation with Victoria Police and our council’s emergency management staff.
Where are the emergency relief centres?
A relief centre is typically located well away from an emergency or threat to ensure public safety.
A number of sites around our Shire and towns have been identified as potential sites.
Activation of a relief centre is usually determined once the location of an emergency is known.
How do I find out if there is an emergency relief centre near me?
You will to be notified about the opening of an ERC by the VicEmergency App, the VicEmergency website or by tuning your radio to ABC 774AM, or 106.5FM
The nominated emergency relief centre will be under the authority of Victoria Police, and a Police representative will be in attendance.
Who will be at the emergency relief centre?
Initially the centre will be staffed by a Council officer. Depending on the duration of the emergency, other agencies may be called in to assist.
What do I do about my pets and animals?
There is no provision for pets or animals at an ERC.
An alternate location may be identified and opened to care for animals of affected people.
The best plan is to relocate to family or friends well away from the emergency area.