Relief and Recovery Centres
An emergency relief centre (ERC) is a temporary place situated away from the location of the emergency and is only opened if an emergency is deemed severe enough. The decision to open an ERC is made by Victoria Police and the controlling agency. For notifications regarding the opening of emergency relief centres, tune your radio to ABC 774 AM or ABC 100.7 FM. If an ERC is opened, it will be some time after the emergency has started. If your house has been damaged, destroyed or is in the affected area and you have nowhere else to go; you can go to an ERC. If you are unable to get to your house because of road closures and you have nowhere else to go, you can also go to an ERC.
An ERC is not a refuge or recovery centre, it is a place where affected individuals can go to register their details on the Register Find Reunite and access support services to assist with their immediate needs. An ERC can become very busy, and while agency staff are there to assist you and your family, it is your responsibility to ensure the safety of any children in your care. There is very limited provision for animals at an ERC.
Register Find Reunite (RFR)
When you go to an Emergency Relief Centre you can register you and your family’s details on the Register Find Reunite (RFR). Registration with the RFR enables families and close friends to find out basic information about your safety and whereabouts if they cannot contact you directly. For more information on Register Find Reunite visit the Red Cross website.
Emergency Recovery Centres
An emergency recovery centre may be opened after a major emergency, depending on the severity of that emergency. It is usually opened in the affected community and provides a place where affected individuals can go to access support services from Red Cross, the Salvation Army and other services, as well as information regarding such things as insurance, accommodation and financial support. It is intended to function as a one stop shop for people impacted by a major emergency. It is also commonly used as a meeting place for the community to come together and support one another.