Relief and Recovery

Emergency Relief Centres

An Emergency Relief Centre (ERC) is a temporary place situated away from the location of the emergency. The decision to open an ERC is made by either the Incident Controller or Victoria Police, usually in conjunction with Council.

If an ERC is opened, it will usually be some time after the emergency has started. Notifications about the opening of an ERC will be available on the VicEmergency App or by tuning your radio to ABC 774AM, 828AM or 100.7FM

The purpose of an ERC is to provide:

  • access relief support services (food, water, material aid and psychosocial support) to assist with immediate needs.
  • accommodate displaced people who have no other alternative place to go.
  • register their details on Register.Find.Reunite; and
  • get emergency information.

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 for livestock/farm animals; however, the responsibility of all animals is with the owner.

If you are relocating during an emergency, you are encouraged to go to family and friends in a location well away from the emergency. 

Register Find Reunite (RFR)

Should you go to an ERC 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.

Recovery Centres/Community Information Centres

A Recovery Centre may be opened after a major emergency, depending on the severity of that emergency. A Recovery Centre is intended to be a one-stop-shop for support services and information regarding the emergency and is made available to affected people. 

Recovery Centres are commonly used as a meeting place for the community to come together and support one another.