Key messages

  • The Department of Health & Human Services supports councils to manage local recovery efforts and coordinates recovery operations at the regional level.
  • Emergency Management Victoria is responsible for the coordination of state relief and recovery. The responsibility for state relief and recovery coordination moved from the department to Emergency Management Victoria on 1 September 2015.
  • There are government and community services available for people who require further support in finding temporary housing after an emergency.
  • The department administers the Victorian Government’s Personal Hardship Assistance program.
  • The program is made available during an emergency through emergency relief centres.

The Department of Health & Human Services supports councils to manage local recovery efforts and coordinates recovery operations at the regional level.

Relief and recovery are managed at the level closest to that of the affected community, which may or may not be located within one municipal district. Relief and recovery activities are started as soon as possible after an emergency and may operate concurrently with response activities.

Relief and recovery activities are usually managed by the municipal council at the local level, possibly with the involvement of one or more community recovery committees.

Accommodation after an emergency

Many people affected by an emergency make their own accommodation arrangements with family and friends. There are also government and community services available for people who require further support in finding permanent housing.

Under the State Emergency Relief and Recovery Plan, councils are responsible for supporting people affected by an emergency to find temporary housing. This support may include making arrangements for emergency shelter, emergency accommodation and interim accommodation.

If requested by councils, the Department of Health & Human Services assists in finding temporary housing for individuals and families. The department will then work with household members to assess their needs and identify the best option for their ongoing housing arrangements.

The department also works with other agencies to support the ongoing recovery of people and communities after an emergency.

Emergency financial assistance

The department administers the Victorian Government’s Personal Hardship Assistance program.

Payments though this program are provided to reduce personal hardship following an emergency, by helping to meet immediate essential health, safety and wellbeing needs.

Further details of the program are available on the Personal Hardship Assistance program page. 

The program is made available following an emergency, which may be through emergency relief centres. Details will be published during events on the Emergency Relief and Recovery Victoria website. The website also provides factsheets in 20 community languages. 

State Emergency Relief and Recovery Plan

The State Emergency Relief and Recovery Plan forms part four of the Emergency management manual Victoria, which is available for download from the Emergency Management Victoria website.