After an emergency
In the event of an emergency, whether it’s a natural disaster such as bushfire or flood, or a house fire, it is common for people to experience a range of health issues.
Common issues include high levels of stress (psychological, emotional and physical), or exposure to health risks, such as poor quality water or contaminated food.
The following information will assist if you experience an emergency situation.
Assistance after an emergency
If you are affected by an emergency such as house fire, bushfire or flood, assistance is available.
A number of organisations provide different services to individuals and communities to help them recover.
Some organisations provide material assistance through the provision of clothes, bedding, toiletries and furniture, some provide food, and others provide financial assistance grants.
The following agencies and organisations may be involved in emergency recovery:
Call the Municipal Recovery Manager (MRM) Loddon Shire Council on (03) 5494 1200 for referral to organisations and agencies involved in emergency recovery.
The Department of Human Services provides financial assistance grants.
Red Cross Australia provides personal support; assistance and information to emergency-affected people and in some instances, material aid and personal services.
The Salvation Army provides emergency relief through small grants to purchase clothes and personal items.
St Vincent de Paul Society provides emergency relief through local agencies in the form of food, clothes, furniture and small grants.
Centrelink may provide financial emergency assistance to those affected by an emergency, such as house fire.
Emergencies and your health
A number of issues could be likely to affect your physical and emotional health as a result of an emergency. This section provides you with links to important information that will assist you if you have experienced a bushfire or a flood.
The State Government Department of Health has more information on bushfire health and safety, floods and health and stress and emergencies as does the Better Health Channel.
Recovery from an emergency
While help is available in the event of an emergency such as bushfire, flood or other disaster, it is ultimately your responsibility to have plans in place that will enable you and your family to recover from the emergency.
Recovery is an ongoing process where individuals and communities who are affected by an emergency such as bushfire, flood or other disaster, are assisted to manage and achieve the re-establishment of their community through a process of support and community development.
In the event of a large-scale emergency that has affected many people, for example the 2011 January Floods, it may be necessary to establish a community recovery committee after the emergency and an Emergency Recovery Centre (ERC) in close proximity to the affected community. These centres provide a place where people can meet and access services such as emotional support, counselling, clothing and other personal needs.
Assisting in your recovery
It has been shown that the better prepared people are for an emergency, the less stressful and traumatic their recovery afterwards. It is recommended that you have a personal emergency plan in place to relieve the potential for stress.
You can access information about how to look after yourself and your family in times of stress at the Department of Human Services and information about protecting the health of your family at Health Victoria.
Red Cross has information about preparing for, responding to, and recovering from an emergency.
Referral for support
You can contact Council on 03 5494 1200 if you require referrals to access services that provide:
- financial support
- temporary accommodation
- counselling support
- support for stress and trauma
- stock, fencing and fodder support
- telephone, power, gas and water supply
- waste water (sewage and septic tank treatment and disposal)
- legal advice
- interpreter services.
Moving back into your property
If you wish to live in a caravan or temporary dwelling such as a shed, you will need to contact Council's Health, Planning and Building Departments on (03) 5494 1200.
Whether one, or a number of properties are effected, Council will make assessments to expedite the recovery process associated with you returning to your property.