Council emergency preparation

Council co-ordinates a multi agency Municipal Emergency Management Planning Committee (MEMPC) that is responsible for the preparation of a Municipal Emergency Management Plan (MEMP), which contains information about identified potential emergency risks and hazards within the municipality. It also contains general information about the prevention of, preparedness for, response to, and recovery from the impacts of these identified risks and hazards.

Municipal Emergency Resource Officer (MERO)

Under the Emergency Management Act 1986 Council must appoint a Municipal Emergency Resource Officer (MERO) who is responsible for ensuring the coordination of municipal resources during emergency response and recovery.

The MERO will activate the Municipal Emergency Coordination Centre (MOC) under the authority of the Municipal Emergency Response Coordinator (MERC), and is responsible for maintaining the MOC at a level of preparedness to ensure prompt activation when required.

To achieve an appropriate response to emergencies, the MERO liaises with agencies and services in the municipal district, Council’s Municipal Recovery Manager (MRM) and regional authorities, and is responsible for organising a post-emergency debrief if requested by the MERC.  

Municipal Operations Centre (MOC)

The Loddon Shire Municipal Operations Centre (MOC) is usually located in Council’s Wedderburn office.

In the event of an emergency, Victoria Police's Municipal Emergency Response Coordinator (MERC) may instruct the Council’s Municipal Emergency Resource Officer (MERO) to activate the MOC.

The MOC may be activated when an emergency occurs in Loddon Shire, but it may also be activated to support response and recovery activities in neighbouring municipalities.

The MOC, if activated, will be typically attended by the Municipal Emergency Resource Officer (MERO), Municipal Recovery Manager (MRM), Municipal Emergency Response Coordinator (MERC) or their deputies and other personnel as dictated by the nature and extent of the emergency.

The MOC plays an important role in supporting emergency services and recovery agencies to respond effectively to an emergency through the coordination, allocation and provision of, resources (human and material) in response to an emergency.

Municipal Recovery Manager (MRM)

The Municipal Recovery Manager (MRM) is responsible for coordinating municipal resources in the recovery phase of an emergency and may be required to attend the MOC during an emergency.

The MRM is Council’s key advocate for ensuring that community needs are met during the recovery phase of an emergency. To achieve this, the MRM establishes priorities for addressing community needs and restoring community services through liaison with the MERO, Department of Human Services and other agencies responsible for recovery.

Emergency Relief Centres (ERC)

An Emergency Relief Centre (ERC) is a temporary place sited 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 that of Victoria Police and the controlling agency, for example CFA, SES or other agency.

For notification of the opening of emergency relief centres, listen to ABC Radio 91.1 FM in the Loddon area.

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 emergency-effected area and you have nowhere else to go, you can go to an ERC. Similarly if you are unable to get to your house because of road closures and you have nowhere else to go, you can 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 National Registration and Inquiry System and access support services to assist with their immediate needs.

An ERC can become very busy, and whilst 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 may be no provision for animals at an ERC.  

Register. Find. Reunite.

This service registers, finds and reunites family, friends and loved ones after an emergency.

Use Register to let people know you are safe. Use Find to look for people you know may be affected by an emergency. Reunite is a matching process that enables us, with permission, to share details to connect family, friends and loved ones.

When you go to an Emergency Relief Centre you can register your own and your family’s details with Register. Find. Reunite.

Emergency Recovery Centre

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, 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. 

Municipal Emergency Management Planning Committee (MEMPC)

The Municipal Emergency Management Planning Committee is the peak emergency management body within the Shire and provides the opportunity for Council to work in partnership with local and regional emergency services and community organisations, to address the impact of emergencies on the community. It achieves this through its primary responsibility of developing the Municipal Emergency Management Plan (MEMP).

Agencies and organisations represented on the MEMPC include Council (MERO, MRM, MFPO and Councillor), Victoria Police (Municipal Emergency Response Coordinator), CFA, SES, Department of Environment and Primary Industries (DEPI), Department of Human Services (DHS) and other local and regional response and recovery agencies. 

Municipal Emergency Management Plan (MEMP)

The Municipal Emergency Management Plan (MEMP) is developed by the Municipal Emergency Management Planning Committee (MEMPC) for the geographic area governed by Council, and details general arrangements for the management of emergencies that may occur in that area.

While the MEMP recognises that the responsibility for prevention, preparedness, response and recovery rests at the local level, it identifies a process for transitioning to the divisional level when an emergency is beyond the capacity of local resources.

The MEMP is essentially a set of guidelines that bring together agencies in Loddon Shire who are responsible for emergency response and recovery, and is tested during emergency exercises involving the agencies listed in the MEMP.

The MEMP is the overarching emergency management document that is underpinned by a number of sub-plans and guidelines, which include:

  • Municipal Fire Management Plan
  • Municipal Flood Plan
  • Municipal Recovery Plan
  • MOC Guideline
  • Relief and Recovery Centre Guidelines

Municipal Fire Prevention Officer (MFPO)

The Municipal Fire Prevention Officer (MFPO), is responsible for implementing the Municipal Fire Management Plan (MFMP), and has the regulatory power to issue fire prevention notices, conduct property inspections and issue permits to burn to fire brigades and members of the public during the fire danger period. For more information, go to Municipal Fire Prevention.

The MFPO is a member of Council's Municipal Fire Management Planning Committee (MFMPC) and is also an active member of the Municipal Emergency Management Planning Committee (MEMPC).

For information on burning off and applying for a permit, refer to Council’s section on Municipal Fire Prevention.

Loddon Municipal Fire Management Planning Committee (MFMPC)

The Loddon Municipal Fire Management Planning Committee (MFMPC) is a sub-committee of the Municipal Emergency Management Planning Committee.

The aim of the Loddon MFMPC is for all agencies working together with the community of Loddon Shire across all land tenures to prepare for, prevent, respond to and recover from wildfire.

Membership of the Loddon MFMPC consists of individuals and organisations representing CFA Loddon Mallee Region (District 20), Department of Environment and Primary Industries, Parks Victoria, Council staff and Victoria Police and other agencies or organisations as required.

The Loddon MFMPC is developing the draft Municipal Fire Management Plan (MFMP), which reflects the shared responsibilities of government, fire agencies and communities.  It is a strategic document that identifies community assets at risk and sets out a five year program of coordinated multi agency treatments to reduce the risk of bushfire to human settlement and the associated assets.