View and print the Relief section as a single document (PDF)

Overview

This Relief section (tables 11–12) serves as a guide for agencies involved in providing relief, which forms part of the response phase. It details the range and types of assistance, and the providers of each, to support community relief during and immediately after emergencies. 

The information shown is in summary form. This guide does not prevent other organisations from providing relief services, including activities or additional services.

Other government organisations, such as community service organisations, may support and deliver relief services in addition to or alongside the relief services outlined (refer to REMPs and MEMPs for regional and local relief arrangements as they may differ from those listed in Table 12: Relief coordination). However, the provision of all relief services must be managed under the established coordination arrangements.

Relief tier coordination responsibilities are:

Relief coordination operates at both tier level and activity level, and brings together agencies and resources to ensure effective relief activities overseeing the delivery of relief services by Relief Lead Agencies (RelLAs) and Relief Support Agencies (RelSAs), through:

  • Tier level coordination 
  • Activity level coordination (led by Relief Coordinating Agency (RelCA)) 

Each relief activity describes a community need – programs, services and products – that assist in community relief. Every relief service has a RelLA, often with several other agencies (RelSAs) supporting them (Table 12: Relief coordination).

The impacts of the emergency and community needs will determine if the relief service is required. In some cases, the RelLA reflects existing legislative responsibilities or arrangements in practice/on the ground, and if at any time the service extends beyond the RelLA capability or capacity to deliver, it is escalated to the RelCA (Table 11).  

Table 11: Specified relief activities and relief coordinating agency (RelCA) 

Relief Activities Relief coordinating agency
Animal Welfare DJPR, DELWP
Community information Control Agency, Tier coordinator
Disbursement of material aid (non-food items) Salvation Army
Drinking water for households in non-reticulated areas DELWP
Emergency financial assistance DFFH
Emergency shelter DFFH
Food and grocery supply continuity DJPR
Food and water ARC
Health and Medical assistance and first aid AV
Psychosocial support DFFH
Reconnecting family and friends ARC, VicPol

Table 12: Relief coordination

Lead and support agencies for relief services, within relief activities.

 

Animal Welfare (DJPR, DELWP)

Companion animals and livestock impacted by emergencies could need access to adequate feed and water, provision of shelter, housing and adequate space, freedom from pain, injury, disease and obvious discomfort, and freedom from unnecessary fear and distress. 

Wildlife may be displaced or injured by emergencies and may require relocation, veterinary assessment and rehabilitation or euthanasia.

The Victorian Emergency Animal Welfare Plan defines animal welfare support services in relief. 

Service

Relief lead agencies (RelLAs)

Relief support agencies (RelSAs)

Animal welfare (other than wildlife) support services

DJPR

 

Municipal councils

RSPCA

VFF

Respond to wildlife welfare

DELWP

RSPCA

Zoos Victoria

Housing of displaced and lost/stray companion animals

Municipal councils

AVA

RSPCA

 

Coordinate clean-up activities, including disposal of deceased animals (domestic, native and feral)

Municipal councils

RSPCA

VFF

 

Community relief information (Control agency / Tier coordinator)

Information is essential to assist communities to make informed decisions about their safety. This can be via the Victorian Public Warning System, public meetings, newsletters, advertising and media releases. Announcements must be consistent and must consider the information needs of community sectors with additional needs. 

Service Relief lead agencies (RelLAs) Relief support agencies (RelSAs)
Provide relief information to assist communities to make informed decisions about their safety Control agency Tier coordinator
Provide relief services and support information to communities Tier coordinator Municipal councils
Public health advice DH Municipal councils
 

Disbursement of material aid (non-food items) (Salvation Army)

Individuals, families and communities affected by emergencies could require essential material aid (non-food items) such as clothing, bedding materials and personal necessities, to help ensure their personal comfort, dignity, health and wellbeing. 

Service Relief lead agencies (RelLAs) Relief support agencies (RelSAs)
Provide essential material aid (non- food items) to emergency affected persons including clothing, bedding and other personal requisites. Salvation Army  
 

Drinking water for households in non-reticulated areas (DELWP)

Emergency drinking water supplies for affected areas may be coordinated, following public health advice from the relevant department or agency.

Service Relief lead agencies (RelLAs) Relief support agencies (RelSAs)

Provide relief drinking water to eligible households

DELWP

DH (advice)

Local resources [1] 

Water Corporations

 

Emergency financial assistance (DFFH)

Emergency financial assistance for eligible affected persons experiencing (or likely to experience) financial hardship to meet their basic needs in a dignified manner.

Service Relief lead agencies (RelLAs) Relief support agencies (RelSAs)
Administer relief payments through the DFFH Personal Hardship Assistance Program, to help individuals meet their basic needs DFFH  
 

Emergency shelter (DFFH)

Individuals are encouraged to make their own accommodation arrangements, however friends, family, community, business, or government could provide emergency shelter if needed.

Service Relief lead agencies (RelLAs) Relief support agencies (RelSAs)
Arrange emergency shelter and accommodation for displaced households DFFH Municipal councils
 

Food and grocery supply continuity (DJPR)

Food and grocery supply, continuity planning and operations support may be undertaken with the major food distribution operators.

Service Relief lead agencies (RelLAs) Relief support agencies (RelSAs)

Support food and grocery supply continuity planning operations with the major food distribution operators

DJPR

ARC

DoT

 

Food and water (ARC)

People and communities must have access to food and water to support their immediate and basic needs. Food and water can be provided in a variety of settings including relief centres or via the distribution of relief packs to communities who are isolated or sheltering in place.

Service Relief lead agencies (RelLAs) Relief support agencies (RelSAs)

Coordinate food and water

ARC

DJPR

Foodbank Victoria

Salvation Army

 

Health and Medical assistance and first aid (AV)

The State Health Emergency Response Plan describes the command, control and coordination arrangements, roles and responsibilities for an integrated health emergency response.

Service Relief lead agencies (RelLAs) Relief support agencies (RelSAs)

Provide pre-hospital care to people affected by emergencies

AV

DH

LSV

St John Ambulance

Establish field primary care clinics

AV

DH

LSV

St John Ambulance

Provide other health and medical relief assistance measures

AV

DH

LSV

St John Ambulance

 

Psychosocial support (DFFH)

Psychosocial support, including psychological First Aid and emotional and spiritual care, is delivered through relief centres and through community outreach programs. 

Service Relief lead agencies (RelLAs) Relief support agencies (RelSAs)

Personal support (psychological first aid and emotional and spiritual care)

ARC

VCC EM

Salvation Army

 

Reconnect family and friends (ARC, VicPol)

The reconnection of families and friends and their communities is facilitated through the Register.Find.Reunite service. Voluntary registration could be done in a relief centre, by phone at an inquiry centre, or online. Control agencies are responsible for encouraging people to register with Register.Find.Reunite and should also remind people to use their existing communication networks to connect with their family and friends, to provide assurance about their safety and wellbeing.

Service Relief lead agencies (RelLAs) Relief support agencies (RelSAs)

Operate Register.Find.Reunite in relief centres, enquiry centres or online, to reconnect people with family, friends and their communities

ARC

VicPol

ARC

Footnotes

1. Where local resources are unable to meet the demand, DELWP will coordinate emergency drinking water supplies to affected areas following public health advice from DH. Local resources include, but are not limited to, Municipal councils - see critical task 15.2 for further details.