Emergency Relief Centres

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In the event of an emergency that significantly impacts the community, an Emergency Relief Centre (ERC) is often established. 

An ERC is a place that provides information about the emergency and the support and referrals available to help a community cope with the impact of the emergency.  

An ERC is not a refuge or recovery centre, rather, it is a place where affected individuals can go to: 

  • get emergency information
  • reconnect with their community
  • register their details on Register Find Reunite
  • access relief support services to assist with their immediate needs

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. 

Emergency Relief Centres are not ideal for pets and livestock and as you may be separated from them if you bring them. It is best that you include alternatives for your animals when planning for an emergency. 

Notifications about the opening of an ERC will be available on the VicEmergency or by tuning your radio to your emergency broadcaster.

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


Relief centres can be activated in a number of locations depending on the emergency situation. Details are provided to the community through emergency channels such as VicEmergency and official emergency broadcasters. Council will also provide information in some situations. 

Red Cross provides a vital service in registering all those who report to an Emergency Relief Centre. They are also a valuable resource in providing food and other support as required. Where possible, the community is encouraged in the first instance to seek accommodation with family and friends, as this may be a better option during an emergency.