Council's role in emergencies

When an emergency occurs, Council responds in a number of ways. We have a legislated role to support response agencies to coordinate relief and recovery efforts. This may include providing resources to responding agencies and establishing a Municipal Emergency Coordination Centre (MECC). Council have staff trained to perform roles such as helping in a MECC or Emergency Relief Centres.

BEFORE an emergency, to prepare and prevent, we

  • Work with emergency service agencies (such as CFA and Victoria Police), government agencies (such as Department of Health and Human Services) and non government organisations (such as Australian Red Cross) to develop the Municipal Emergency Management Plan (MEMP). This sets out local arrangements for the prevention of, response to, and recovery from emergencies. This cross-agency group also develops subplans to address specific community risks, such as Fire, Flood, Heatwave, Pandemic, and Relief and Recovery.
  • Conduct ongoing fire prevention works on Council managed land and conduct fire hazard inspections and fire fuel reduction programs with the community. 
  • Implement local government legislation such as planning and building codes.
  • Work with agencies to identify and maintain Neighbourhood Safer Places - Bushfire Places of Last Resort (formerly Neighbourhood Safer Places).
  • Collaborate with Colac Otway and Corangamite Shires to increase our capacity to respond to emergencies in our community.
  • Work with community on resilience projects.

DURING an emergency we

  • Activate the Municipal Emergency Control Centre (MECC) to coordinate response, relief and recovery activities.
  • May activate Emergency Relief Centres (ERC) to provide shelter, food, information personal support services and access to grants or financial aid if required.
  • Conduct impact assessments, road/tree clearing, traffic management support, animal welfare related services, volunteer/donations coordination, and assisting the distribution of warnings and information to the public and media.

AFTER the emergency event we

  • Assist in ongoing recovery activities with affected communities. Such as clean up and infrastructure restoration, building and environmental health assessment, provision of information, management of recovery centres and establishment/support of community recovery committees and associated recovery programs.




The Community Emergency Management team at Council is responsible for developing and implementing strategies to assist communities before, during and after emergency events. As outlined in the Emergency Management Act 1986, and the Local Government Act 1989, Councils play an important role in Victoria's emergency management arrangements. The information below provides guidance on the role Council plays in emergency management and the strategies that can be used during and after an emergency event.