Wellington Shire Council has a legislated role in emergency management.
Council appoints a Municipal Emergency Management Planning Committee (MEMPC), that prepares a Municipal Emergency Management Plan which contains information about identified potential emergency risks and hazards within the municipality.
The plan also contains general information about the prevention of, preparedness for, response to and recovery from the impacts of the identified risks and hazards.
Wellington Shire Council's primary role during an emergency is to provide relief and recovery services.
Depending on the severity of the emergency and the response required, Victoria Police may direct Wellington Shire Council to open the Municipal Emergency Coordination Centre (MECC). The MECC is where Council's emergency resources are managed.
The location of a significant emergency may mean that residents are unable to return to their homes for a period of time. Based on local need, Council may then open an Emergency Relief Centre in a suitable location.
The function of an Emergency Relief Centre is to provide immediate support to people affected by the emergency, and may include food, shelter and registration, and act as a community meeting place. Emergency Relief Centres are opened in safe locations after all details of the specific emergency situation are known.
Council also performs other roles in an emergency such as impact assessments, road/tree clearing, traffic management support, animal welfare services, and assist in distributing warnings and information to the public and media.
The Municipal Emergency Management Plan is a statutory requirement of Council which identifies the main risks inherent within the Wellington Shire. Major identified risks such as fire, heatwave and pandemic influenza have their own specific sub-plans.
This living document is guided by the Wellington Municipal Emergency Management Planning Committee, and addresses the prevention of, preparedness for, response to and recovery from emergencies within the Wellington Shire Council. It is the result of the cooperative efforts of the Municipal Emergency Management Planning Committee and community input.