Wellington Shire Council’s emergency management responsibility is to minimise the effect and consequences of emergencies on people, their livelihoods and wellbeing, property and the environment, and to meet basic human needs in times of emergency. Council is responsible for coordinating suitable relief and recovery services in emergencies that affect your home or wellbeing.
As part of Council’s work to better prepare communities to respond and recover from emergencies, the Emergency Management team recently took part in a relief centre training exercise, learning how to open, run and close an emergency relief centre.
The exercise was held on Friday 10 February at the Gippsland Regional Sports Complex in Sale and brought together approximately 30 Council staff and volunteers, emergency management professionals and representatives from Victoria Police, Red Cross, the Department of Families, Fairness and Housing (DFFH), Ambulance Victoria, the Salvation Army and the VCC Emergencies Ministries.
The exercise provided a fantastic opportunity for Council staff to learn how to put into practice relief and recovery activities during and after an emergency, in line with Council’s Municipal Emergency Management Plan (MEMP).
During the exercise, volunteers were given a role to play in a mock emergency scenario. In this case, it was an earthquake in Wellington.
Staff were tasked with managing real life situations, including helping people living with a disability, caring for pets, assisting people from culturally diverse backgrounds, operation and logistics, administration, liaising with media and communications, and coordinating volunteers.
Wellington Shire Council Mayor Ian Bye said that the exercise strengthens the great work Council is already doing to improve emergency preparedness throughout Wellington.
“Knowing that our staff are more confident in their ability to deliver effective relief services for our communities allows us to be better prepared for the future and remain response ready in case of an emergency”.
Council continues to take on a leadership role in emergencies and is looking forward to planning future emergency management training opportunities for the benefit of all local communities.
For more information on Council’s emergency response, visit www.wellington.vic.gov.au/emergencies.