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Volunteering for emergency recovery

Volunteer Connect

Coming into the Christmas break period also signals the opening months of the Victorian bushfire season. Volunteers are an important part of the recovery and rebuilding effort in the weeks and months after an emergency.

Emergency services (eg. Victoria Police, CFA, SES) are in charge of responding to any event as it happens. Local government has the responsibility of coordinating the recovery and rebuilding effort.

Recovery is an enormous, multifaceted task which can take weeks, months and years, and requires a vast array of skills to support affected communities as they go about this process.

In the event of an emergency, such as a bushfire, all Victorians should:

  • If you are in a bushfire affected area, look to assist your neighbours and the community you live in to provide support or recovery – don’t wait for the call to help your neighbours, look to help your own local community
  • If you are not from an affected community, do not go to the scene of the emergency while it is happening. To be a part of the solution, and not a part of the problem, wait to be asked to assist in any coordinated recovery effort. It is understandable that people want to help others but our emergency services must do their work first, and communities must have a chance to make their own decisions about when and what help they want.

Untrained volunteers can only assist in recovery efforts. All emergency services volunteers involved in immediate response to a disaster must go through significant training - for example, CFA training takes on average 3-6 months to complete. Those who want to volunteer for emergency services should already have approached their local CFA or SES directly and undergone the relevant course.

If you are interested in registering to be a recovery volunteer click here to go to the Victorian Government's Volunteering portal and follow the 'Emergency Volunteer Register' button.

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