An Emergency Relief Centre is set up when there is a major emergency where people need to leave their homes and properties. People come to an Emergency Relief Centre to register as having left home, to receive information and support and possibly to find somewhere for their pets to be housed safely. The role of the Emergency Relief Centre is to coordinate the short term needs of affected community members offering services including, but not limited to, short term accommodation, meals and access to other relevant agencies. eg. Red Cross.
Communication Boards have been developed by the Gippsland Regional Communication Service. The boards are designed to be used at the initial desk and aim to help with initial conversations. They cover topics such as contacting people, discussing health concerns and finding out information about pets. The boards are housed in each kit that is taken to the Centre.
The boards were designed in conjunction with Wellington Shire staff and with the volunteers who work within the Emergency Relief Centres. Feedback and consumer testing occurred with the Wellington Disability Advisory group and with some local residents from a Nursing Home.
These boards are only part of the project there will soon be some information sessions for the staff and volunteers who work within the centres. This session was delayed to avoid the fire season.