Do you need emergency assistance?

  • For life-threatening emergencies, call Triple Zero (000)
  • Help during and after major bushfire incidents, contact VicEmergency Hotline on 1800 226 226
  • Help during flood, storm, landslide, tsunami, and earthquake emergencies, contact the State Emergency Service on 13 25 00

If you have been impacted by a recent emergency, you can find support information on the VicEmergency website.

Our role in emergencies

DEECA responds to a range of emergencies across Victorian communities that impact the environment, water and energy sector. These emergencies often relate to major impact events such as bushfires, floods and/or storms.

We reduce the risk and impacts of bushfires on Victoria’s parks, forests and other public land through Forest Fire Management Victoria (FFMVic). FFMVic is made up of skilled staff from DEECA, Parks Victoria, Melbourne Water and VicForests.

We also work with emergency management partners, including CFA, VICSES, Fire Rescue Victoria and Emergency Management Victoria and Emergency Recovery Victoria to help prepare for, respond to, and recover from emergency events.

Under the State Emergency Management Plan (SEMP), DEECA is the responsible agency for a number of built, economic and natural recovery environment activities.

DEECA is the Recovery Coordinating Agency for:

  • Natural environment
  • Public land and inland waters
  • Wildlife and threatened ecosystems and species
  • Agriculture
  • Energy services
  • Reticulated water and wastewater services.

How we help the community to recover from emergencies

We work with a range of partners including local communities, Traditional Owners, and business to help Victoria prepare for, respond to, and recover from emergency events.

In planning all relief and recovery work, DEECA considers climate adaptation to ensure the long-term protection of the environment and public assets and commits to supporting Traditional Owners to self-determine recovery priorities.

Following an emergency such as a flood, storm or bushfire, we are responsible for:

  • Wildlife welfare, including impacts from marine and freshwater pollution
  • assessing, restoring, and clearing public buildings and assets such as roads, bridges and public amenities managed by DEECA, with Parks Victoria
  • rehabilitating, restoring and reinstating public land and assets with Parks Victoria
  • surveying and mitigating risks to protect threatened species
  • surveying and protecting threatened ecosystems, native plants and animals
  • managing waste pollution strategies with Emergency Recovery Victoria and the Environment Protection Authority
  • protect and rehabilitate cultural and heritage sites on public land with Parks Victoria
  • erosion control on public land to help manage risk to safety, values and infrastructure with Parks Victoria and Department of Transport and Planning
  • assisting farmers to repair and restore fences damaged by bushfire or suppression activities with Country Fire Authority (CFA)
  • ensuring the replacement of essential stock and domestic water taken from private landholders during firefighting operations with CFA.

Working with other government agencies and water corporations, we help:

  • Recover and rehabilitate reticulated water services
  • recover and rehabilitate reticulated sewerage, sanitation systems and wastewater management systems
  • lead fish death clean-ups in waterways on public land managed by DEECA, where the fish death event is due to natural causes
  • rehabilitate, restore and reinstate public land and assets for managing and supporting Catchment Management Authorities.

Following an emergency, Agriculture Victoria (DEECA) coordinates the safe, effective, efficient, and timely delivery of agricultural response services to communities affected by an emergency through:

  • Providing animal welfare support by assessing and addressing animal welfare impacts with livestock, including the humane destruction of livestock
  • collecting impact data on losses and damage to agricultural assets, including livestock, to inform recovery needs
  • liaising with local government and animal welfare support agencies to support animal welfare activities
  • implementing (when available) financial assistance to assist primary producers’ recovery
  • delivering tailored recovery support and technical advice to primary producers and rural land managers and refer urgent personal needs to other agencies.

Following an emergency disrupting Victorian energy services, we work with energy partners to:

  • Reinstate and return electricity services assets to reliable supply
  • reinstate and return gas services assets to reliable supply
  • restore liquid fuel supply.

Traditional Owner Flood Recovery Forum - March 2023

In March 2023, DEECA’s Community and Partnerships Program team in the Loddon Mallee region co-designed a forum with Traditional Owners to build relationships and provide a coordinated approach for government agencies to listen to and action Traditional Owner groups' priorities for flood recovery and healing of Country in a way that supports self-determination.

In addition to the 13 attending Traditional Owner groups and DEECA staff, the forum hosted more than 20 external government stakeholders. The forum provided an opportunity to hear the Traditional Owners’ narrative of the flood, what it means to them, and how agencies can partner with First Peoples to allow self-determination during recovery.

Traditional Owner Flood Recovery Forum Report (PDF, 3.4 MB)

Traditional Owner Flood Recovery Forum Report - accessible (DOCX, 555.5 KB)

Latest DEECA recovery programs and progress

Recovery can be a long process due to the vast and varied impacts from emergencies. DEECA is delivering significant recovery activities, including addressing impacts from the 2019-20 bushfires, June 2021 storms, April 2022 Gippsland floods and storms, October 2022 floods and 2023 October to November floods in addition to other local events.

Further information

Learn more about DEECA’s recovery work

Page last updated: 15/01/24