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Fire and other emergencies

Single incident emergencies

A single incident emergency is defined as an event that has occurred on a small scale, where individuals or families may have had their home or possessions severely damaged or destroyed, through an incident such as a house fire, localised flood, storm, burst pipes or vandalism.

If you find yourself in a situation where you need to vacate your home, there are steps you can take to keep you and your family safe.

Who to notify

Immediately after an emergency, family and friends will want to you to notify them of your situation. Call a family member and/or friend to help you. Remember to notify your work, children’s schools, insurance company, utilities to cancel services.

Pets and animal welfare

Your pets and animals on your property are important and need to be cared for. Ensure you have somewhere to take them if you can’t stay on your property.

Council can assist you in planning your pet and animal welfare — phone 03 5734 6200.

Also see animal management and emergencies.

Insurance and documents

As soon as possible after the emergency, contact your insurance company to inform them of loss and/or property damage.

Your insurer can advise you on the actions you should take.

Try to locate your important documents including:

  • passport
  • drivers licence
  • Medicare card
  • credit cards
  • bank account details

These will be important to you as you recover from the emergency.


Australian Red Cross Victoria

Red Cross help with immediate needs to assist affected people for the first few days following an incident to their principal residence.

The service is designed to assist for the immediate term only until insurance and other services may be contacted and made available. This service is available 24 hours a day. There is a budgetary limit that can be spent per person.

Where possible it is recommended for affected people to stay with friends and relatives; this provides emotional support much needed at a traumatic time.

Services provided include:

  • accommodation (2-3 nights motel accommodation)
  • clothing — new essential items per household member
  • toiletries and groceries
  • emotional support and assistance contacting other organisations when required

Phone Red Cross Victoria Emergency Assistance on 1800 232 969.

Salvation Army

The Seymour Salvation Army Thrift Shop is available for recycled clothes and some furniture.

Salvation Army (Seymour) — 03 5792 3168.

Department of Health and Human Services

Emergency relief assistance payments are available to reduce personal hardship following an emergency, by helping to meet the immediate essential health, safety and wellbeing needs of affected Victorians.

You have one week after the initial impact of an emergency to claim a Personal Hardship Grant from Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS).

Emergency relief assistance is provided on a needs assessment basis, and is available to assist households after house fires, and after the following natural emergency events:

  • bushfires
  • floods
  • severe storms
  • earthquakes

If you need further information about your eligibility for emergency relief assistance, please contact the Victorian Emergency Recovery Information Line on 1300 799 232.


Crisis Payment may be available to assist those in severe financial hardship who have been forced to leave their home and establish a new one because of an extreme circumstance (domestic violence or their house burning down).

Contact Centrelink:

  • Financial Information Services
    (Available Mon-Fri 8am-5pm)
    132 300

  • Exceptional Circumstances Relief Help
    (Available Mon-Fri 8am-5pm)
    132 850
Nexus Primary Health

Where necessary, you can access Emergency Relief and Crisis Intervention and Counselling Services in Mitchell Shire by contacting:

Nexus Primary Health
72 Ferguson Street, Broadford
Phone 1300 773 352

Nurse on call

Call 1300 60 60 24 for the cost of a local call from anywhere in Victoria for health advice 24 hours a day.

(Calls from mobile phones may be charged at a higher rate).

Accommodation and Housing Pathways (The Salvation Army)

Pathways provide a quality response and support service to families and individuals experiencing homelessness or at risk of homelessness and immediate crisis.

This service also offers food assistance to people in immediate financial crisis in the Seymour District area.

Contact Pathways office on 03 5799 2583.

Rural Housing Network (Seymour)

The Rural Housing Network is a community housing agency providing assistance to people who are homeless or at risk of homelessness.

The service includes financial assistance, transitional housing, advocacy and assistance with both public and private housing applications.

The service is free and available to all Hume region residents.

Phone 03 5735 2000.

Department of Human Services

Call the 24-hour state-wide toll free number on 1800 825 955 to speak with a housing and support worker. The 1800 number will direct your call to a service closest to you, or if the call is outside business hours, it will be directed to Salvation Army Crisis Services.

This page was last updated on 5 February 2021.