The department's emergency management policies aim to build resilience and minimise the impact of emergencies on Victorians, especially people most at risk.
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Emergency management policy
The Social services sector emergency management policy (Word) protects Victorians’ health, safety, and wellbeing by outlining how social and community services plan and prepare for emergencies.
The policy applies to services funded, delivered or regulated by the department, including:
- community services that are delivered directly by the department
- agencies delivering services that are funded by the department, as outlined in service agreements, funding plans and other relevant performance agreement documentation
- Specialist Disability Accommodation (SDA) and short-term accommodation and assistance owned by the department
- agencies providing Supported Independent Living (SIL) and short-term accommodation and assistance services with which the department has a funding relationship
- any other agency or service provider, as stated in contractual agreements or regulatory/registration requirements.
Funded agencies will need to complete the online Emergency Preparedness Attestation form by 30 November.
Agencies not required to implement this policy are also encouraged to use it, and the accompanying resources, to guide their emergency management planning.
The policy has been updated for 2023. Key changes to the policy in 2023 policy include:
- Embedding the concept of ‘shared responsibility’ in emergency management planning and mitigation, recognising that everyone has a role to play in emergencies.
- Introducing a person-centred emergency preparedness approach to emergency planning, encouraging funded and regulated service providers to consider their clients’ unique support needs and capabilities across all phases of an emergency in their plans.
- The addition of an easy, ready to use Emergency Management Plan Template and Preparing for Emergencies reference guide which service providers may want to use during their emergency preparedness activities.
- A focus on emerging risks such as cyber security.
DFFH has also introduced a new e-reporting process for the 2023 attestation period.
From 1 October 2023, agencies in-scope of the Social services sector emergency management policy will now be able to attest to their emergency preparedness by completing the Emergency Preparedness Attestation form in the Service Agreement Module (SAM). SAM can be accessed via the My Agency area of the Funded Agency Channel (FAC).
Please note that this new Emergency Preparedness Attestation form replaces the online Microsoft Teams attestation form undertaken in previous reporting cycles.
For further information on how to complete your attestation please refer to the ‘How to complete your attestation instructions’ section and process document below.
How to complete your attestation instructions
Funded and regulated services are required to attest their emergency preparedness annually prior to the high-risk emergency fire season (30 November). This is done by completing the online Emergency Preparedness Attestation form in the Service Agreement Module (SAM). SAM can be accessed via the My Agency area of the Funded Agency Channel (FAC).
Please refer to the Completing the Emergency Preparedness Attestation in the Service Agreement Module within the Funded Agency Channel guide for instructions on how to complete your agency’s attestation, including information on how to add or update your agency’s emergency management contact.
- Completing the Emergency Preparedness Attestation in The Service Agreement Module within the Funded Agency Channel
The information collected through this process is used to provide the department with an overview of the sector’s emergency preparedness and contributes to the department’s twice yearly attestation reporting process to the Emergency Management Commissioner. It will also inform further development of the emergency management policy, resources and support.
- Agencies providing services in-scope for this policy only need to attest to their emergency management preparedness once. They are not required to attest for each individual service they deliver.
- The Emergency Preparedness Attestation form will only be visible and accessible to agencies in scope of the policy.
Resources available to assist service providers plan and prepare for emergencies include:
- Emergency preparedness forums
- Preparing for emergencies: a reference guide for the social services sector (Word)
- Emergency management plan template (Word)
- Home-based care emergency management factsheet (Word)
- Emergency relocation – bushfire leave early plan (Word)
- Emergency management – What to do in a fire, flood or other emergency East Division A4 poster (pdf)
- Emergency management – What to do in a fire, flood or other emergency North Division A4 poster (pdf)
- Emergency management – What to do in a fire, flood or other emergency South Division - Gippsland A4 poster (pdf)
- Emergency management – What to do in a fire, flood or other emergency South Division - Southern Metro A4 poster (pdf)
- Emergency management – What to do in a fire, flood or other emergency West Division A4 poster (pdf).
Contact the Emergency Management Policy and Programs team: EMPolicy@dffh.vic.gov.au.
For more information on social recovery and the department’s Emergency Management Psychosocial Services Panel, visit the DFFH Emergency Management webpage.
Emergency Preparedness resources
The University of Sydney's Person-Centred Emergency Preparedness (P-CEP) toolkit is a valuable and practical resource for service providers to use to actively engage people with disability in making an emergency plan tailored to their support needs and risk situation. The P-CEP capability framework and process tool was co-produced with people with disability, support services, government, and emergency personnel. The P-CEP been demonstrated to increase emergency preparedness for everyone.
All information about P-CEP and the toolkit is available on the Collaborating for Inclusion website.
Australian Red Cross' RediPlan is another useful resource that has been practically designed to help residents develop an all-hazards household emergency plan for all the family by following easy to use instructions. The RediPlan is available on the Australian Red Cross website or via the Get Prepared app, which is a digital version of the RediPlan developed in partnership with NRMA Insurance. The app helps people create a portable emergency plan to take care of themselves, their loved ones, and what's important to them.
The Rediplan and additional emergency preparedness resources are available on the Red Cross website.
Vulnerable people in emergencies policy
The Vulnerable people in emergencies policy, published by the Department of Health and Human Services in 2018, integrates emergency preparedness planning with the delivery of funded services.
The policy applies to organisations funded by the department to provide personal care, support and/or case management services to clients living in the community within the 64 municipal council areas wholly or partly covered by the Country Fire Authority districts.
The policy also outlines funded services and municipal councils’ roles in screening and maintaining information on a vulnerable persons register. The register is specifically for people who require support from authorities to evacuate in the event of an emergency.
The Vulnerable people in emergencies policy is supported by three guidelines:
- Guideline 1 – Emergency Planning and Screening
- Guideline 2 – Vulnerable Persons Register
- Guideline 3 – Vulnerable Persons Register: Getting Started
An evaluation of the Vulnerable Persons Registers, a key component of the vulnerable people in emergencies policy, was undertaken by the department in 2019. A summary of the findings is available in the Vulnerable Persons Registers evaluation - Summary of key findings and next steps.
For tailored information, including how to use the register, see the Vulnerable Persons Register.
Insure it. It’s worth it toolkit
We partnered with Good Shepherd Microfinance to develop the Insure it. It’s worth it toolkit to help financially prepare individuals and families if things go wrong.
This toolkit provides practical information and advice about the importance of home and contents insurance to reduce emergency-related financial risk and promote effective recovery.
The toolkit uses a simple approach to encourage you to check your financial readiness, understand the financial effects of a disaster and to start a conversation about financial wellbeing.
The Insure it. It's worth it toolkit is available to download on the Good Shepherd website.
Family violence framework for emergency management
The Family violence framework for emergency management supports planning and response to family violence during and after emergencies.
For more information about the framework, see: