Appendix 18 – Glossary

Term Definition
Action The executive command to mount an operation whereby all required personnel are called to their posts.
Affected Area A geographic area affected by an emergency for the purpose of response and recovery arrangements.
Agency A government agency or non-government agency.
Alert The period when the Regional or Municipal Emergency Response Coordinator believes an emergency may occur and requires all, or designated functional services to increase their level of preparedness to cope.
Assembly Area A designated location used for the assembly of emergency affected persons. The area may also incorporate an Emergency Relief Centre.
Chain of Command The organisational hierarchy of an agency. It is the identifiable line up and down the hierarchy from any individual to and from their supervisor and subordinates. The chain of command identifies people or positions with accountability.
Command The direction of human and material resources of an agency in the performance of an agency’s roles and responsibilities.
Control The direction of human and material resources of an agency in the performance of that agency’s roles and tasks.
Control Agency An agency nominated to control the response activities to a specific type of emergency.
Coordination The bringing together of agencies and resources to ensure effective response to and recovery from emergencies, primarily concerned with the systematic acquisition and application of required resources.
Counselling The provision of psychological support and advice to persons affected by an emergency.
Displan The name given to the State Emergency Response Plan under Section 10(1) of the Emergency Management Act 1986. The word DISPLAN was originally the short title for the State Disaster Plan. In this manual the phrase “emergency response” is used when referring to this emergency response plan as a document or the emergency response arrangements, or to emergency response coordinators.
EMCG Consists of the MERC, MERO and MRM – a Municipal decision-making group within the MECC.
Emergency An emergency due to the actual or imminent occurrence of an event which in any way endangers or threatens to endanger the safety or health of any person in Victoria or which destroys or damages, or threatens to destroy or damage, any property in Victoria, or endangers or threatens to endanger the environment or an element of the environment in Victoria including, without limiting the generality of the foregoing:a. an earthquake, flood, wind-storm or other natural event; andb. a fire; andc. an explosion; andd. a road accident or any other accident; ande. a plague or epidemic; andf. a warlike act, whether directed at Victoria or part of Victoria or at any other State or Territory of the Commonwealth; andg. a hi-jack, siege or riot.
Emergency Affected Persons People, other than emergency management personnel, who experience losses or injury or are affected by an emergency. Usually understood to exclude the deceased.
Emergency Grant The provision of financial assistance during emergency relief to emergency affected persons as determined by government policy.
Emergency Management The organisation and management of resources for dealing with all aspects of emergencies. Emergency management involves the plans, structures and arrangements which are established to bring together the normal endeavours of government, voluntary and private agencies in a comprehensive and coordinated way to deal with the whole spectrum of emergency needs including prevention, response and recovery.
EMLO Provided by Agencies and Councils to the Control Agency and are located in the Incident Control Centre or the controlling agency’s Emergency Response Centre.
EMMV The Manual that provides the structure for Municipalities to raise their Municipal Emergency Management Plans (MEMP).
Emergency Relief The provision of immediate shelter, life support and human needs of persons affected by, or responding to, an emergency. It includes the establishment, management and provision of services to Emergency Relief Centres.
EMT A team which assists the Controller in formulating a response strategy and in its execution by all agencies.
ERC A building or place established to provide life support and essential needs to persons affected by or involved in the management of an emergency.
FERC A senior member of the Police Force at the scene of an emergency.
Financial Assistance See Emergency Grant.
Hot Start The MECC and ERC functions are established and staffed.
Incident Any unplanned event requiring emergency intervention.
Incident Controller The Officer with overall responsibility for emergency response operations. A controller is a member of the control agency appointed to have overall responsibility for emergency response operations.
Incident Control Centre The locations where the Incident Controller and various members of the Incident Management Team provide overall direction of response activities.
Lead Agency The Agency designated to coordinate the provision of a functional area of emergency relief and supplementary supply.
Marshalling Point An area/facility where resources are deployed and the occupational health and safety of Yarra Ranges Council personnel, contractors and other local government personnel who are conducting emergency response activities is monitored.
Material Needs Clothing, bedding and other personal items provided to emergency affected persons.
MECC A facility operating at the Municipal level to coordinate and organise emergency provisions of Municipal and community resources in support of response and recovery.
MECC Facility Manager The function which coordinates the procedural and system requirements to ensure the smooth running of the facility.
MECC Logistics Officer Responsible for obtaining and maintaining resources, facilities, services and materials to support emergency response.
MECC Planning Officer Responsible for information management and planning to support emergency response.
MEM A Municipal employee responsible for overall emergency management functions across Council.
MEMPC The Committee that is responsible for the formation and maintenance of the Municipal Emergency Management Plan (MEMP) at the Municipal level.
MERC A member of Victoria Police (Officer in Charge Lilydale Police Station) appointed at the Municipal level to coordinate the response to an emergency.
MERO A Municipal appointee responsible to the Municipal Council for ensuring the coordination of Municipal resources to be used in emergency response.
MRM A Municipal appointee responsible to the Municipal Council for ensuring the coordination of Municipal resources to be used in emergency recovery.
Municipality The area within the defined boundaries for Local Government responsibility of a Council, Shire, Borough, Town or City.
NRIS The Commonwealth/State arrangements for recording the details of persons relocating to an Emergency Relief Centre and for handling inquiries about the location of registered persons.
NSP A place of last resort for people in bushfire prone areas to go to in the event of a bushfire.
Operations Officers Responsible for managing all activities and resources specific to their role for emergency response.
Prevention The elimination or reduction of the incidence or severity of emergencies and the mitigation of their effects.
Primary Support Agency The Agency to be first considered by a Municipal Emergency Response Coordinator for support in an emergency role.
Recovery The assisting of persons and communities affected by emergencies to achieve a proper and effective level of functioning.
Recovery Agency An Agency with a role or responsibility under the State Emergency Recovery Plan or in the recovery arrangements.
Recovery Centre A building in which a coordinated process of support to affected communities in the restoration of their emotional, social, economic and physical well being is provided.
Relief Stage The immediate post impact stage of an emergency, preceding the recovery phase. For the purposes of this Plan, the end of relief will be when “stand down” is advised by the Municipal Emergency Response Coordinator.
Region A geographic area comprising a number of Municipal districts and specific Victorian waters.
Relocation The planned relocation of persons from dangerous or potentially dangerous areas to safer areas and eventual return.
Resource Supplementation The provision of resources in emergencies to response agencies by other than their internal resource acquisition systems.
Response The combating of emergency and the provision of rescue and immediate relief services.
RERC A commissioned officer of Victoria Police appointed for a State Government region as Regional Emergency Response Coordinator.
RIA An initial appraisal of the extent of damage, disruption and breakdown to the community and its infrastructure as a result of the emergency or disaster.
Staging Area A location designated and used during emergency response for the assembly of Control or Support Agency personnel prior to deployment.
SMEACS The situation briefing used to communicate the emergency situation, issues and response mechanisms for personnel in the MECC and at an ERC.
SOP Step-by-step instructions on how to implement and complete tasks that are integral to emergency response and recovery.
Span of Control A concept that relates to the number of groups or individuals that can be supervised by one person.
Standby That period normally following alert, when the RERC or MERC, or the Chief Officer of a control agency, believes that the occurrence or the affects of the emergency, are imminent. Members of the relevant agencies are placed “on standby”, thus being ready to respond immediately.
Stand Down The order given by the Regional or Municipal Emergency Response Coordinator that allows personnel to cease operations reflecting the termination of the emergency.
State Emergency Response Coordinator The Chief Commissioner of Police who is responsible for the coordination of activities of agencies having roles or responsibilities in relation to the response of emergencies.
State Recovery Coordinator A senior office of DHS appointed by the Department to ensure the overall coordination of recovery in Victoria.
Supplementary Supply Those resources requested under emergency supply unable to be obtained by Emergency Response Support Agencies.
Support Agency An agency which provides services, personnel, or material to support or assist a control agency of affected persons.
Temporary Accommodation Accommodation provided over an extended period of days, weeks or months for individual or families affected by an emergency. It is different from emergency shelter.
Volunteer Emergency Worker A volunteer worker who engages in emergency activity at the request (whether directly or indirectly) or with the express or implied consent of the chief executive (however designated), or of a person acting with the authority of the chief executive, of an agency to which either the state emergency response or recovery plan applies.
Warm Start The MECC and ERC functions are established with staff on Standby.

----------------------- To access the interoperable Colac Otway Shire WebGIS portal with up to date mapping information for priority waterways within Colac Otway Shire. Click HERE

To access the interoperable Colac Otway Shire WebGIS portal with up to date mapping information for the road network within Colac Otway Shire. Click HERE

To access the interoperable Colac Otway Shire WebGIS portal with up to date mapping information for public land within Colac Otway Shire. Click HERE

To access the interoperable Colac Otway Shire WebGIS portal with up to date mapping information for bushfire history within Colac Otway Shire. Click HERE

To access the interoperable Colac Otway Shire WebGIS portal with up to date mapping information for earthquake history within Colac Otway Shire. Click HERE

Figure 18 - Colac Otway Shire Emergency Management Committee Structure

Municipal Emergency Management Planning Committee (MEMPC)

(Municipal Emergency Management Plan)

Community Emergency Risk Assessment (CERA) Working Group

(Community Emergency Risk Assessment Plan)

Committees and Working Groups as required

Events Sub-committee

Cross Council Relief and Recovery Sub –Committee

(COS Relief and Recovery Plan)

Municipal Fire Management Planning Committee (MFMPC)

(COS Fire Management Plan)

E Team

Advisory Groups as required

Advisory Groups as required

NDRGS Relief and Recovery Project Steering Committee

Yeodene Peat Fire Working Group as required

To access the interoperable Colac Otway Shire WebGIS portal with up to date mapping information for 1 in 100 year flooding within Colac Otway Shire.

Click HERE

To access the interoperable Colac Otway Shire WebGIS portal with up to date mapping information for erosion and landslide history within Colac Otway Shire.

Click HERE

Control Agency requiresa resource

Resource supplied to requesting agency

Available from:

  • Within own agency? or
  • Resource directly controlled by the agency? or
  • Support agency within municipal area?

Request made to Municipal Emergency Response Coordinator

Request made to Regional Emergency Response Coordinator

Request made to Emergency Management Commissioner

Request to Emergency Management Australia for resource to be supplied from:

  • Federal resources; or
  • Interstate resources; or
  • International resources.





Available from:

  • Other agencies within state? or
  • Private provider within Victoria

Available from:

  • Other agencies within the region? or
  • Other municipal areas within the region? or
  • Private provider within the region? or
  • Category 1 request for Defence Assistance or Civil Community?

Available from:

  • Resources owned or directly controlled by Council? or
  • Other agencies within the municipal area? or
  • Private provider within the municipal area?





Figure 30 – Example of Recovery Committee Structure

Colac Otway Shire

Recovery Committee

Natural Environment

Economic Environment

Built Environment

Social Environment

Buy Local Campaign Major Projects Tourism

Erosion Management Vegetation Biodiversity

Animal Management Public Health Building Planning Rebuilding Environment


Counselling &Case Management Community Project & Events Volunteer Management & Material Aid

Figure 31 – The Cross Sector Coordination Model for the Restoration of Essential Infrastructure and Services


Rapid assessments (24-48 hours)

Early recovery actions


Develop restoration priorities

Stabilisation actions

Full recovery actions



Develop safety priorities and actions

Recovery and



Reconstruction of all damaged infrastructure


Detailed assessments


Prioritise full recovery sequence of services


Restore essential infrastructure ‘lifelines’


Establish Temporary Services

Appendix 17 – Acronyms and Abbreviations