Recovering from a bushfire
Please note - this is general information only to help you recover from bushfires sourced from a tip sheet by VicEmergency - see https://emergency.vic.gov.au for further information.
Relief and recovery from bushfires is normally coordinated by councils. Support services and recovery advice is available at your local relief centre or by contacting your local council for information.
Returning home after a fire
Houses, sheds and other buildings or structures burnt in a bushfire can leave potential health hazards. These may include fallen or sharp objects, smouldering coals, damaged electrical wires, leaking gas and weakened walls.
When returning to your property, make sure you are aware of the dangers and take steps to protect your health and safety. If your home has been damaged by the fire or smells of smoke from bushfires, here’s some info for cleaning up a smoke-affected home.
Ash from timber treated with a preservative call Copper chrome arsenate (CCA) is dangerous. Freshly treated CCA timber may pose a health hazard after a fire. Check out what to do here.
Red Cross provides great safety information about returning home after a bushfire.
Bushfires and water tanks
If your area is affected by bushfires, your water source could become contaminated from debris, ash or small dead animals. Here's how to reduce your risk.
Also, you should not source water from a creek that has been affected by bushfire as the water may be contaminated.
Water drawn from deep bores or wells should still be safe to use. If you suspect contamination, use an alternative water supply for drinking and food preparation.
Here’s some safety information on bushfire and water tanks.
When power outages occur, people often turn to alternative sources of fuel or electricity. Here's how to stay safe.
Find out what to do during a power outage in the guide to power outages.
Contact your insurance company as soon as possible and seek advice about the claims process. For detailed information on what to do visit Understand Insurance.
Your own health and safety can be at risk after an emergency. The Better Health Channel provides information to be aware of for your health after an emergency.
Your family & friends
The Australian Red Cross activates the Register, Find, Reunite service to reunite family, friends and loved ones after a major emergency.
It is normal to have strong emotional or physical reactions after an emergency – these feelings are part of the healing process. Here are some strategies for coping with trauma in recovery.
In families, each person reacts in their own way after an emergency. Understanding each other and some of the common reactions to look out for can help your family. The better health channel has more info about trauma and families.