Support for people affected by floods
Our thoughts are with communities that have experienced and are preparing for floods.
If you are still preparing for floods, make sure you have enough bottled water, food and medication supplies. For more tips on how to prepare and to access your local flood guide, click here.
If you are now in the recovery phase and are seeking support, the below information might be helpful to you (click on the titles to expand the information).
People impacted by floods who need help navigating support, including clean-up, temporary accommodation and for mental health, can call the Flood Recovery Hotline 1800 560 760, available 7.30am to 7.30pm every day.
Accessing medical help
Many primary health care providers in our region are impacted by floods and everyone is working as hard as they can to get back to normal. In these times we ask that you please remain patient and kind.
If you cannot access your usual doctor or pharmacy, support for non-urgent medical advice is available through:
- NURSE-ON-CALL - call 1300 60 60 24 if you are in Victoria for 24/7 health advice from a registered nurse
- Victorian Virtual Emergency Department - connect to emergency doctors and nurses online, who can help to organise tests and prescriptions
- Instant consult - speak to a doctor through video call (cost).
- 24-7 MEDCARE - speak to a doctor through a phone or video call (cost).
In a life-threatening emergency always call 000.
Healthcare providers involved in your care maybe able access your important health information, including medicine details, medical conditions and pathology test results via My Health Record.
If you're not sure where to find a health service, click here.
If you don't have your Medicare card and need to replace it call 13 20 11.
Mental health support
- Head to Health - Call 1800 595 212 between 8.30am and 5pm, Monday to Friday for free mental health support
- Lifeline - Call 13 11 14 for 24/7 crisis support
For a list of additional and dedicated services, click here.
Important health advice
Never use floodwater or water that may have been compromised by floods to wash dishes or your hands, brush your teeth, make ice or baby formula.
Always wash your hands with soap and safe water after touching anything that got wet by floodwater.
Be careful if you are entering flood water if you have any wounds. Flood water can carry harmful bacteria from sewage contamination, increasing the risk of diseases such as Leptospirosis.
Trench foot, or immersion foot syndrome, is a serious condition that is a result of feet being wet for too long. Always wear shoes or gumboots in flood waters. While it is a significant condition, it is also preventable with care - be on the look out for symptoms such as cold, numb, pale, swollen or clammy feet and seek medical advice as soon as is practical.
Stagnant water can also lead to a rise in mosquito-borne diseases, so click here for tips on how to protect yourself. The Loddon Mallee Public Health Unit advises there is currently no evidence of Japanese encephalitis virus (JEV) in flood affected areas and surveillance is ongoing.
Not everyone living or working in flood-affected areas is eligible for a JEV vaccine. People who are eligible are those aged 50 years or above and spend at least four hours per day outdoors and who reside or usually work in the following local government areas – Albury, Campaspe, Gannawarra, Greater Shepparton, Indigo, Loddon, Mildura, Moira, Swan Hill, Wodonga and Towong. Click here for more details.
Medication and scripts
In an emergency where you are not able to reach a community pharmacy, a public hospital pharmacy might fill your prescription if they have medicines available.
If you don't have a prescription, call your doctor and ask them to send your prescription to a pharmacist near you or provide them with a verbal request.
If you are unable to see your usual doctor, try making a telehealth appointment and have a script sent to you or your pharmacy electronically.
Your pharmacist may be able to provide additional options. For example, under the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme Continued Dispensing Arrangements, a pharmacist can provide one supply of eligible medicine/s (in 12 months) when there is an immediate need but it is not practical to obtain a prescription. Medicines will still need to be paid for (see financial support information for emergency payments).
If you are concerned about the safety of your medicine, contact your pharmacist or doctor, or the NPS Medicines Line 1300 633 424.
The Victorian Government Flood Recovery Website lists the various financial support packages that are available for people who have been directly affected by floods, including:
- Emergency Relief Payment - one-off payment for medication, food, clothing and accommodation
- Re-establishment assistance - for people without insurance to help with clean-up, emergency accommodation and repairs. To apply, call the Flood Recovery Hotline on 1800 560 760 [press 9 for interpreter]
- Disaster Recovery Payment and Australian Government Disaster Recovery Payment - if you have lost income
Farmers and small business
Packages available include one off clean up payments and concessional loans. Contact 13 22 15 or click here to find out more. For additional supports, visit Agriculture Victoria.
- Emergency relief centre locations
- VicEmergency hotline on 1800 226 226 or click here to visit the website and download the app
- State emergency services (SES) Victoria - for information in other languages, click here.
- Regional emergency radio broadcasters
After a flood
- After a flood: returning home safely
- After a flood: mould and your health
- After a flood: animal and insect related hazards
- Tips on how to clean up after flood and storm damage
- Power outages: food safety after a power failure
- Power outages: using alternative fuel and electricity generation safely
- Translated: Returning home after a flood
Extreme wet weather conditions can have a significant impact on the water quality and safety of our rivers. When flooding occurs, large amounts of debris are often found floating and submerged in all waterways. It is important residents and visitors in flood-impacted areas remain safe and avoid impacted waterways where possible.
Flood water poses drowning risks for everyone, regardless of their ability to swim. Swiftly moving shallow water can be deadly, and even shallow standing water can be dangerous for small children. Vehicles do not provide adequate protection from flood waters. They can be swept away or may stall in moving water.
- Create a Local Water Safety plan and get Lifesaving Victoria to do an Inland Waterway Safety Assessment
- Brush up on First Aid and CPR skills
- Check your local council website or council Facebook page for updates on waterway closures and alerts
- Respect the River safety risks and tips
- Check the water quality before swimming or eating fish that have been affected by flood waters
- Health risks from floodwaters
- How to stay safe around water
- Translated water safety information
- Wear a life jacket
- Inland Waterway Safety Training
Flood wellbeing and resilience grants
Since last year's floods, many people have been dealing with difficult memories and hardship by drawing on their own strengths, as well as the support of others to gradually rebuild their lives and achieve a sense of wellbeing again.
If you are in the recovery process after the 2022 floods, a first round of Australia Government grants for flood wellbeing and resilience has opened, aimed at strengthening social connectedness and assisting communities as they recover.
People, organisations and community groups are invited to apply for grants up to $10,000 per application.
For more information about the grants and eligibility criteria, please click here.
To download the Funding Application form, click here. Once completed, applications are to be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org
Applications close 5pm, Wednesday 29 March 2023.
Page last updated 7 March 2023