Storms information

Our customer service team is experiencing a high volume of calls relating to the storm event in late-October. Thank you for your patience. Click here for storm recovery info and how to report fallen trees on Council-managed land >

2021 storms – information for residents and businesses

This page has general information for those impacted by the 2021 storms, as well as information that's specific to you depending on whether you were impacted by the June or October storms. 

We're also producing a newsletter to help support those impacted by the storms through the recovery period. 

If you have any recovery-related questions, our Recovery team is available by phone or email from Monday to Friday during business hours.
Ph: 1300 787 624

  • Community Recovery Team Leader – Bronwyn Fleming
  • Recovery Officer- Katt Scott
  • Recovery Officer – Grant White
  • Economic Recovery Officer - Susie Wickes (0435 173 746) 

If you have any recovery-related questions or need support, our recovery officers are available at the Hills Hub every Wednesday and Thursday during opening hours.

We're producing a newsletter to provide up-to-date information on support services and recovery projects for those impacted by the storms.

Read the latest newsletter here - November 2021

Subscribe to the newsletter by email 

If you'd like us to send you an email linking to the newsletter each time it's updated, please enter your email address below:

Ask for a printed copy of the newsletter

To request a printed copy of this newsletter, contact us at

Please help us with cleaning up across the shire by reporting any issues to us. 

To report an urgent issue (that poses a threat to safety)

  • If you need to report a road, tree, or drainage issue on Council-managed land that could pose an immediate risk to public safety, please call our customer service team on 1300 787 624.
  • If you're trying to call us, please be patient as our lines are currently very busy. Our team will get to you as soon as possible.

To report a non-urgent issue  
Report an issue or make a request via the online forms and portals on this website. 

Council property rates and services charges

  • If you’re unable to live in your home or it’s significantly damaged, you can request for the property’s value to be reassessed and amended as necessary. This may reduce the total rates and Fire Service Property Levy amount payable.
  • If your house has been deemed uninhabitable, you can request for waste service charges to be waived.
  • If you’ve been impacted by the storm, you can request a payment arrangement or short-term deferral. Where severe impact has been confirmed, you can apply for financial hardship assistance.
  • Properties meeting the above criteria may also be exempt from paying interest and from debt recovery action.

More info: Email – please include your name, property address and details of damage.

If you’re repairing a small part of your dwelling or shed ‘like for like’

You won’t need a planning permit, but you might still need a building permit - please contact a private building surveyor for advice. (Council does not issue building permits).

Do I need a building permit?

If your home has been significantly damaged and requires rebuilding

You’ll need a planning permit and a building permit

Planning permits relating to storm damage will be prioritised and planning fees associated with storm-affected rebuilds may be waived.

Get in touch with us first

It may be a good idea to talk to us or request pre-application advice before applying for planning permits - especially if your application is quite complex.

Properties with environmental or vegetation overlays may require additional information and considerations in the planning application process. Getting the right advice will ensure your planned build is appropriately constructed to reduce risk of damage, such as in bushfire-prone areas.

How to contact our Statutory Planning team

Ph: 1300 787 624 or email

Ready to apply?

Our ePlanning Portal is the quickest and easiest way to make planning applications.

Repairing or replacing boundary fences  

More info: Email – please include your name, property address and details of damage.

The Hills Hub in Emerald

On Thursday 11 November, the Hills Hub will close as a storm relief centre and normal operations will resume. 

Fallen trees and green waste 

  • Report fallen trees and branches on Council land or roadsides: Call 1300 787 624
  • Large trees that have fallen on private property: Email VicForests at for advice. 

Prolonged power outage payment and emergency generator programs

If you’ve been impacted by the storms, you may be eligible for the Victorian Government’s prolonged power outage payment and emergency generator program.

Prolonged power outage payment

The Victorian Government is providing a prolonged power outage payment (PPOP) of $1,680 per week, per household, for up to three weeks to support eligible households affected by the 29 October storm.

  • You have a residential electricity account and fall within AusNet Services's or United Energy’s distribution area 
  • You were without power as at 12.01am Friday 5 November, due to the 29 October storm. 

To find out more about this payment visit the Victorian Government Energy Website

Emergency generator program

The Victorian Government is distributing generators to households without power for more than 7 days due to the 29 October storm. 

The generators will be available to residential customers in the AusNet Services and United Energy electricity distribution areas who will remain without power beyond Friday, 5 November 2021.

To find out more about this program visit the Victorian Government Energy Website

Waste collection and disposal 

Bin and hard waste collection services may be delayed 

As COVID-19 restrictions ease and due to increased workloads from the recent storm event, your bin or hard waste collection may be delayed. 

Bins may not be collected on your usual collection day, or your hard waste collection might not happen on the week it was booked. 

If this happens, please be patient and leave your bins out. Missed areas are tracked and in most cases, the service will be provided within 24 hours. We apologise for the inconvenience. 

  • Delays are due to the impact of the recent storm event, as well as reduced crew numbers and other measures to help keep our waste truck crews safe against COVID-19 – including regular COVID testing, isolating when required, and staggered shifts to limit contact with others.
  • Our waste services are delivered by a team of contractors who have families and are part of their own communities. Thank you for your continued support, understanding and patience as Victoria emerges from lockdown.  

Green waste 

  • Book a hard waste collection for your green waste
  • Green waste drop off days are also taking place in November in Lysterfield and Pakenham 
  • If these drop off days don't meet your needs and you still have a large amount of green waste you need help with, call us on 1300 787 624 - please note you'll need to engage a private contractor to collect large fallen trees, logs and trunks. 

Disposal of spoiled food 

You can dispose of spoiled food at Hills Hub drop-in centre in Emerald: Corner of Belgrave-Gembrook and Beaconsfield- Emerald roads, Emerald. 

Ph: 5943 4555

Food safety after a power outage – information for businesses

Food businesses have a responsibility to ensure that food is safe to eat and that foods that need to be kept cold or frozen have been stored properly. 

All foods that need to be kept cold or frozen and might not have been MUST be discarded and must not be consumed. 

  • When a power outage happens, refrigerators and freezers don’t operate to maintain foods at safe temperatures, unless you have a backup generator. 
  • When the power turns back on, refrigerators and freezers will also turn back on and restore the temperature of the food. The food may then seem ok to use; however, it’s very unlikely that foods will have been kept cold enough to avoid contamination and spoiling.
  • Frozen foods that partially thaw and then re-freeze can also be a food safety risk. 

To find out more about food safety visit the Victorian Government Health website

Food relief

A number of local agencies offer food, material aid and community meals. More info: Food relief programs page

Watch the recording of a recent community session

Watch a recording of a recent community information session that was held on Wednesday 20 October 2021. Click on the play button below or open the video in YouTube.

 Windermere storm recovery support program

This program can provide support for people who have been impacted by the June 2021 storms and flood, due to:

  • loss of home
  • significant mental trauma
  • physical trauma
  • loss of a livelihood due to business loss.

Support provided by caseworkers may include: 

  • an initial brief chat about your needs and appropriate follow-up steps 
  • information and outreach visits 
  • advocacy to connect with local services including priority access 
  • assistance with completing applications and other paperwork for grant or financial claims 
  • support to connect to local services 
  • financial support 

Windermere website - Storm Recovery Support Program

Storm and flood recovery hotlineCall 1800 560 760

  • The Storm and Flood Recovery Hotline is a single state-wide number that Victorians impacted by the June 2021 storms and floods can call for help or assistance.
  • Operators can assist you with registering for Clean-Up of structures on private property or accessing your own Recovery Support Worker, mental health and wellbeing support, financial counselling and information on available payments.
  • The Recovery Hotline is open from 8am to 7pm Monday to Friday (excluding public holidays) and 9am to 1pm on weekends.

Agriculture Victoria - support

Agriculture Victoria’s Ag Recovery team is supporting growers in the horticulture industry who were affected by the June storms and floods across Victoria.

Phone 0427 694 185 or email 


  • Lifeline: 131 11424-hour telephone counselling, information and referral service. 
  • BeyondBlue:1300 224 636 Provides information on depression and anxiety. To access professional counselling services, please make contact with your GP and ask for a referral. 
  • Kids Help Line:1800 551 800 Confidential telephone counselling service for young people aged 5–25 years. 
  • Headspace: 1800 650 890
  • ParentLine:132 289 Counselling and information for families with children (up to 18 years) from 8am to midnight, 7 days a week. 
  • Men’s Line Australia: 1300 789 97824–hour counselling and advice for men. 
  • Safe Steps Family Violence Support:1800 015 188
  • Family Violence support: There is an increased risk of family violence after an emergency. Help is available by calling 1800 RESPECT (1800 737 732 - confidential) or go to the Family Violence Victoria website

Financial assistance

Utility bills

Business support

If your business has been impacted by the June 2021 storm, you can contact our Economic Recovery Officer Susie Wickes with your enquiries.

0435 173 746

The Small Business Mentoring Service
Visit Small Business Mentoring Support

Partners in Wellbeing Helpline
Offers free and confidential one-on-one access to wellbeing coaches, financial counsellors and business advisors.

  • Small business owners can call the Partners in Wellbeing Helpline on 1300 375 330, 7 days a week or use the live chat on the Partners in Wellbeing - Small Business Support website
  • Wellbeing coaches are available from 9am to 10pm on weekdays and from 9am to 5pm on weekends.

Agriculture Victoria - Support

Agriculture Victoria’s Ag Recovery team is supporting growers in the horticulture industry who were affected by the June storms and floods across Victoria.

Phone 0427 694 185 or email

Legal assistance

Disaster Legal Help Victoria website - Assistance for insurance claims, lost and replacement documents or property damage

Food relief

A number of local agencies offer food, material aid and community meals.
More info:Food relief programs page


Community members are encouraged to donate to registered not-for-profit organisations or relief agencies, such as the Salvation Army

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