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Victoria experiences many natural hazards including bushfire, flood, severe storms, and sometimes earthquakes.

Experiencing a disaster is inevitable if you live here. These events happen more often and with more intensity than they used to.

It’s important to understand the risks of where you live and how they might impact your heritage place. Your local council website will have an emergency management page that lists the highest disaster risks in your area.

What to do if your heritage place is damaged

Knowing what steps to take after a disaster can be overwhelming.This page can help you with salvage and recovery of heritage places and objects.

  • The first priority is keeping people safe and protecting life. Don’t put yourself at risk of harm
  • When it’s safe to do so, take photographs and document what you do, such as general tidying, cleaning, clearing debris
  • Make the place weathertight to avoid further damage
  • Keep materials stored on site where possible.

If there is damage, contact the relevant heritage authority for guidance – use our mapping tool to find out who to contact. Some specific guidance is available below.

Heritage Victoria has published a toolkit for property owners and managers. The toolkit helps you to identify vulnerabilities and risks to your heritage property and aims to help you reduce these risks.

The Department of Transport and Planning (DTP) has set up streamlined approvals for reconstruction after floods, storms and fires.

Tips for preventing damage

  • A well-maintained heritage place will be more resilient during a disaster. Keep on top of repairs, keep the building watertight, check your chimneys and decorative elements are secure and sound. New Zealand’s Get Ready has instructions on how to make your home safer so you can reduce the effects of a disaster.
  • As part of your fire season planning, remove material that might create a fire hazard. There is some good information on fire protection for heritage places in our Minimum Standards for Maintenance and Repair, and The Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning has some helpful guides on how to plan for bushfire protection.
  • Prepare an emergency plan.

Suggested disaster recovery resources

Page last updated: 10/07/24