Being Recovery Ready

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There is a range of assistance available for local households and landholders to support you in recovering from emergencies and natural disasters.

Service NSW is to best place to start with finding out what support is available from the State and Federal Governments.

Service NSW helps people and businesses impacted by storms, floods, bushfires, and other disasters.

Managing your mental health during and after a natural disaster 

Living through a natural disaster can take a toll on your mental health and wellbeing. Support is available for you and the people around you. 

It is normal to experience a range of emotions if you are affected by a disaster. You may experience these emotions immediately after the event, during, or sometimes much later. Your sleep, mood and daily routines might be affected.

If you experience distress that interferes with your day-to-day activities, you should seek support.

Some things that can help you cope during this time:

  • spend time with family and friends
  • get back to a routine but don’t push yourself or work too hard
  • continue a healthy lifestyle (eat well, sleep and exercise if you can)
  • do things to help you relax as much as you can
  • accept help when it’s offered
  • limit the amount of media coverage you see and hear.

Mental Health & Wellbeing Support

It’s completely normal to experience a range of emotions following an emergency of natural disaster. This can happen not just immediately after the event, but also much later.

You might want to check in on your friends and neighbours with a friendly phone call, and if you or someone you know needs help, reach out.

If you or someone you know is in immediate danger, call Triple Zero (000) or go to your nearest hospital emergency department.

You can call the following free services 24 hours a day, 7 days a week:

For more support services and their contact information, visit the NSW Health website

Short-term free counselling

Specialist mental health Disaster Recovery Clinicians are available in affected regions across NSW.

To get in contact with a Disaster Recovery Clinician, contact the NSW Mental Health Line on 1800 011 511.

The Rural Adversity Mental Health Program (RAMHP) provides information and links to mental health support for people affected by natural disasters.

Contact your local RAMHP Coordinator to find help in your local area. You can also access fact sheets, podcasts and self-help tools on the RAMHP website

Support during drought
  • NSW DroughtHub – The hub provides resources to support your wellbeing during and after drought.
  • Rural Adversity Mental Health Program (RAMHP) – This program offers mental health information and links to people in rural and regional NSW.
  • Rural Agribusiness Wellbeing Plan – Information to support your mental health.
  • Active Farmers – This non-profit brings people together through group fitness and other activities. 
  • The Farmgate Support Program provides free mental health to people living and working in rural and remote communities. It is designed to meet the needs of individuals, couples and families, whether they require short-term conversations and information or ongoing formal counselling options. Phone: 0477 322 851 Email: HNELHD-FarmgateSupport@health.nsw.gov.au 

Support for individuals

National Emergency Management Agency

The Australian Government has put measures in place so that families and individuals affected by disasters can access resources quickly to ease the stress during the recovery phase.

For further information please visit the NEMA website.

Replacing personal documents

Service NSW can help replace many of your personal documents free of charge if they were damaged or destroyed.

This includes birth certificates, marriage certificates, licences, and number plates.

Visit your nearest Service NSW centre or call 13 77 88.

Legal assistance

Legal Aid NSW can provide free legal advice and minor assistance to people affected by disasters on a range of issues, including insurance, tenancy, credit and debt problems. Call 1800 801 529 or visit legalaid.nsw.gov.au

The Financial Rights Legal Centre have developed a bushfire insurance guide available here, and can also provide advice through the Insurance Law Service. Call 1300 663 464 for assistance.

Financial counselling service

If you have been affected by a bushfire, storm or flood, you can get help with everyday legal problems including financial hardship.

Call 1800 801 529 between 9am and 5pm Monday to Friday.

People affected by natural disasters can experience both short-term and long-term financial difficulties, ranging from lost credit cards and problems accessing cash through to being unable to make loan repayments. Your bank or credit provider must consider what’s happened to you if you have experienced a disaster. You can speak to their hardship department, or you can talk to a financial counsellor on 1800 007 007.

If your lender won’t help, you can contact the Disaster Response Legal Service on 1800 801 529 who can help you with your legal options. These include making an Internal Dispute Resolution complaint (IDR) or making a complaint with the Australian Financial Complaints Authority (AFCA).

Support for landholders and primary producers

It's important to look after yourself and your family, this fact sheet may be helpful:

Getting through floods, drought, and extreme climate events

Rural Financial Counselling Service

This service provides free and impartial rural financial counselling to eligible primary producers, fishers, and small rural businesses. They help identify options, negotiate with lenders, develop an action plan, help support access to the Farm Household Allowance and provide information on assistance schemes.

Agriculture and Animal Services Hotline.

Phone 1800 814 647 to request animal assessment and welfare assistance, veterinary advice and if required, euthanasia and burial.

Complete the Primary Industries Natural Disaster Damage Assessment (PinDDA) survey.

This allows the Department of Primar Industries to gather, analyse and report on damage to primary industries and animals after natural disasters. This information helps a range of government agencies, industry organisations and communities understand the scale and regional distribution of the impact of a disaster on agriculture, plan for recovery activities and target resources and assistance in an area. Complete the survey.

Rural Assistance Authority

Has concessional loans or transport subsidies available for primary producers. View the subsidies available here.

Rural Aid

Has a variety of services includingfree confidential counselling, financial assistance, fodder domestic water and the farm army. Find available services.

Local Land Services

Have specific advice on activities land managers can do to assist in the recovery of their property following a bushfire. View the bushfire recovery information here.

Charities and other support

NSW Government agencies along with charity partners and local community organisations are helping to provide emergency shelter, food and water.

The best way to help our impacted communities is to donate money to one of the many charities or appeals that have been established.

Money gives people the choice to buy things they need and support local businesses that have also been impacted.

Coordination of donations

GIVIT is a national online non-profit organisation that matches generosity with genuine need. GIVIT is contracted by the New South Wales Government to manage, and coordinate offers of donations of items, money and services associated with emergency recovery in NSW. GIVIT is working with recovery organisations across NSW to get exactly what’s needed to people impacted by bushfires. You must first connect with a support organisation that's registered with GIVIT. These organisations can then place requests for donations of items, vouchers, and services on your behalf. 

Please do not donate physical goods such as toys, furniture, and clothes at this time. They are usually not needed and take up too much space in community facilities while taking volunteers away from other important tasks. If you have unwanted physical goods, please consider selling them and donating the proceeds instead.

Vegetation and wildlife recovery

The fact sheet below provides guidance for landholders on native vegetation management in rural areas once a bushfire emergency has passed.

Wildlife recovery

The ongoing bushfire and drought crisis is having a crippling toll on our community and our wildlife, and the natural environment is amongst the worst impacted. We know people want to help so here is some advice, contact details and other ways you can assist:

  • Please put containers of clean, fresh water in the landscape in the shade with sticks, mesh or rocks to prevent small animals from drowning.
  • Be mindful of domestic pets in wildlife areas - please keep cats indoors (especially at night) and keep dogs under your control.
  • Watch for animals crossing roads, especially in or near burnt areas.
  • Put out fruit for native birds, reptiles, bats and other mammals with a high water content (e.g. watermelon, apples, pears, oranges)
  • Install nesting boxes and retain logs and rocks for animal shelter.
  • Avoid non-essential clearing of burnt and unburnt native vegetation.
Disability Gateway

The Disability Gateway has information and services to help people with disability, their family, friends and carers, to find the support they need in Australia.

Disability Gateway