2023/24 Disaster Support Directory

This resource platform includes response packages, support and information available from TCP partners and other organisations across Australia.

Below each sector is also a link to relevant industry insights from TCP's Disaster Planning and Recovery Collaborative Research Project.

Submit your organisation's support offering and information here.

Thriving Communities Partnership work with organisations across Australia and not directly with customers. If you personally require support from any of the services below, please contact them directly. 

If your organisation has developed a disaster response that you would like to include on this page please send details through to contact@thriving.org.au

 

Cyclone Jasper response

FAR NORTH QUEENSLAND COMMUNITY SUPPORT

Centacare FNQ has collated a list of local community support services and where and how you can access them.

 

QUEENSLAND GOVERNMENT SUPPORT

  • Queensland’s local governments have disaster dashboards and/or websites that provide important information to support local communities during and after disaster events. Disaster Dashboards find yours here
     
  • Personal hardship financial assistance is now available for Queensland communities impacted by Tropical Cyclone Jasper. Govt Hardship Financial Assistance
     
  • Additional information for financial help and support services to help recovery if affected by a disaster. Disaster recovery support

 

CORPORATE SUPPORT

Commonwealth Bank of Australia (CBA) - We’ve activated our CBA Emergency Assistance includes a range of support, including:

  • Customised payment arrangements for home loans, credit card, personal loan and some business loans.
  • Waiving fees and charges.
  • Temporary overdrafts, additional loans or emergency credit limit increases (subject to credit approval).
  • Waiving fees and notice periods for early access to Term Deposits.
  • Emergency accommodation may be available for customers who have taken out Home Insurance provided by Hollard, distributed by CommBank, subject to policy terms and conditions.
  • Helping direct claims enquiries for customers seeking support through their Home Insurance provided by Hollard, distributed by CommBank.
  • Loan restructuring for business customers and existing loans.
  • Waiving fees for temporary and damaged merchant EFTPOS terminals, as well as support with merchant terminal rental fees.

Support available specifically from a Financial hardship perspective includes:

  • Immediate 1, 2 or 3 month deferral of repayments or reduced payment arrangements (without documentation nor SOFP required) if a customer requires temporary support;
  • Auto-capitalisation of Home Loan arrears of up to 6 months once our customer is are able to re-commence monthly repayments (so customers don’t have to catch-up on payments they’ve missed);
  • 12 months Home Loan 0% Interest Rate and switch to Interest Only (both Owner Occupied and Investment Home Loans) where a customer’s home is destroyed or uninhabitable for > 3 months (to allow time for insurance claim, negotiation, settlement, rebuild without the added pressure of mortgage repayments).

How to contact us:

  • You can message us in the CommBank app, call our Emergency Assist on 1800 314 695 or visit us in branch when it is safe to do so.
  • Business customers can also call 132 607 or speak with their dedicated CommBank relationship manager.
  • For those in Financial Hardship - If you are a financial counsellor and would like to engage CBA about a specific customer, you can contact CBA’s Represented Customers team on 1300 993 258, 9am–6pm Mon-Fri (Sydney/Melbourne time) or customers can call the Financial Assistance Solutions team on 13 30 95 8am–9pm Monday to Friday and 9am–2pm Saturday (Sydney/Melbourne time).
  • For Indigenous Customer Assistance Line (ICAL) Customers can contact us on 1800 700 682, Monday - Friday 9am til 8pm Sydney time and Saturday 8am til 2pm (Closed Christmas day  + New Year’s day). Customers can call 13 222 1 for everyday banking enquiries, lost and stolen cards, disputes etc). Please note: The external translation service by ABC multilingual will be closed Christmas day, Boxing day, New Years day.

Westpac - Westpac has activated its disaster support packages available for businesses and households impacted by the severe weather in Far North Queensland.

*Small business customers who meet the eligibility criteria can apply for a $3,000 grant per customer group to help with urgent expenses and repairs. Media release with info below:

Disaster support for customers in Far North Queensland | Westpac

Australian Banking Association (ABA) - Read the ABA Media Release on Cyclone Jasper here.

Visit this website to understand how banks can help customers with hardship support options and view a list of banks' direct lines during periods of hardship and natural disaster.
The ABA's Financial Assistance Hub provides a step by step guide to support customers and businesses during periods of financial difficulty.

Examples of bank assistance include:

  • deferring scheduled loan repayments, restructuring and consolidating loans
  • changing limits on lines of credit (e.g. credit card)
  • waiving certain fees and including break costs on early access to term deposits
  • providing a moratorium on collections action.

Many of our member banks have also put in place initiatives to support people and communities suffering from the impact of natural disasters, including:

  • providing access to free accommodation or emergency funds
  • deploying hardship banks to provide on-the-ground specialised advice
  • ensuring communities have access to banking services, including deploying mobile ATMs
  • providing grants or donations to not-for profit organisations and community groups, such as Australian Red Cross and volunteer services
  • offering support and counselling to customers through the bank’s assistance programs
  • supporting staff in affected communities by providing extended leave and expanding their organisational volunteering policies.

Australian banks play an active role in relation to natural disasters when they arise. When considering the type of assistance that might be appropriate, banks will assess the situation on a case-by-case basis and consider a customer’s specific circumstances.

Emergency Response

TCP DISASTER PLANNING AND RECOVERY RESEARCH INDUSTRY INSIGHTS
Local Disaster Management Group (LDMG) insights
Neighbourhood Centres insights

For immediate help or life-threatening situations: Call 000. For help with damage: Call the State Emergency Service on 132 500. For government assistance: Visit https://www.disasterassist.gov.au/ for available support. For mental health enquiries or people in crisis: Call Lifeline on 13 11 14. For insurance claims: Call the Insurance Council of Australia on 1800 734 621.

Financial and Legal Assistance

TCP DISASTER PLANNING AND RECOVERY RESEARCH INDUSTRY INSIGHTS
Financial Counselling, financial capability, and community finance insights
Community legal services insights
Ombudsmen insights

MID NORTH COAST LEGAL CENTREFree legal help for people on the Mid North Coast of NSW - https://mnclegal.org.au/whatwedo/#legal 

Disaster legal issues toolkit - https://mnclegal.org.au/toolkit-2/

MORTGAGE STRESS VICTORIA - Legal, financial counselling and social work assistance is available to people with a mortgage over their owner-occupied property in Victoria who are affected by disasters. We can help with their mortgage, other debts, or home, contents or car insurance claims.

Client eligibility criteria: 
Clients are eligible for an Intake + Advice + Rights appointment if they satisfy the following criteria:

  • Have a mortgage over only one owner-occupied property in Victoria; and
  • Have a household income of less than $75,000 or recent experience of family violence; or
  • Have a mortgage over more than one property or a property in Victoria that you do not live in if it is a direct result of being a victim-survivor of family violence/economic abuse. 

NATIONAL DEBT HELPLINE - A not-for-profit financial counselling service that helps people tackle their debt problems. It is a free, independent and confidential service. Call 1800 007 007 to speak to a financial counsellor. Read more here.

MONEYCAREMoneycare has specialist funding for disaster response to provide financial counselling services to support community members impacted by floods and other disasters. Call 1800 722 363 to make an appointment. 

Financial Services

TCP DISASTER PLANNING AND RECOVERY RESEARCH INDUSTRY INSIGHTS
Banking insights

ABA - Visit this website to understand how banks can help customers with hardship support options and view a list of banks' direct lines during periods of hardship and natural disaster.
The ABA's Financial Assistance Hub provides a step by step guide to support customers and businesses during periods of financial difficulty.

Examples of bank assistance include:

  • deferring scheduled loan repayments, restructuring and consolidating loans
  • changing limits on lines of credit (e.g. credit card)
  • waiving certain fees and including break costs on early access to term deposits
  • providing a moratorium on collections action.

Many of our member banks have also put in place initiatives to support people and communities suffering from the impact of natural disasters, including:

  • providing access to free accommodation or emergency funds
  • deploying hardship banks to provide on-the-ground specialised advice
  • ensuring communities have access to banking services, including deploying mobile ATMs
  • providing grants or donations to not-for profit organisations and community groups, such as Australian Red Cross and volunteer services
  • offering support and counselling to customers through the bank’s assistance programs
  • supporting staff in affected communities by providing extended leave and expanding their organisational volunteering policies.

Australian banks play an active role in relation to natural disasters when they arise. When considering the type of assistance that might be appropriate, banks will assess the situation on a case-by-case basis and consider a customer’s specific circumstances.

ANZ - All details can be found on ANZs Natural disaster support page.

Disaster Relief Packages for personal and business customers affected by natural disasters may be able to offer affected customers:

  • Short-term payment relief on home loans, credit cards, personal loans and some business loans (we may still charge you interest during that period)
  • Waiving fees for restructuring business loans
  • Waiving fees for accessing term deposits early

Also ANZ Home and Contents Insurance customers may be eligible for emergency funds and temporary accommodation.

To contact ANZ for support we have a financial assistance form on the ANZ website or customers can call our Financial Hardship team on 1800 149 549.

CBA - CBA Emergency Assistance has been activiated in response to Cyclone Jasper and flooding in Far North Queensland which includes a range of support including waiving fees and charges and customised payment arranagements for home loans, credit card, personal loans and some business loans.

How to contact CBA:

  • You can message us in the CommBank app, call our Emergency Assist on 1800 314 695 or visit us in branch when it is safe to do so.
  • Business customers can also call 132 607 or speak with their dedicated CommBank relationship manager.
  • For those in Financial Hardship - If you are a financial counsellor and would like to engage CBA about a specific customer, you can contact CBA’s Represented Customers team on 1300 993 258, 9am–6pm Mon-Fri (Sydney/Melbourne time) or customers can call the Financial Assistance Solutions team on 13 30 95 8am–9pm Monday to Friday and 9am–2pm Saturday (Sydney/Melbourne time).
  • For Indigenous Customer Assistance Line (ICAL) Customers can contact us on 1800 700 682, Monday - Friday 9am til 8pm Sydney time and Saturday 8am til 2pm (Closed Christmas day  + New Year’s day). Customers can call 13 222 1 for everyday banking enquiries, lost and stolen cards, disputes etc). Please note: The external translation service by ABC multilingual will be closed Christmas day, Boxing day, New Years day.

NAB - NAB Provide $1000 disaster relief grants for eligible NAB customers severely impacted by a natural disaster. Grants are activated once the federal government announce support through the Disaster Recovery Fund Arrangement.

For NAB customers not eligible for a Disaster Relief Grant, please visit Natural Disaster Relief and Support at nab.com.au to find out how NAB can best financially support you if you’re currently experiencing a natural disaster. You can call NAB to discuss a range of financial relief measures, including loan deferrals and waving or refunding fees and charges.

Grants are available for two weeks post activation and will be announced via NAB news.

Visit NAB's Disaster Relief webpage for more information.

ASICASIC’s Moneysmart provides financial guidance and support to Australians affected by natural disasters. Information is available on crisis support, accessing financial hardship from a bank or lender, managing the insurance claims process, how to spot a scam, and support for small businesses, on the Moneysmart website and the What to do after a natural disaster factsheet.

WESTPAC - To access financial assistance:

  • Westpac consumer customers can apply online at http://www.westpac.com.au/disasterrelief, or call Westpac Assist on 1800 067 497. Business customers who need support can contact their Relationship Manager or call Westpac Assist on 1800 067 497.
  • St.George consumer customers can apply online at http://www.stgeorge.com.au/disasterrelief, or call St.George Assist on 1800 629 795. Business customers who need support can contact their Relationship Manager or call St.George Assist on 1800 629 795.
  • Westpac’s Indigenous Call Centre Team is also available on 1800 230 144.
Health

TCP DISASTER PLANNING AND RECOVERY RESEARCH INDUSTRY INSIGHTS
Carers and support organisation insights
Mental health services insights

Insurance

TCP DISASTER PLANNING AND RECOVERY RESEARCH INDUSTRY INSIGHTS
Insurance insights

Telecommunications and Internet

TCP DISASTER PLANNING AND RECOVERY RESEARCH INDUSTRY INSIGHTS
Utilities and Telecommunication insights

TELSTRATelstra’s Disaster Response campaign will include a range of new initiatives to support Australians ahead of what is predicted to be a challenging season.  
Initiatives include:  

  • Extra data automatically granted for postpaid mobile customers in a disaster affected area.  
  • The upgrade of 1000 payphones in disaster-prone areas, with free Wi-Fi, USB charging and backup power. 
  • Reaffirming our commitment to emergency roaming, and our intent to conduct a simulation within our own network as a first step to demonstrate it’s possible. 
  • Launch of the Telstra Response Team – a new way to identify our teams on the ground or at the end of our dedicated disaster assistance line. 
  • Trialling portable satellite technology that can help local communities connect when mobile and fixed connections are down in a disaster area.  

This is in addition to the temporary infrastructure, generators and disaster recovery experts we deploy to help keep our customers and the community connected to Australia’s largest mobile network.  
 
More information about these initiatives and how communities can prepare themselves for disasters can be found on Telstra Exchange

Transport

TRANSURBAN - Toll Credit Programme - If a retail customer has used our roads due to being impacted by the Queensland Fires, we can provide toll credit support to cover their travel when evacuating. 

If they call, they will get a Linkt Assist Advisor on the phone straight away on 1300 767 865 between 8am and 6pm, Mon - Fri. It is preferred that they call us, so we can get them sorted straight away. 

There is more information on the Linkt Assist Webpage and the Linkt Assist Hardship Application form which contains the hardship criteria.

Utilities

TCP DISASTER PLANNING AND RECOVERY RESEARCH INDUSTRY INSIGHTS
Utilities and Telecommunication insights

ENERGY CONSUMERS AUSTRALIA -  ECA has developed The Energy Ready Toolkit, a free resource for Australian communities to help them prepare a plan for if the power goes out and ensure they remain energy resilient. The Energy Ready Toolkit can be downloaded here.

ORIGIN - Comprehensive information is available on Origin Energy's Help & Support Webpage and Financial Assistance Options Webpage.

SOUTH EAST WATER - If you need to report a fault or emergency, our team is here 24/7 to support you: https://southeastwater.com.au/faults. Whether you need support paying your water bill as you recover, or just handy ways to manage your payments, we’re here to help. Visit South East Water's Support Webpage

South East Water also has a Domestic and Family Violence Policy with a ‘quick exit’ button.

You can learn about live network interruptions here: southeastwater.com.au/live or follow us on Facebook (@SEWmelbourne) or X (@southeastwater) to keep across incidences near you.

THE ENERGY CHARTER - The Energy Charter has a Disaster Response Playbook which includes recommendations on Communications & Education, Coordination & Collaboration, Planning & Preparedness and Learning Loops & Better Practice. You can also learn more on The Energy Charter's Resilience resource library

General Resource

TCP DISASTER PLANNING AND RECOVERY RESEARCH INDUSTRY INSIGHTS
Local and National not for profit organisation insights
Small business services insights

ASK IZZY - A directory of community and social services across Australia. Read More 

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