What to do After a Disaster or Emergency
  • Last updated:
  • 23 Jan 2020
  Find out what council are doing for specific recovery events

Returning to normal after a disaster may be quick or difficult and prolonged.

If the event has been severe, the Local Disaster Management Group will establish a recovery committee to:

  • ensure people’s wellbeing
  • rebuild essential infrastructure
  • help economic recovery
  • rehabilitate the environment.

In an emergency

  • Emergency - Police, Fire, Ambulance - Triple Zero (000)
  • Flood and Storm Emergency Assistance (SES) - 132 500
  • Poisons Information - 131 126
  • Report Dangerous Electrical Emergencies (Energex) - 131 962
  • Report Dangerous Electrical Emergencies (Ergon Energy) - 131 670

For assistance

  • Crime Stoppers - 1800 333 000
  • General Inquiries - 13 QGOV (13 74 68)
  • Health and Hospital Information - 13 HEALTH (13 432 584)
  • Marine Rescue Queensland - 07 3635 3879
  • National Relay Services (TTY/Voice Calls) - 133 677
  • National Relay Services (speak and listen) - 1300 555 727
  • National Relay Services (SMS relay) - 0423 677 767
  • PoliceLink - General Inquiries - 131 444
  • Road traffic and travel information - 131 940
  • Telecommunication faults and damage (Telstra) - 132 203
  • Tenants Queensland Advice Service (free call) - 1300 744 263
  • Translation and interpreter service (TIS National) - 131 450
  • Tsunami Warning - 1300 TSUNAMI (1300 878 6264)

Following major disasters, the Queensland Department of Communities may set up recovery centres in some areas.

These centres will be a ‘one-stop-shop’. They will assist people who have been physically, financially and emotionally affected.

Note: Recovery centres are not evacuation centres. They do not provide emergency shelter.

While there are various types of insurance, the most common are:

  • home building
  • home contents
  • motor vehicle

The following tips provide a useful guide for what people can do to assist when making an insurance claim.

  • Know who you are insured with and keep their contact details in a safe place.
  • Contact your insurance company as soon as possible after the event to register your intention to claim and seek advice about the claims process.
  • If your home or business property is damaged, make temporary repairs only to prevent further damage. If possible, take photos of the damage before you start repairs.
  • If your assets (furniture, clothing or carpets) have been damaged, remove them as part of a general clean up. If possible they should be kept in a safe location so they can be inspected as part of the claims process if necessary.

More information is available on the Understanding Insurance website.

If a natural disaster is declared in Queensland, an appeal for cash donations may commence. Usually this is started by the Premier or a major charity (such as Red Cross). These funds are used to purchase suitable goods needed by affected people.

Donating goods at this time is not encouraged. It can often make recovery agencies work more difficult. The goods might not be suitable or perhaps cannot be properly stored. To see what is needed contact GIVIT Disaster Recovery - A free service that assists in the management of donated goods during Queensland disasters.

In most cases people will want to return to their homes as soon as possible after a disaster and undertake repairs to their home, but for your safety you should wait until hazards have been cleared, basic needs are available and the site is declared safe. Make sure you wear protective clothing when cleaning up and take the necessary precautions.

The Queensland Building and Construction Commission website provides additional information.

  • Birth, death, marriage and change of name certificates - 1300 366 430
  • Medicare card - 132 011
  • Driver licence - 13 QGOV (13 74 68)
  • Property title - 13 QGOV (13 74 68)
  • Tenancy agreement - 1300 744 263
  • Taxation documents - 13 28 61
  • Passport - 131 232
  • Immigration visa - 131 881
  • Outstanding fines - 1300 365 635
  • Family law documents - 1300 352 000
  • Occupational licensing and organisation registration - 13 QGOV (13 74 68)

Please stay away from disaster zones to allow emergency workers clear access.

Many agencies work around the clock to assist with recovery. If you are not part of the recovery effort you could hinder their efforts.

The Red Cross has published a series of resources to help people recover from the effects of disaster, including:

  • coping strategies for adults and children
  • cleaning up
  • dealing with memorials and anniversaries.

Crisis support is available through organisations such as Lifeline. Call Lifeline on 13 11 14 or log onto the Lifeline website.

Other not-for-profit organisations that provide post-disaster emotional support, crisis hotlines and other assistance include:

  • Salvation Army - 1300 371 288
  • St. Vincent de Paul - 1300 633 343
  • Adventist Development and Relief Agency Australia Ltd - 1800 242 372
  • RSPCA - 1300 ANIMAL (1300 264 625)
  • Blue Care - 1300 258 322
  • St John Ambulance - 1300 ST JOHN (1300 785 646).

If you are a business owner, visit the Queensland Government Business website for more information.

Before and after extreme weather, when it's safe to do so, members of the community can get involved in preparation and recovery activities that support disaster agencies, government, non-government organisations and community groups through Volunteering Qld's Emergency Volunteering CREW (Community Response to Extreme Weather).

Volunteering Qld is the lead agency in Queensland for coordinating volunteer efforts during and after a disaster. Contact Volunteering Qld to register your interest in helping.

Airbnb members can participate in airbnb's Disaster Response Programme and open their doors for emergency accomodation to those in need.