Back

Getting through a natural disaster

10th February, 2020

Australia has a history of natural disasters. Storms, floods, fires and other unpredictable weather events can strike at any time. Being prepared and knowing where to go for help can lessen the impact of these events and get you back on your feet a lot faster.

Be prepared

The first step in being prepared is to have adequate insurance for all the things that are important to you. If you are moving, get your insurance sorted before you get to your new location or posting.

Keep all your financial and other important documents together in a safe place.

Financial documents could include insurance policies, bank account, superannuation and investment details, loan contracts and details of service providers. Information should include account or policy numbers and any other information necessary to identify you or your account. DO NOT record or keep passwords with these documents.

Other documents include things like your birth certificate, marriage certificate, citizenship papers, will, power of attorney, property deeds, Medicare and pension card details.

It’s a good idea to keep an electronic copy of all these important documents on a USB drive offsite, such as at work or with a close relative or friend.

Make a list of valuable or sentimental possessions that you would want to gather if you had to evacuate quickly. In an emergency situation you may not be thinking rationally about what’s most important to you, so keep the list handy and be ready to grab and go.

Help after the event

If you’ve suffered loss or damage to property as a result of a natural disaster or serious weather event you’ll need to contact your insurer to lodge a claim. If the event was significant, some insurers may send representatives into the affected community to help you with this.

Defence Community Organisation (DCO) offers practical and emotional support in a crisis. For example, following the recent bushfires, DCO compiled a Bushfire support information sheet with links to appropriate resources to help affected ADF members and families. You can contact the Defence Family Helpline 24/7 on 1800 624 608.

These events can affect the mental health of those impacted by the disaster, and others around them, such as partners, children and co-workers. Open Arms offer free and confidential counselling and other services for current and ex-serving veterans and families.

The road to recovery

It can take years for a community to fully recover from some natural disasters but it’s important to stay connected to your community. Volunteering to help friends and neighbours or injured wildlife, for example, can help you feel like you are doing something positive and help you come to terms with events by talking to others that have been through the same experience.

And for those of us not directly affected, we can help these communities get back on their feet by visiting affected areas and supporting the local businesses.

CHECK OUT MORE HELPFUL ARTICLES

VIEW ALL ARTICLES

lamp

LOOKING FOR FINANCIAL ADVICE?

Find a financial adviser who will act in your best interests.

FIND A FINANCIAL ADVISER

SIGN UP FOR OUR MONTHLY NEWSLETTER

Want to stay up to date with personal financial issues affecting ADF members and their families? Sign up for our monthly e-newsletter with topical articles by a range of expert contributors.

2LT
AB
AC/W
ACM
ADM
AIRCDRE
AIRMSHL
ASLT
AVM
BRIG
CAPT
CDRE
CMDR
COL
CPL
CPL/BDR
CPO
DR
FLGOFF
FLTLT
FSGT
GEN
GPCAPT
LAC/W
LCDR
LCPL/LBDR
LEUT
LS
LT
LTCOL
LTGEN
MAJ
MAJGEN
MIDN
MR
MRS
MS
NCOCDT
OCDT
OFFCDT
PLTOFF
PO
PTE
RADM
RSM-A
SBLT
SQNLDR
SSGT
VADM
WGCDR
WO
WO-N
WO1
WO2
WOFF
WOFF-AF
Other

NEED HELP?

WE ARE HERE TO ASSIST

GET IN TOUCH