An aerial view of a town during a flood, showing roofs of houses, trees and muddy water covering the streets.

National Disasters

We have been helping the Australian community for 170 years especially when natural disasters strike, from droughts through to bushfires and floods.   

In the event of a National Disaster our members, volunteers and staff are on the ground, helping where it’s needed most. Where possible, our people are locals, who know and understand their communities.  

We are committed to being there from the emergency stage, through to recovery and the long term, helping people and communities rebuild their lives. 

What we do 

While we are not first responders, we aim to 

  • work directly with those in need to find out what’s needed and how to get help to them as quickly as possible 
  • provide assistance through emergency relief 
  • have a presence at a local Recovery Centre or collection point, or be contactable by phone or through one of our shops 
  • make sure information is available and referrals are made so that people can move ahead 
  • work alongside emergency services, other state and federal government services and charities. 



We understand the upheaval, trauma, challenges, grief and exhaustion felt by many in the aftermath of natural disasters and this shapes our advocacy work.  

The Society has representation on National Emergency Management Australia’s “Tell Us Once” Working Group and Australia’s Charities Coordination Group. 

We advocate for solutions that are community-informed and driven, with funding that prioritises local for-profit and not-for-profit organisations and builds community resilience.  

We call for improved: 

  • funding for capacity building so that organisations can skill up their people to respond in a professional and timely way when a crisis arises 
  • coordination of, and information on, emergency services at all levels of government and non-government agencies 
  • case management to help people navigate their way to the payments, services and supports they need 
  • real-time data on disasters as they unfold to inform planning and service responses 
  • processes that enable organisations to apply directly to the Disaster Ready Fund rather than in partnership with state and territory government agencies  
  • exemptions to the Commonwealth grant and procurement rules, including the establishment of standing panels (of service providers) in high-risk areas 

In an emergency we will provide information on:

How to get help

If you are affected by a natural disaster

How to help those affected

Donate to help us support people affected by a natural disaster

Disaster preparation resources  

Justice Connect and Telstra have created Get ePrepared, a free online self-help tool to build the digital skills of Australians.   

When disaster strikes, legal problems often follow. Having your documents stored electronically is a great way to prepare for an emergency and help you deal with legal issues. 

Important documents will prove who you are, where you live, and what you own.  

Get ePrepared shows you how to store electronic copies of important documents in case you need them in an emergency.  

Get ePrepared

More information from Telstra

A photo of a burnt tree with new shoots growing out of it.


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