Our thoughts are with everyone affected by the Queensland and NSW floods. Thank you to all of our emergency services, volunteers and community members for your tireless efforts to provide support and assistance.
Some of our team members have had personal experience of flooding here at Leap in! so we wanted to share some of the helpful resources we have come across during this time.
We’ve also included some links for people who want to make a donation or assist in other practical ways.
If you’re struggling to find somewhere to stay and cannot stay with friends or family, the below contacts may be able to assist.
- Evacuation Centres NSW
- National temporary accommodation help call 13 74 68
- Homelessness Hotline 1800 474 753 (QLD) or Link2Home (NSW) 1800 152 152
- Information for residents of Queensland
- Flatmates.com is offering free disaster relief accommodation in private properties (mostly single or double bedrooms)
Helpful resources if you have flood-affected property.
There is so much to think about when your property is affected by flooding. The below links are a great place to start.
- What to do before, during and after a flood
- What to do after a flood
- What to do when you return to your property after flood
- Where to get help, how to return home safely and what to salvage
- What to do if your car has been submerged in floodwater
[Image description: An infographic about returning home after a flood. Source: QBE]
Emergency support for people on the NDIS.
All NDIS offices in Queensland and NSW are currently closed. To obtain priority support, contact the NDIS call centre on 1800 800 110 and press “5” for help with flood-related issues.
Repairing or replacing assistive technology damaged in a natural disaster is classified as an urgent repair. This means you can hire a replacement until a more suitable option is available. If urgent repairs are needed and you do not have funding in your budget call 1800 800 100 for assistance.
For emergency respite care anywhere in Australia, contact Carer Gateway 1800 422 737.
Federal $1000 flood recovery grant.
Eligible people can receive an immediate Australian Government Disaster Recovery Payment of $1000 per adult and $400 per child. Available to people who have been seriously injured, an immediate family member of an Australian citizen or resident who is missing, or if there has been major damage to your home.
The grants are available to people in:
Queensland Emergency Hardship Grant.
The QLD Emergency Hardship Assistance Grant is for people directly affected who are unable to meet their immediate essential needs for food, clothing, medical supplies or temporary accommodation.
Eligible applicants may receive $180 per person up to $900 for a family of five or more. The grant is available to claim for 7 days following the activation of the grant in your area. It is not asset or income tested.
NSW Disaster Relief Grant – for people with uninsured homes.
Financial assistance for eligible individuals whose homes have been damaged may be available under the NSW Disaster Relief Grant program.
This grant is available to low income earners who do not have insurance for the damage. You only have 4 months to apply.
QLD Home Assist – repairs for uninsured homes.
Queenslanders aged over 60 or with a disability who can’t undertake or pay for critical home maintenance may be eligible for Home Assist Secure.
The service provides safety-related information, referrals and subsidised support for repairs, minor modifications and safety upgrades. They can also assist with deliveries of essential items, welfare checks and referrals to mental health or cleaning services.
Note: it won’t provide assistance or repairs that are the landlord’s responsibility if you are renting.
QLD essential services grants.
Essential services hardship grant.
For people who have experienced the loss of one or more essential services (electricity, gas, water sewerage) for more than 5 days. Eligible applicants may receive $150 per person, up to $750 for a family of 5 or more. The essential services hardship grant is initially available to claim for 7 days following the activation of the grant in your area and is not income or asset tested.
Safety and reconnection grant (for people whose homes are uninsured).
If your home is uninsured, you may be eligible for an essential services grant to reconnect a damaged electricity, gas, water, sewerage or septic system. To be eligible, you must own or be the mortgagee of the home and meet the income test. The grant includes up to $200 for a safety inspection and up to $4200 for repair work.
Support for lost income (NSW & QLD).
The Disaster Recovery Allowance (DRA) may be available for up to 13 weeks for people aged 16 and over who lost income due to the floods. You need to have earned less than the average Australian average weekly income in the weeks after the floods ($1731.10 per week).
People aged between 16 and 21 must be independent to get the payment. It’s not available to anyone receiving other income support including the disability support pension and JobSeeker.
What if the home you’re renting is damaged?
A tenancy doesn’t automatically end if you can’t live in your home so be sure to seek advice first.
Insurance and making a claim.
Insurers have already received more than 86,000 claims related to the floods. Most home and contents insurance policies provide coverage for flash flooding but every insurer is different so check your policy.
If your home or motor vehicle are insured and have been damaged, lodge a claim online or over the phone as soon as it is safe. Your insurer can start the process and may also be able to assist with emergency accommodation or an advance payment, depending on your policy.
The Insurance Council of Australia says it’s ok to discard destroyed property, including carpet and furnishings, providing it is documented.
Here are some tips for making a successful claim:
- Take photos and videos of the damage before cleaning up
- Make a list of the damaged items and include as much information as you can such as serial number, models, brand etc.
- Keep samples of fabric or materials to show the insurance assessor
- Collect receipts, warranties, bank statements or any other information you have to prove purchase.
Check out Need to make a flood damage insurance claim? Here’s what you need to know for further information.
Banking, credit cards and loan repayments.
Banks may make special arrangements for mortgage, credit cards or loan repayments, provide additional loans or credit limit increases or early access to term deposits. View all bank emergency assistance numbers or use the links below.
- Commonwealth Bank
- NAB (also offering $1000 grants to eligible customers to help cover immediate costs)
- Bendigo Bank.
- In NSW, see the NSW Government and Services NSW for details
- In QLD, visit the QLD Government website, regional community support services list or apply for help via the Community Recovery Portal
- Phone and internet: Telstra assistance packages, Optus customer support, Vodafone financial hardship support and other telecommunications support.
- Many councils are offering grants or rates relief for home owners. In Brisbane, eligible residents can register to receive a $250 rebate off their next rates bill.
- Legal help: Community Legal Centres NSW or Legal Aid QLD.
Health and emotional support.
Health and wellbeing
- How to clean up mould safely
- How to avoid the serious health hazards of mould
- Avoiding infection while cleaning up
- Mosquitos and black flies
- Drugs, sharps and poison disposal
- Food and drinking water
- Lifeline 24/7 crisis support 13 11 14, text 0477 13 11 14 or chat online. Check out Recovering after a natural disaster for tips and support.
- Headspace youth support 1800 650 890 or chat online. The article Supporting a young person after a natural disaster is a helpful resource.
- Beyond Blue 1300 225 636 or check out Natural disasters and your mental health
- Financial counselling: National Debt Helpline 1800 007 007
- QLD community recovery hotline (emotional support, essential food or medication) 1800 173 349.
How to help.
Australians always pitch in and help each other during tough times and many people are looking for ways to help. It’s a good idea to donate to a registered charity to reduce the risk of scams. Avoid donating via social media or Go Fund Me unless you know the person organising the appeal.
The following charities have been listed by the ABC or government bodies as registered charities that are part of the official flood donation program.
- Red Cross NSW and QLD Flood Appeal
- Salvation Army Appeal
- Vinnies Flood Appeal
- GIVIT Flood Appeal
- Lifeline Flood Appeal
- Foodbank Queensland Appeal and NSW Appeal
- NSW SES or QLD SES
- Lismore Flood Fund (operated by Lismore City Council)
Practical ways you can help people affected by the floods.
- Register as a volunteer to help with your local area.
- Put together a clean-up kit with cleaning gear, gloves, sponges, boots, cleaning products, mosquito repellent etc.
- Offer specific help to family or friends. For example, ask if you can assist with washing some of their favourite clothes or take home some kitchen items and wash them.
- Give vouchers for food, fuel and essential items rather than goods (unless they have asked for specific items)
- Inform them about financial and other assistance available and assist with the application process
- Document items that are ruined or damaged for insurance
- Create a care package so they feel loved and supported.
We’re here to help.