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After a Disaster


To help individuals, businesses and the community get back on their feet after a disaster, various types of assistance are required.  A main feature of any assistance program is financial support, where people affected by an event receive finance support to assist in their recovery.  This type of support is not intended to be an alternative for insurance or inadequate disaster mitigation activities.  Another essential assistance service is emergency volunteers, who are a vital and significant part of any emergency management and community recovery activity.

Recent flooding events have triggered the development of the Queensland 2013 Flood Recovery Plan, which provides the framework to lead the recovery from these events.


After an emergency event, there is often a outpouring of concern from the public and a desire to assist in anyway they can. For many people, this can include donating goods and money to the disaster affected community, designed to help people get back on their feet quicker.  This is often managed by government or volunteering organisations, but most of the time it will be money that is requested. Examples include:

  • After the 2009 Victorian bush fires, where their appeals raised over $315 million (managed by the Red Cross) to support the families affected by the disaster
  • After the recent Queensland floods and cyclone devastation in 2010 / 2011, the Premier's Relief Fund raised over $270 million.

During the disaster recovery stage, media and community organisations are asked to coordinate any public appeals with the State or Local Government that is responsible for the main donation arrangements.

Disaster Relief Activities

In December 2010 and January 2011, Queensland experienced extensive flooding, affecting 70% of the state. Then, in early February, Cyclone Yasi devastated many communities in North and Far North Queensland. Many Queensland families and businesses were affected, some people lost everything, and some lost their lives.

Premier's Disaster Relief Appeal

More than $270 million was raised by the Premier's Disaster Relief appeal, helping more than 40,000 people affected by flooding and Cyclone Yasi. Read the report detailing how the money has been distributed.

Queensland Reconstruction Authority

The Queensland Reconstruction Authority was established to develop, implement and manage a state wide plan for rebuilding and reconnecting communities affected by the floods and cyclones.  The magnitude of the task is outlined in the Resources for Reconstruction discussion paper.

Flood Recovery Plan

The Queensland 2013 Flood Recovery Plan provides the framework to lead the recovery from the flood events of January - February 2013. It encourages all levels of government to work with industry and the community to rebuild stronger infrastructure than before and leave a permanent legacy of safety and resilience for the future.

Queensland Floods Commission of Inquiry

On 17 January 2011, an independent Commission of Inquiry was established to examine the unprecedented flood disaster that impacted 70 per cent of the state. The Commission of Inquiry delivered an interim report on 1 August 2011, covering matters associated with flood preparedness to enable early recommendations to be implemented before next summer's wet season.

The final report of the Queensland Floods Commission of Inquiry was provided to the Premier and Minister for Reconstruction, and publicly released, on 16 March 2012. If you would like to download the Queensland Floods Commission of Inquiry final report, click on the link below: 

 For further information, visit the Commission of Inquiry's web site.

Applying for Assistance

Flood damaged areaPersonal Support

If you nee personal support after a disaster event, please contact:

Financial Assistance

Outlined below are a number of financial assistance services that may assist in recovery and reconstruction:


If you have a question about your insurance policy, or need help identifying your insurer, call the Insurance Council of Australia's 24-hour emergency hotline on 1300 728 228 or visit the Insurance Council of Australia website.

Insurance Claims

It will be stated specifically on your insurance policy document what risks the insurance company has agreed to pay for. Your insurance company will be able to provide you with a copy of the correct policy document. It is important to check that you have been provided with the right copy of your policy.

Business contents insurance policies may provide cover for loss caused by floodwater. Make sure you check your policy regularly.

While disasters are common place in Australia, we are very fortunate to have many people who are dedicated to giving their time freely and even risk their lives in order to maintain community safety or help communities recover from such tragic events.

Volunteers are a vital and significant component of our emergency management and community recovery organisations. In times of need, they are always there. Disaster management agencies within all states and territories have implemented numerous projects and activities to encourage volunteering, while continuing to recognise the contribution that volunteers make to community safety.

At the federal level, there has also considerable activity, with two significant events being the National Emergency Management Volunteers Summit and the creation of the Australian Emergency Management Volunteer Forum.

Emergency Volunteering Portal

Volunteering Queensland's Emergency Volunteering portal has been developed where members of the community can register to volunteer during emergencies, find out how to prepare and respond to disasters and about our disaster resilience projects.