With flooding in the north and fires in the south it seems as though Australia is just one big natural disaster zone. Ensure you and your loved ones stay safe this summer by keeping abreast of the latest warnings.
To keep you up-to-date YOURLifeChoices has gathered together 10 of the most helpful natural disaster websites. There are sites which help you keep track of your loved ones, stay aware of disaster warnings and volunteer your time. You can learn about your post-disaster insurance eligibility, how to get the Disaster Recovery Payment and how you can donate to help those in need.
1. Keep track of loved ones
The National Registration and Inquiry System, run by the Red Cross, lets you locate loved ones during a crisis. You can put in an enquiry about a family member or friend to check that they are okay, or if you are in a disaster zone you can register your name so that those who care about you can rest a little easier.
2. Centrelink Disaster Recovery Payment
The Australian Government Disaster Recovery Payment is a single, one-off payment of up to $1000 per adult for those who have been adversely affected by natural disasters. Find out if you are eligible at the Human Services website.
The Insurance Council of Australia has a dedicated catastrophe hotline. If you are in a catastrophe situation you can call it and get unbiased information about your insurance eligibility and the best way to get started on your claim.
4. Donate to the Red Cross
If you wish to help out in some way, donating is always much appreciated by disaster relief organisations. Your money helps to fund costly rescue missions, as well as the day-to-day running of not-for-profits such as the Red Cross.
5. Find your local fire authority
The Change Your Battery Website, funded by Duracell, has put together a list of fire authorities in Australia by state. Find your local fire authority and contact them to receive fire updates and safety warnings.
6. Insurance after a natural disaster
For a practical how-to guide to insurance after a natural disaster, the Queensland Government’s website gives advice on making a claim, legal aid, the insurance ombudsman and more.
7. Volunteer your time
Donating your time as an emergency volunteer is a great way to give something back to the communities in need. Volunteers are in highest demand in the weeks and months following a disaster, so now is the time when your help will be most deeply appreciated.
8. The latest weather warnings
Fires and floods are not the only natural disasters Australia experiences, so to get the most up-to-date information on extreme weather, cyclones, earthquakes and other weather warnings visit the Bureau of Meteorology website.
9. Fire warning maps
With fires still burning throughout the state, these helpful fire warning maps from the CFA are regularly (and frequently) updated so you can stay safe whilst travelling.
10. Find your local council
Often your first port of call during a disaster is your local council, but not everyone knows which council or shire to they belong. The Australian Local Government Association offers maps which show you the boundaries of each local council, so you know who to contact if necessary.