Information for Volunteers

Thank you for your concern for our fellow Australians affected by the devastating floods.

The best course of action at this stage is to apply or pre-register your interest in volunteering for disaster recovery organisations. These organisations will require you to register and complete training in order to effectively coordinate relief, when the time comes.

The eventual recovery effort is going to be huge. Volunteering for volunteer-involving organisations in your local community will support the long recovery and rebuilding process. Your help will be needed when the immediate danger has passed, and affected individuals and communities are ready to ask for and receive assistance. By volunteering locally you strengthen your own and your community’s connectedness, disaster resilience and preparedness.

What you can do now

  • Keep up to date with the latest news regarding the flood relief effort, visit our website NEWS – The Centre for Volunteering
  • Register directly with disaster relief organisations via their websites only. Disaster relief organisations will contact you directly if and when you are needed and it is safe to deploy volunteers.  This is an evolving emergency across multiple states and so this approach may well change in the coming days and weeks.

Organisations

Organisations requiring extra volunteer assistance during this emergency can register here:

Donations

Well-meaning community members are being urged not to donate unwanted goods to NSW communities affected by recent storms and floods. People wanting to donate goods or financial support are asked to take advantage of the established arrangements between the NSW Government and national non-for-profit GIVIT. People can also make financial donations to the Red Cross flood appeal. You can read more about donating responsibly to flood-affected communities on the NSW Government website here.

For Financial Donations:

Donations to the Qld and NSW Floods Appeal will help Red Cross to provide vital humanitarian support to the people and communities affected by the floods. Based on ongoing needs assessment in Queensland and NSW and amount raised, that support may include:

  • Enabling volunteers and staff to help with evacuation and relief centres and outreach service
  • Supporting people and communities to recover and to build resilience to disasters

You can donate to the Red Cross Qld and NSW Floods Appeal here

Northern Rivers Community Foundation is taking donations

Northern Rivers Community Foundation (NRCF) is currently seeking support to help Northern Rivers communities recover from the devastating floods of March 2022. The Foundation encompasses seven local government areas from Tweed to Grafton and from the ocean up past Kyogle, Woodenbong and Casino. The region includes about 300,000 people.

Donations to the Resilience and Regeneration Fund help community organisations work in the early, medium- and long-term recovery phases, following the emergency relief effort.

Read more or donate on the Northern Rivers Community Foundation website here.

For Material Donations:

If you wish to make material donations it is advised to do this through a charity who will collect only what is needed at any given time and arrange for it to be sent where needed.  GIVIT is a bona fide charity that provides this service. You can find a list of requested items on the GIVIT website here.

For Wildlife Protection Donations:

To donate or volunteer to assist in the protection of wildlife affected by the floods, visit WIRES website here for more information on how you can help.

If you have been affected by the recent floods and storms, Service NSW have provided the following information:

Housing support

If you’re homeless due to floods, the NSW Government is providing emergency accommodation in hotels and motels. Call 13 77 88 or go to the nearest evacuation centre to arrange your accommodation requirements.

Rental support
The Rental Support scheme will provide up to 16 weeks of financial rental support to flood victims in temporary accommodation. Total funding available will depend on the number of people per household including children.

To be notified when more information is available, please register your details or call 13 77 88.

Temporary housing support
If you’re staying with friends and family right now but will need accommodation in the coming weeks (and months), the Temporary Housing Support Package can assist with:

  • Temporary accommodation pods for rural land holders
  • Motorhomes for people who are currently living in evacuation centres, or in hotels/motels
  • Temporary accommodation in recreation clubs
  • Airbnb hosts offering low cost or free accommodation will be allocated to people who are being assisted by the Australian Red Cross.

To be notified when more information is available, please register your details or call 13 77 88.

Financial support

Immediate financial help and payments are available to people living in disaster declared areas.  

  • Disaster Recovery Payment – $1,000 per eligible adult and $400 per eligible child if your home has been severely damaged or destroyed, or you’ve been seriously injured. Lismore, Richmond Valley and Clarence Valley LGAs receive an additional two disaster weekly payments.
  • Disaster Recovery Allowance – short-term income assistance (up to 13 weeks) if you’ve lost income as a direct result of the floods.
  • Disaster Relief Grant – provided to help people recover from the effects of a disaster and re-establish basic standard of living.
  • Stamp duty relief – on the replacement of privately owned, insured motor vehicles written off due to loss caused by a declared disaster.

Essentials and clean-up support

Clean-up
All flood-impacted households will receive clean-up assistance, including the removal of debris, mud and green waste. Skip bins and dump trucks will start to appear on streets. Where there are no skip bins or dump trucks available, separate waste on the kerbside until they arrive.

Cleaning up after a natural disaster can be dangerous – here’s some advice on how to clean up safely and deal with hazardous waste.

Food & essentials
If you visit an evacuation centre the Salvation Army and other emergency support workers will provide food and water.

Other essentials and personal care items such as blankets, clothing, and medication are also available. Ask us for help and let us know what you need at any of the evacuation centres, recovery centres or via Service NSW.

Recovery centres

Flood Recovery Centres are a one-stop shop for you to access recovery services for:

  • Replacing ID and personal documents such as birth and marriage certifications, Medicare card, vehicle and vessel registrations and licences, and citizenship documents. You may also be eligible for vehicle registration or licensing fee refunds and waivers.
  • Mental health and wellbeing services are available as natural disasters, cleaning up and recovery can take a toll on your mental and physical health. It is important to seek support and look after your own as well as loved ones’ wellbeing.
  • Legal assistance is offered by the Disaster Response Legal Service and Legal Aid. They can assist with everyday legal problems that can arise after a disaster.
  • Insurance advice and guidance on claims, policy coverage, and clean-up costs are all available by contacting the Insurance Council of Australia.

Landlords and tenants’ rights in a flood

If you live in or lease a rental property that has been affected by a flood or storm, tenants and landlords have certain rights and responsibilities relating to payment of rent, damage to belongings and urgent repairs.

Any tenancy related disputes following a natural disaster can be taken to the Tribunal.

Help with animals

You can get immediate assistance with animals by contacting WIRES, Wildlife Rescue Australia, RSPCA or NSW Department of Primary Industries.

NDIS Support

NDIS is prioritising all calls from participants affected by the severe weather events in NSW and Queensland.

To ensure quick support, affected participants are asked to contact the NDIS National Contact Centre on 1800 800 110. Please press “5” for help with flood-related issues.

For urgent repairs or replacement of assistive technology, the NDIS National Contact Centre can help get funds authorised over the phone.

Find out more about urgent assistive technology repairs

Find out more about urgent support

If you are in a flood-affected area please look after the safety of yourself and your family, friends, neighbours and local community first. At this time, the best action you can take is to stop and listen to, and follow the directions of trusted sources including authorities. They will let you know how to stay safe and what the best course of action is. This will ensure the right help is given at the right time, in the right place.

There are a number of sources where you can keep up-to-date with the latest flood information. In an emergency please contact NSW State Emergency Service on 132 500.

For Flood Relief Assistance information please visit Flood Relief Assistance Resource – NCOSS – NSW Council of Social Service.