Business support for disasters

When a disaster occurs, governments activate their response and recovery arrangements. This involves providing a range of support services to assist affected individuals, businesses and communities including financial assistance, practical support and information. Details of specific services available will be promoted widely through outlets such as recovery centres, through radio, newspapers, government websites or help lines, local health services and businesses, and in disaster recovery newsletters.

To assist businesses in locating relevant information during or following an emergency, ACCI has compiled below links to information on business-specific queries our members commonly receive.

High Risk Weather Season Hazards snapshot this summer 2022-2023

Incident and Warning Information: Central Emergency Hubs









Business Continuity and Disaster Recovery

Business continuity and disaster recovery planning are processes that help organisations prepare for disruptive events. While these events often refer to natural disasters, such as cyclones or bushfires – they also include more commonplace incidents like cyber-attacks, power outages, and road accidents.

CCIWA has prepared a free resource with step-by-step processes, checklists and editable sections designed to help WA businesses develop a business continuity plan. Although referencing WA specific legislation, the business continuity principles and activities are applicable to all states and territories.

The workbook can be found here.


WHS risks and Regulator guidance for natural disasters/emergencies




Working in air pollution

Working in heat


Working in storms/floods/bad weather









Safe Work Australia General Emergency Plans and Procedures

Business Grants and financial assistance

Small Business Recovery Grants
Natural disaster recovery grants provide immediate relief to eligible primary producers, small businesses and non-profit organisations, for clean-up and restoration costs in the aftermath of extreme natural disasters.

These grants are administered in each state and territory under the joint Commonwealth and state and territory government funded Disaster Recovery Funding Arrangements (DRFA) 2018.

If your business has been impacted, you can find more information on grants, advice and resources here.

Services Australia – disaster payments and allowances
If you’re affected by a natural disaster event, Services Australia have payments available. Select the event you’re affected by to find information on eligibility and how to claim here.

Mobile service and recovery centres in your area
Check Services Australia’s where to find us page for details on mobile service and recovery centres in your area.

ATO Natural Disaster Support


Other Business Support Measures

ASIC’s Moneysmart website ( provides information on what to do after a natural disaster with contact details for free legal services, financial counsellors and crisis support services.

  • Information on what to do after a natural disaster can be found here.

National Financial counselling helpline: Financial counsellors can help those impacted by natural disasters and in financial difficulty by providing information, support, and advocacy. This service is free, independent, and confidential.

Credit/Mortgage Hardship Lines

  • ANZ Bank: 1800 252 845
  • Commonwealth Bank Hardship: 1300 720 814
  • National Australia Bank Care: 1800 701 599
  • St George Bank Assist: 1800 629 795
  • Westpac Assist: 1800 067 497
  • Regional Australia Bank Hardship: 132 067
  • Bank of Queensland: 1800 079 866

Telstra Customer Support: With flood waters rising in parts of Victoria, Tasmania and New South Wales, Telstra have activated their disaster assistance packages for customers in impacted areas. More information available here.

Insurance support: Insurance council support.


Mental Health Support

Traumatic events such as natural disasters can disrupt lives both physically and psychologically, creating intense emotional distress for those affected.

Employers play a vital role in assisting and supporting their employees in the aftermath and in the days, weeks and months following a traumatic event.

It is important to be aware that everyone will respond differently, and individuals may need different levels and types of support.

In a mental health crisis, call:

  • Lifeline 13 11 14
  • MensLine Australia 1300 78 99 78
  • Suicide Call Back Service 1300 659 467
  • Kids Helpline 1800 55 1800
  • Carers Australia 1800 242 636

Assistance for mental health problems under Medicare:
Individuals may be eligible for a Medicare rebate with a psychologist, social worker or occupational therapist in mental health if they have been referred by a GP, psychiatrist or paediatrician.

In the wake of a disaster, some governments or local agencies may also bring trained mental health professionals into affected communities to offer low or no cost counselling.

Communities and individuals affected by bushfire can experience a range of thoughts, feelings and behaviours that can be intense, confusing, and frightening. Find out more information here.

Red Cross:
Dealing with an emergency can be stressful and exhausting. Recovering from a disaster is a complex process that may take months, even years to overcome. Red Cross is committed to supporting people on their disaster journey.  Further resources can be found here.

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