Evacuate and recover from a natural disaster


It's what nightmares are made of. That's the trauma of having to evacuate your home in a natural disaster. For many, the brave but necessary decisions like when to go, where to go, how to go safely and what to leave behind are next level distressing. Our list of suggestions and links may help you to be always prepared.

Document, document, document

If you live in a natural disaster it pays to be prepared to make an insurance claim. It's difficult to remember every item  in your home and what you have collected over the years.

Video (and update it regularly)

  • the exterior of your home
  • your sheds, outbuildings, farm equipment
  • vehicles, boats
  • fences, gates etc

Video every room inside your house including:

  • wardrobes cupboards and the contents
  • art works and ornaments
  • appliances etc

Create a home inventory and store it in your Insurance Chest on Secure My Treasures.

Interested to learn more, read this interesting article https://www.forbes.com/advisor/homeowners-insurance/home-inventory/

Should you stay or should you go?

  • Stay connected to news updates eg ABC and local radio.
  • Trust your instincts. Go early and while you can.
  • You don’t need to wait for instructions to leave
  • If you are told to leave, do it without hesitation
  • Be clear about your destination. Where are you going? How are you going to get there?
  • Place your evacuation kit where it is easy to see, close to your nearest exit.
  • Remember your medications. Asthmatics, keep your inhaler handy.
  • Include videos and photos of your home and surrounds, every room and contents in your evacuation kit

More information: https://www.nsw.gov.au/emergency/prepare/be-ready-for-an-emergency-evacuation

Regrets about what’s left behind

Any evacuation is a traumatic life event. It is understandable that many people become confused and forgetful in the distress of it all.

In a disaster don’t try to return and re-enter a property to retrieve something you have forgotten.

According to Red Cross, people most regret leaving

  • Mobile phone
  • Family photographs
  • Family memorabilia such as sporting and war medals, trophies etc
  • Personal memories such as autograph books, diaries etc
  • Passports and other identification documentation

Digitally store your photographs, photographs of your memorabilia, memories and copies of identification documents.

Keep any titles, leases and insurance documents close at hand.

Learn more at https://www.abc.net.au/news/2016-09-19/five-items-people-most-regret-leaving-behind-in-emergencies/7857048

Driving in a bushfire and staying safe in your car

Driving in a bushfire can be a horrific and frighteningly perilous experience that should be avoided at all costs.

Be prepared now and learn how to protect yourself in your car in a bushfire and optimize your chances of survival.

Read the Country Fire Authority (CFA) tips on:


Let people know you’re safe

Red Cross manages Register.Find.Reunite, a service that connects with families, friends and emergencies services. It lets them know what you are doing and that you’re ok and safe in an emergency.

When Register.Find.Reunite is activated, you can access it on the Red Cross website or at evacuation and recovery centres.

Read more: https://www.redcross.org.au/emergencies/about-register-find-reunite/

Recovery from a bushfire

Returning home after a bushfire can be confronting and can heighten your trauma.

Prepare yourself emotionally and psychologically for potentially profound changes to your home and community and the way you and your family live.

The Western Australian Government Department of Emergency Services practically and sensitively steps out how to recover from a bushfire.

Read more here: https://www.dfes.wa.gov.au/hazard-information/bushfire/recovery

Lost your passport in a natural disaster?

You may be eligible for a free replacement passport with the same expiry date as your existing passport.

Contact the Australian Government Passports Office to provide some basic identification information and explain that you were in an affected area.

We also suggest that you store a copy of the photo page of your passport in your chest in Secure My Treasures.

Read more:,Natural disasters | Australian Passport Office (passports.gov.au)

Business recovery from a natural disaster

Enact the disaster recovery pathway incorporated into your business plan.

Digitally store employee contacts, the whereabouts of your lease agreement and insurances, contact for the property owner etc

Stay in touch with staff, customers, vendors and suppliers etc. They are all members of your recovery community.

The Queensland Government, Business Queensland has some excellent resources on helping business to assess viability and recover from a natural disaster at https://www.business.qld.gov.au/running-business/natural-disaster/recover

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