Community Recovery Services aim to assist communities to recover from the effects of disasters. It is recognised that where a community experiences a significant natural disaster there is a need to supplement the personal, family and community structures, which have been disrupted by the disaster. The need for specific services, the service provided and the duration of the operation will be dictated by the type, size and effect of the particular disaster.
Once a Disaster Declaration has been approved, the following grant assistance can be accessed by eligible recipients under the Natural Disaster Relief Assistance (NDRA) or Disaster Relief Funding Schemes administered by the Department of Communities:
- Emergency Payments
- Household Contents Assistance Grant
- Structural Assistance Grant
- Sporting Associations and Community Groups Relief.
Federal Government assistance, administered by Centrelink – Services Australia, may be provided to recipients who meet eligibility requirements in regards to:
- Disaster Relief Payments
- Special Benefit
- Crisis Payment.
Material aid involves the provision of basic personal and household items where such items have been lost or made inaccessible as a result of a disaster. Such items include clothing, bedding, toiletries, basic furniture, cooking equipment, toys and specialised goods for the care of infants and the aged.
Food and Meals
Meals and refreshments will need to be provided to people impacted by the disaster, in addition to staff and volunteers involved in the recovery effort. The Redland City Local Recovery Group will assist with arranging additional catering resources as required.
Personal Support Services
Personal support services are most often provided on a one-to-one basis and comprise the full range of immediate needs following the provision of shelter, food and clothing. The services that might be provided at evacuation and recovery centres include:
- Child/aged care
- Practical assistance
- Tracing relatives and friends.
Crisis Counselling and Support
Crisis counselling and support services are available to community members suffering emotional reactions to a disaster. These services are delivered by a counselling team coordinated by the Department of Communities. Members of the counselling team may be deployed to evacuation centres and community recovery centres.
Critical Incident Stress Management (CISM)
CISM aims at relieving immediate stress and/or minimising the long-term effect of disasters. In the event of a disaster it is expected that the reactions of people will need to be managed including the need to counsel and support emergency service workers. Effective management and coordination of recovery teams will be essential to maximise availability of counsellors to the disaster area.
Recovery information management requires timely, effective communication together with a process to disseminate information relevant to the recovery of the affected community. Information should be provided as early as possible and repeated through a range of information means such as leaflets, posters, newsletters, information centres, recovery centres, community agencies, radio, television, print media (newspapers), Redland City Council news site, Twitter and Facebook, outreach visitation and public meetings. The information provided should advise:
- the support and resource services available
- where, when and how to access those services
- the psychological reactions commonly experienced by disaster-affected people.
Emergency and Longer-term Accommodation
Assistance provided will include:
- Emergency and medium- to long-term housing to address the immediate and longer-term accommodation needs of disaster-affected persons
- Bond loan assistance
- Negotiations/assistance with rental moratoriums.