The saying goes: It never rains but it pours, and that is certainly true in parts of Australia right now with one flood emergency followed by another in NSW and Queensland.
A combination of La Nina and a Madden-Julien Oscillation system has brought extremely heavy rainfalls to most of eastern and northern Australia, with forecasts of more wet weather to come.
Which is not great news for anyone, let alone someone living with a disability who needs support.
So, what do you do if you are affected by flood?
Are you in danger?
Of course, the first thing you should do if you are caught in a flood and your life may be in danger is to call Triple-0 for emergency help. That applies to everyone, whether you are living with a disability or not. If you are at risk and need help to evacuate, do not hesitate to call.
You should also monitor your local State Emergency Service (SES) updates on social media for the latest updates affecting your area – especially evacuation orders. You can find out more on the websites for NSW SES or Queensland SES or, in either state, call 132500.
People living with a disability who are affected by floods can also call the NDIS National Contact Centre on 1800 800 110 and press 5 for flood-related issues.
What help is available?
If you have had to evacuate and need temporary access to assistive technologies, supplies or services you had to leave behind, call the NDIS National Contact Centre (1800 800 110 and press 5).
If your need is urgent – particularly if your health is at risk or you are feeling unwell – contact the nearest hospital or medical centre for assistance.
You can also contact our team at LiveBig to find out how we may be able to help you. LiveBig is a specialist allied health and assessment services provider for people with disability, including those on an NDIS plan. We can help you understand what support is available, and how to access it.
The NDIS National Contact Centre can also help you get funding authorised over the phone for repairs or replacement of assistive technology lost or damaged in the floods. If your NDIS plan includes assistive technology, then repairs and maintenance are all part of the package. However, there are limits to the costs of repair or temporary hire. You can find out more on the NDIS Urgent AT Repairs page.
What about disaster payments?
The Australian Government has also announced one-off payments to help people who have been significantly affected by floods. The government’s Recovery Connect website can also help people who find access to recovery centres, food and essential services when they have to evacuate, and ongoing help and support is also available via Services Australia.
What about my job?
Unfortunately for many people, the floods have affected their livelihoods with many businesses forced to close. For people living with a disability, finding a new job can sometimes be harder than for others. Our sister company AimBig Employment are specialists at achieving the right employment outcomes for people with a disability.