PM’s disaster resilience plan and how you too stay ahead of stormy weather

Small tree sprout growing through the cracks of ruined concrete, symbolising resilience

In a recent ABC interview with David Iliffe, Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese hinted at the creation of a new cyclone industry recovery and resilience program and a potential new standing reserve body to assist in disaster response alongside the ADF and other emergency services.

This is in direct response to the devastation created by ex-Tropical Cyclone Jasper in Far North Queensland, while tacitly acknowledging the increased frequency and severity of such natural disasters, which are showing no signs of abating.

With the government's emphasis on enhancing Australia's resilience, and considering the cyclone season still has several months to go, we've put together some useful tips to help you bolster your own personal resilience in the face of natural disasters.

Be better informed and insured - plus tips for staying resilient

Being resilient at a personal level involves several key actions that you can take to protect yourself, your family, and your home. Here are some practical tips to help you stay prepared:

  • Stay informed. In Australia, where the weather can turn quickly, it's smart to keep up with the latest updates. The Australian Warning System helps you stay ahead of emergencies like cyclones or bushfires. For the latest weather info, the Bureau of Meteorology is the go-to. Also, don't forget to tune into your local news and follow emergency services on social media for the latest updates.
  • Prepare an emergency kit. Whether it's a sudden bushfire or a brewing storm, having an emergency kit ready is a no-brainer. Pack the essentials: water, food that won't go off, a first aid kit and a radio for updates. Depending on where you live in Australia, you might need to tweak what's in your kit. Need some pointers? The Australian Red Cross has some handy checklists.
  • Secure your home. From wild winds up north to bushfires down south, Aussie homes need to be ready for anything. Think about things like strengthening your place against heavy winds or using fire-safe materials. If cyclones are a worry where you are, the Queensland Government Tropical Cyclone Preparedness Guide has some solid advice. Each state has its own set of tips, so it's worth checking out what's relevant for your area.
  • Evacuation plan. It's crucial to have a plan for quick getaways, especially in fire or flood zones. Knowing your nearest exit routes and having a family meet-up plan can make all the difference. The Australian Disaster Resilience Knowledge Hub offers solid advice and resources on setting up an evacuation plan. Most Australian states will also have resources specific to your region.
  • Insurance check. It's wise to make sure your insurance has got your back for natural disasters. With all the crazy weather and surprises in Australia, double-check that your insurance covers stuff like floods, fires or whatever else is common in your area. Chatting with your insurance provider or a local financial advisor can help you figure out what you need.
  • Community connection. There's strength in numbers, especially when things go south. Joining a local community group or participating in neighbourhood watch programs can be a big help during tough times. These groups are great for swapping info and lending a hand when needed. Have a look around your local area – there's often a bunch of community-led initiatives that are all about looking out for each other.
  • Mental health. Let's not forget the mental side of dealing with disasters. It's totally normal to feel overwhelmed when things get rough. Knowing where to find support, like a local councillor or community health service, can be a lifesaver. Places like Black Dog Institute and Beyond Blue offer loads of resources for mental health support in Australia.

Prime Minister Albanese's recent discussion about a new resilience program is a great prompt for all of us in Australia to think about our readiness for natural disasters. 

Checking your insurance coverage is a key part of this preparedness. Take a moment to explore options to ensure you’re well-covered.

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