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Here are tools and resources to support your service to plan for and respond to disasters.

Preparedness & Planning

Organisational planning

Mental Health Commission, NCOSS, University of Canberra: Community Resilience, Wellbeing and Recovery Project Guides 

Organisations and groups of organisations can use these resources to define organisational capacity and roles and plan how they will work with government and large organisations disaster in disaster relief and recovery. Resources include:

Guide for community-based organisations 

This guide assists local organisations to identify the roles they contribute to disaster recovery and resilience in their community and how to plan and prepare for these roles. This guide talks about common practical challenges local and non-local organisations experience as part of disaster recovery. 

Guide for funders, large organisations and others seeking to enable and support local organisations in disaster recovery 

This guide is for funders, government agencies, large organisations and others seeking to enable and support local organisations in disaster recovery. 

Northern Rivers Disability Inclusive Disaster Risk Reduction Workshop
Workbook for community-based organisations 

This workbook was produced to be used alongside the Guide for community-based organisations. It contains seven worksheets local organisations can use to plan their role in disaster recovery processes. 

  • Worksheet 1 Disaster recovery and resilience roles: Evaluating where you can contribute 
  • Worksheet 2 Local and non-local organisations: Planning to work together 
  • Worksheet 3 Building cross-organisation networks 
  • Worksheet 4 Developing your contact directory 
  • Worksheet 5 Developing robust consent, referral and information sharing protocols 
  • Worksheet 6 Planning to support staff and volunteers 
  • Worksheet 7 Identifying and accessing practical resources 
Bega Preparedness Workshop

Planning for Recovery 

NCOSS Webinar: Community-led Disaster Recovery: supporting local organisations to plan and prepare

NCOSS, the NSW Mental Health Commission and the University of Canberra developed the Community Resilience, Wellbeing and Recovery Project Resources to enable community organisations to be a key part of community-led disaster recovery. This practical webinar looks at using two of the Project’s key resources ‘A guide for local organisations’ and ‘Workbook for community-based organisations’ to help organisations plan and prepare for their contribution to disaster recovery and resilience in their community. 

ACOSS Resilient Community Organisationswebsite​ 

Purpose: Organisations and groups of organisations can use this resource to

  • Define organisational risk.
  • Complete business continuity plans.

Content: A toolkit to help organisations measure and improve their resilience to disasters and emergencies.

The Toolkit includes:

  • A benchmarking system so organisations can assess their current state of preparedness for disasters and emergencies and identify areas of improvement.
  • Six Steps to Disaster Resilience, which provide information and resources organisations need to take action.

Disaster Resilience in Community Service Organisations – a free, self-paced Charles Sturt University online course 

Offers practical strategies to improve disaster preparedness in community service organisations. These capabilities will equip you and your organisation with skills to manage service disruption in the face of disaster events.


  • Hear from practitioners and managers in the field who are working to increase their organisation’s disaster preparedness.
  • Benchmark your organisation’s current capabilities and develop an action plan to build a more sustainable and resilient organisation.
  • Produce an action plan for building sustainable and resilient organisations in the context of disasters.

Completion of this course could make you eligible for Continuing Professional Development points via your professional association. Completing this course leads to obtaining a Certificate of Completion.

Wellbeing and Disasters

Women’s Health Goulburn North East Australia ReMade Care through Disaster resources to better set ourselves up to care and be cared for well, especially during times of deep disruption.


NCOSS also provides links  to tools for supporting yourself and others after a disaster.

Preparing People 

University of Sydney Collaborating 4 Inclusion provides useful preparedness training and resources: 

Person-Centred Emergency Preparedness (P-CEP) is a University of Sydney Centre for Continuing Education Certificate Course 

By completing the course you will:  

  • Apply the 4 P-CEP action steps to strengthen your own emergency preparedness.  
  • Develop knowledge, skills, and confidence to enable P-CEP with others.  
  • Connect and learn together with other stakeholders to advance P-CEP in your role and community context. 

About the Course: 

  • 6 self-paced, online modules bring learners together to develop the knowledge and skills to facilitate P-CEP. 
  • Read, watch, listen, and reflect on learning through practical activity based discussions. 
  • Create an implementation plan. 
  • Join the P-CEP Connect Learning Community to support translation of learning into practice. 

To gain access to the course, you need to complete an EOI. It is free and self-paced, and we take in a new group for the course each month. 

In this webinar, you can hear about different types of providers have implemented P-CEP after taking the course: 

ESDA - Emergency Sector Disability Awareness Online Modules are a 3-part introductory learning module for the emergency sector on disability inclusion in emergency management.  

Part 1: Introduction to Disability for the Emergency Sector  

Part 2: Introduction to Disability Advocacy for the Emergency Sector  

Part 3: Introduction to Disability Representation for the Emergency Sector 

Monaro Family Support Service/Australian Red Cross preparedness session

Resources using the Person-Centred Emergency Preparedness approach

Australian Red Cross preparedness resources 

Community-led Resilience Teams: A guide for establishing and developing Community-led Resilience Teams in local communities 

Community-led Resilience Teams (CRTs) provide a way for community members to support each other and improve their capacity for disaster resilience. This guide is designed to assist community members and Red Cross volunteers working with communities to establish and develop their own CRTs. The guide includes: 

Module 1 What is a Community-led Resilience Team? 

Module 2 The Benefits of a Local Community-led Resilience Team 

Module 3 Where to Begin – Seven Easy Steps 

Module 4 Resources and Emergency Information 

A selection of templates and resources used by CRTs 

Red Cross Preparedness Resources, including the Red Cross RediPlan, a free disaster preparedness guide packed with helpful hints and clever strategies on how to prepare for disasters and make your emergency plan. The RediPlan and preparedness information is available in the following formats: 

Easy English RediPlan  

RediPlan in AuslanLink 

Preparedness for older people  

Preparedness for people with a chronic illness 

Preparedness for people with a physical disability 

Preparedness for people who have just moved 

Preparedness for children

Preparedness for parents 

Get packing list

Preparedness sessions in Snowy Monaro

Flagstaff’s EMBER program teaches individuals living with disability to prepare for bushfires and other natural disasters. Using simple language, formats and resources the program aims to support people with disability gain confidence in what to do when there is an emergency and to ensure they: 

PLAN – Have an easy plan ready to guide them on what to do in case there is a natural emergency; and 

ACT – If there is a bushfire, flood or other emergency – Take action and leave early. 

A plan can be created using the EMBERapp 

Streetmate is a neighbour support program. A Streetmate kit can be downloaded from the EMBER website Tools. 

NSW Meals on Wheels A Collaborative Toolkit (ACT)

Resources for home support providers to empower older people to make decisions about preparing for emergencies, by building on their knowledge of local risks, initiating and supporting individual discussions around what they can do to prepare, providing concise, practical information and linking in appropriate supports. 

Preparing Communities 

Nimbin Neighbourhood & Information Centre has worked extensively with the local community and emergency services to develop: 

  • the Nimbin Emergency Radio Network (NERN)  
  • the Community Care Team (CCT)  
  • Nimbin Community Disaster Plan 


NCOSS Disaster Assistance Resource pages are a quick reference for services supporting their communities through: 

  • Flood 
  • Heat 
  • Look out for new pages after bushfires and health crises

Emergency Volunteering is a NSW Government website providing information on volunteering with formal emergency agencies, management of spontaneous volunteers and current volunteering opportunities.

NCOSS Webinar: Human Rights-Based Approach in Disaster Reponses 

This session explores a framework for applying a human rights-based approach in disaster risk reduction and capability-building. 

It considers how disaster management is traditionally viewed and implemented and presents a complementary ‘Human Rights-Based Approach’ through the application of core ‘PANEL’ principles (Participation, Accountability, Non-Discrimination, Empowerment, Legality). 

With a panel of speakers, the session also unpacks a self-assessment tool to explore the realities of translating principles into practice. Local and regional examples were discussed, allowing for reflection on key learnings in the aftermath of the 2019-2022 disasters (fires, pandemic and flooding) in New South Wales. 


Disaster Recovery Planning using Recovery Capitals - a collaboration between the University of Melbourne, Massey University (Aotearoa), Australian Red Cross and the Bushfire and Natural Hazards CRC. 

Organisations and groups of organisations can use this resource to define organisational capacity and roles against identified disaster recovery challenges. The resources can be used to plan recovery after a disaster or in pre-disaster recovery planning. 

The Recovery Capitals (ReCap) Guide defines the seven Recovery Capitals: 

  1. Social 
  2. Political  
  3. Natural 
  4. Built 
  5. Financial 
  6. Human 
  7. Cultural 

The Guide explains the elements of, and considerations for, assessing each Capital when planning for recovery. 

The Applying Recovery Capitals (ReCap) – Activities provides a number of activities to assist your organisation/s to: 

  • Map the capabilities/strengths of local NGOs against specific recovery challenges. 
  • Define the domains the NGO sector will work in and influence. 
  • Define optimal collaboration arrangements between communities, NGOs, local emergency services, state government and local councils. 

Short Course: Foundations in Disaster Recovery

The University of Melbourne Foundations in Disaster Recovery short course has been specifically designed for practitioners, volunteers and community members who are (or will be) working in post-disaster settings. The course has been written by leading disaster recovery researchers at the University of Melbourne and combines the rigour of academic research with a focus on practical application.

This course is in a flexible format across five weeks with a combination of online and (optional) in-person learning. The content covered provides a foundation for disaster recovery practitioners, volunteers and community leaders who want to deepen their understanding of disaster recovery, how to consider disaster related impacts and how to access evidence-based materials to support practice.

Podcast: After the Disaster

The After the Disaster Podcast was developed by the ABC, Australian Red Cross and the University of Melbourne.

The podcast is for people who have been affected by disasters. In the podcast, host Kate Brady and guests provide easy to understand, reliable information from people with lived experience, and people who have professional experience.

Each of the 15 episodes covers a different topic – ranging from how to support the kids in your life, managing the insurance issues, planning memorials and why disasters that come from acts of violence might feel different.

Prevention & Mitigation 


  • Local Government NSW YouTube video highlights the process of mapping using a Simtable (note: video contains bushfire imagery & footage)
  • The Australian Institute for Disaster Resilience Disaster Mapper provides a simple way to look for disaster events that have occurred around Australia.
  • Local Government NSW YouTube video Hawkesbury Disaster and Emergency Dashboard 



Disaster Risks, Vulnerability, Assets (RiVA) Mapping Tool and Dashboard

In development - The Disaster Risks, Vulnerability, Assets (RiVA) Mapping Tool and Dashboard bring together social measures and hazards data to provide a unique tool for understanding disaster vulnerability and risk.


The NCOSS Disaster Support webpages are part of the Community Sector Disaster Capability Project. The Project, a partnership between NCOSS, AbSec and the Local Community Services Association (LCSA), was jointly funded by the Australian and NSW Governments under the National Partnership Agreement on Disaster Risk Reduction, through a Disaster Risk Reduction Fund grant. The CSDC Project was completed in June 2024.