what to do next?

Experiencing an emergency can be traumatic and exhausting; it’s normal to feel unsettled for a while.
Returning to normal life may feel far off, but there are a number of things you can do, and people you can turn to, to get through.

  • Seek support from family and friends, you don’t need to go through this alone.
  • Contact your insurance company, they may be able to help you with crisis accommodation, food and incidentals.
  • If you need to chat or you’re struggling, Lifeline provide crisis support calls on 13 11 14. You can reach them 24/7 or visit the Lifeline website for resources.
  • Look out for organisations such as the Australian Red Cross who may be offering community support and assistance.
  • Before cleaning up after a flood, storm, fire or other emergency, protect yourself and check for hazards.
Gascoyne Flooding.

who can help after an emergency?

There are professionals ready to help you through all aspects of recovery, from assisting with immediate food and shelter needs, to ensuring you get any necessary medical attention.


The Department of Fire and Emergency Services coordinates services for a range of natural disasters and emergency incidents threatening people and properties. DFES teams operate 24/7, 365 days a year, with more than 1100 operational staff and 26,000 volunteers.

Visit DFES

Your Local Government

In emergency situations, your Council will provide advice to residents and businesses, supported by other Government resources and departments.

Visit Local government directory

The Department of Health

The Department of Health and the Healthy WA websites connect the public with health information and services. They provide advice for first responders such as safety tips and first aid, urgent contact details, news and alerts.

Visit Healthy WA


The Red Cross is committed to supporting communities recovering from disasters for the long term, in the days, weeks, months and sometimes years after a disaster. The Red Cross is made up of volunteers who work in recovery centres, visit homes to talk to people and support community activities.

Visit Red Cross


Lifeline provides vital crisis support to all Australians; this is especially important in emergency situations. Lifeline are on call to provide emotional and psychological support and offer a wide range of self-help resources.

Visit Lifeline


If your property or belongings are insured, report any loss or damage to your insurance company as soon as possible. They will be able to advise you how to proceed and what to expect.

Also remember to check with your insurance company before you enter into a contract with cleaning or repair contractors, as you may be left with bills to pay that would have been covered by insurance.

If you cannot remember the name of your insurance company or the details are not available, you can contact the Insurance Council of Australia on 1300 728 228.

Visit Insurance Council

Things to look out for after an emergency.

household cleanup

After a flood or storm, small things may be more challenging, such as disposing of waste, reviving spoiled furniture and belongings and dealing with dirt, mould and mildew.

Top Tips

  • Cover open cuts and grazes with waterproof dressings.
  • Spray furniture with disinfectant and dry in sun.
  • Take photographs and make a list for insurance claims

View more tips on the Healthy WA website.

recovering from a fire

Following a fire, emergency services will do their best to allow you to return to your property as soon as it’s safe. When you return home you will need to take extra care, and be aware of fallen trees, smouldering stumps and hot spots.

During a fire, utilities are often disconnected. You will need to organise with your utility supplier to inspect and repair any damage to your service and have them reconnected.

If your home is insured, call your insurance company as you may be covered for emergency accommodation through your policy. Other options are to contact the Department of Housing, which can help you find crisis accommodation or the Department for Child Protection and Family Supports’ Crisis Care.


When cleaning up after a cyclone,flood or other disasters you need to be vigilant for asbestos, spilled poisons, chemicals and pesticides, mosquitos, snakes and rodents.

Top Tips

  • Wear protective shoes, gloves and clothes.
  • Avoid stagnant water where mosquitos may breed.
  • Call 000 if chemicals are spilled.

View more tips on the Healthy WA website.

food safety

When the power goes out, it means food in your fridge will start to go off.

Top Tips

  • Throw perishable food out if not refrigerated for two hours.
  • Wash plates or utensils exposed to floodwater with hot soapy water.
  • Check veggies or herbs in your garden aren’t contaminated before eating.

View more tips on the Healthy WA website.

water safety

Drinking water and other bodies of water, such as tanks and swimming pools can become polluted.

Top Tips

  • Boil water before drinking or cooking.
  • Drain or disinfect contaminated rainwater tanks.
  • Empty or chlorinate swimming pools.

View more tips on the Healthy WA website.

Waste Water

Wastewater after cyclones or floods may enter your septic tank and cause your toilet to block up and can cause pungent smells.

Top Tips

  • Clean and disinfect anything contaminated.
  • Call a professional to inspect and repair your system.
  • Call a doctor if you experience any illness.

View more tips on the Healthy WA website.