On Sunday, 21 March 2021, parts of New South Wales, including the Central, Mid and North Coast, were declared a disaster zone following what is said to be the biggest floods seen in 60 years. The Federal Government has released flood relief payments into affected council regions throughout NSW.
There are current flood warnings in all states of Australia, but areas of New South Wales have been declared a disaster zone to release immediate funding and relief for those impacted.
Central Coast NSW is home to more than 300,000 alone, with millions more impacted in Sydney and other impacted areas. Many of these have lost power and telecommunications, with more rains still expected to come. For those impacted, we’ve put as many resources as we could find in one place to try and help ease even a little bit of your stress.
If you are in a position to help, you can do so through one of the options at the end of this article.
How to Claim the NSW Flood Relief Payment
The Australian Government has released the Disaster Recovery Payment for those impacted by the NSW floods in March 2021. It’s been recommended to have your documentation ready and call 180 22 66 for faster flood relief payment claim processing. Phone lines will be open 8:00am to 8:00pm 7 days a week.
To submit your claim, you will need 1 document showing Proof of Birth or Proof of Arrival to Australia (or 50 points of ID). You may also be required to provide evidence of impact, such as proof of hospital admission or damage to your principal place of residence.
People impacted in the following local government areas have until 20 September 2021 to claim $1,000 per adult and $400 per child younger than 16:
- Blue Mountains.
- Canterbury Bankstown.
- Central Coast.
- Clarence Valley.
- Coffs Harbour.
- Dungog Shire.
- The Hills District.
- Inner West.
- Lake Macquarie.
- Northern Beaches.
- Port Macquarie-Hastings.
- Post Stephens.
The above list was current as of 9:30am, Monday 22 March 2021.
Who to Call if You Are Stuck in Flood Waters
State SES emergency support: 132 500
The New South Wales State Emergency Service (SES) advises to call them for help during flood or storm emergencies, to dial 000 if there is a life-threatening emergency. ACMA (Australian Communications & Media Authority) says you can still call 000 from a mobile device even if your service provider does not provide network coverage in that area. The call will simply be carried to another network provider with coverage in that area.
Can you call 000 without service?
If you are connected to NBN and there is a power outage, you will not be able to call 000 from a landline phone. You will need to have a mobile device handy. For those not connected to NBN yet, you may be able to call 000 during a blackout if your landline is plugged directly into the socket.
Ways to Help NSW Flood Disaster Relief in 2021
1. Provide support via the Flood Crisis Response Facebook page.
Those seeking and offering help in affected flood areas have been posting regularly in The Flooding in Mid North Coast New South Wales, Australia Facebook page. For those in affected areas, you can also mark yourself ‘safe’ via this page, which will let your Facebook friends know you are okay too.
Some of the help being sought on the page are for transport or shelter for animals and livestock, if particular rural roads are flooded and more. People are also posting updates of where flood waters are still high, rising or receding. Sharing this information can potentially help people prepare for floods near them if they’re not yet impacted.
2. Preserve resources and find loved ones through the Red Cross.
The Red Cross through the Australian Government has established a website where you can register to let people know you are safe or find loved ones who have marked themselves as safe from the NSW March 2021 floods. By using websites like the Register. Find. Reunite. Initiative, first instead of calling emergency services, you are helping keep lines open for those needing rescue or emergency services.
3. Donate to individual GoFundMe flood fundraisers.
Searching for ‘NSW Floods’ on GoFundMe will return hundreds of individual results for people looking for funding to help those affected by the floods get critical funding. Funds may be sought for housing repairs required once waters recede, loss of a business or home, accommodation and community support after the floods have cleared.
Individual fundraisers will generally be promoted by the person running the fundraiser, so even if you cannot donate yourself, sharing these pages and getting awareness to help makes all the difference.
If you know someone looking for a reputable water restoration service near them, help them find one on localsearch.com.au.