Reach out for support to recover from Cyclone Debbie sooner

Reach out for support to recover from Cyclone Debbie sooner

The media coverage coming out of Queensland in the wake of Cyclone Debbie has been confronting. Homes, cars, and furniture destroyed; lives and businesses upended.

Australia is huge country, but despite Queensland being over 2,500 kilometers from my home, the people affected by the storm and flood waters are neighbours. They’re also the friends and family of many Good Shepherd Microfinance team members.

On top of the visible damage facing Queenslanders, many will be experiencing ‘financial shock’ – waiting to hear from insurance companies, facing unemployment, or wondering whether their small business will weather the storm.

I encourage these people to reach out for support. Community service organisations in Australia provide remarkable services, and never fail to step up in times of crisis. Reaching out for help can make a big difference to how quickly you bounce back from a disaster.

Cyclone and flood-affected people could be eligible for hardship policies at banks, landlords, utilities and elsewhere.

Good Shepherd Microfinance’s Money Ready Toolkit, developed in collaboration with the Queensland Government, provides advice that can help you get back on your feet.

  • Talk to your bank about its financial hardship or natural disaster policies.
  • Contact your telecommunications, water, gas, and electricity companies and ask for a payment plan for people in financial hardship as a result of a natural disas
  • If you rent, check your rights with the Rental Tenancies Authority.
  • Check in with charities like Red Cross, St Vincent de Paul and the Salvation Army for food, shelter and household items.
  • Find your local No Interest Loan Scheme (NILS) provider if you need up to $1,200 to replace household goods such as fridges, computers and washing machines.
  • Contact the National Debt Helpline on 1800 007 007 to speak to a financial counsell
A house partly submerged in flood waters

Many people cope with the physical clean up after a natural disaster, but suffer financial shock when we start tallying up all we have lost and the cost of replacement.

Remember that there is help at hand – it’s simply a matter of reaching out.

Good Shepherd Microfinance Money Ready Toolkit can be found at: www.goodshepherdmicrofinance.org.au/moneyready

Adam Mooney portrait

Adam Mooney
Chief Executive Officer, Good Shepherd Microfinance

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