Government declares floods a natural disaster

Government declares floods a natural disaster | Insurance Business Australia

Government declares floods a natural disaster

The federal government has declared the flooding across NSW a natural disaster. The overnight declaration activates disaster assistance to more than 20 local government areas (LGAs).    

“We have seen some of these impacted communities being hit by floods for a third and fourth time in 18 months, which is extremely distressing to the residents of these communities,” said Murray Watt, minister for emergency management.

Watt said the flooding has led to a large number of evacuations throughout Metropolitan Sydney, the Hawkesbury and the Central Coast, with major flood operations still ongoing.

According to ABC News about 45,000 people are affected by evacuation orders and warnings and the SES has received more than five thousand requests for assistance since the beginning of the emergency.

Watt said the federal and state governments are working “to make sure that impacted communities get the financial and other assistance they need as soon as possible.” 

“Today’s announcement will ensure immediate assistance is available to impacted communities, including assistance for people who have lost or had damage to their homes,” said NSW emergency services minister Steph Cooke.

Rain continues to fall across NSW as the worst of the weather moves towards the Hunter Valley.

Insurance companies are responding to the disaster.

HCF, Australia’s largest not-for-profit health fund and rt Health, a provider of insurance for transport, rail and energy workers have both offered support measures for eligible members. The measures include waivers, temporary suspensions of cover and free telehealth consultations with qualified mental health professionals.

Yesterday, PetSure, the pet health company, extended emergency boarding cover for the pets of flood-affected policyholders.