• Talk to your clients about their personal support networks. These could include friends, family and community groups they regularly attend, like Rotary, U3A or church.
  • When you update contact details for family and carers during your annual client review, find out if any of these people can help in an emergency. Make sure your client has a copy of this list.
  • Neighbours are often the first people to offer help in an emergency. Where you can, help your clients to meet their neighbours - they may be able to assist.
  • Talk to your local NSW Rural Fire Service, Fire & Rescue NSW and NSW State Emergency Service unit or brigade. Their staff or volunteers could speak about emergency safety and local hazards at your next community or group event or your next staff meeting.
  • If your client is non-verbal or can't communicate, write down their emergency contacts and important medical information for them to give to passers-by and emergency services.
  • If your client needs to call Triple Zero (000), they should know the nearest cross street, their phone number and address. Help them to write these out, and place the note near the phone or on the fridge so they have this information at hand.
  • When making an evacuation plan with your clients, factor in how long they will need to get out of their homes, and whether they will need help to evacuate.
  • Talk with your clients about where they would go and how they would get there.
  • Think about your client's access to transport. Do they need special transport? What will they do if their usual transport isn't available?
  • Work with your client to contact their electricity provider about their power needs for life support devices, like home dialysis. Some utilities place people on a priority reconnection list, sometimes called a Life Support Account. Your client's health service providers may also be able to assist.

F​​act: hazards

A hazard is something that presents a danger to your client. When people talk about being 'at risk' of an emergency or disaster, it means that a hazard exists and your client is vulnerable to it.

Your clients may not be able to avoid a hazard, but good preparation can make them less vulnerable to it.

Tip​: buddy system

By facilitating meetings and get-togethers, a small community service organisation helped their clients to get to know their neighbours. They set up a buddy system so that clients knew who they could go to in an emergency.​