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​​Preparing Clients for Emergencies

A resource for community ser​vice workers

Emergencies are unpredictable and can have devastating consequences, both during the emergency and long afterwards. Emergencies don't just affect individuals. They affect whole communities, as well as the surrounding environment and infrastructure. If we all do our bit and prepare for an emergency, we can minimise its impact.

Community service organisations share expertise, education, information, resources and support with those who need help most. Community service workers know their clients' capabilities and vulnerabilities and the challenges they face. Workers can use their strong relationships with their clients to help them build the skills and knowledge to prepare for, respond to and recover from an emergency.

This is a resource for community workers who provide direct services to clients through home care, neighbourhood centres, group homes and other services. It will help you to prepare clients for a range of emergencies, from everyday emergencies to natural disasters.

Using this guide, you can include preparedness information in normal day to day service delivery by teaching clients:

This resource for community service workers was developed by Australian Red Cross and the Office of Emergency Management (now Resilience NSW) in consultation with a number of community service organisations across NSW. It was jointly funded by the NSW and Commonwealth Governments under the Natural Disaster Resilience Program.


An emergency is anything that threatens life, health or property. Lots of things, not just disasters, can create an emergency for your clients. Natural disasters include bushfires, storms, floods, heatwaves and earthquakes. Accidents, like chemical spills, can also cause disasters, like explosions. These are man-made disasters. This resource focuses on natural and man-made disasters, but these tips and information can help in any emergency your client may face.

What the Vale Street Centre did

After the 2013 bushfires, Vale Street Centre helped their clients learn how they can be prepared for emergencies.