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Natural Disaster Emergency Checklist

It’s not something you think about every day, but it’s important to have a plan for natural disasters. Whether it’s a bushfire, flood, cyclone or storm, being prepared can make all the difference.

November 2023 – 4 minute read

What’s in this article:


Here's a checklist you can print out and refer to as you're preparing:

Emergency checklist (PDF 1MB)

Emergency Kit Checklist

Every home should have an emergency kit with a few basic things to help you get by in case there’s no electricity or running water.

Food, water and essential supplies

During an emergency you might need to stay in your home. There might also be power outages and road closures. To keep you covered for up to 72 hours, you should aim to have:

  • 3 litres of bottled water for each person
  • Non-perishable food, like canned goods and a can opener
  • Any prescriptions and medications your family needs
  • Items for babies, like formula, food, nappies
  • Items for elderly household members, like mobility aids, hearing aids
  • Items for household members with special needs, like mobility aids, insulin pumps
  • Items for pets, like food, litter, leads, carry cages and any medications
  • Camping plates, cups and cutlery
  • A portable stove or gas cooking equipment
  • Water purification tablets
  • Toiletries, like a toothbrush, toothpaste, soap, toilet paper and sunscreen
  • Insect repellent.

First aid kit

You should have a first aid kit or stock up on these items from your pharmacy:

  • Bandages in a variety of sizes
  • Gauze dressings
  • Sterile eye dressings
  • Antiseptic spray
  • Safety pins
  • Tweezers
  • Disposable gloves.


To keep you in the loop during power outages, it’s handy to have:

  • A battery-operated radio
  • A battery-operated torch
  • Extra pairs of batteries
  • A copy of your emergency plan
  • Consider also adding a back up phone battery or power bank
  • A list of emergency contact numbers
  • Pens and paper
  • Relevant apps, like ‘Fires near me NSW’
  • A list of emergency contact numbers saved to all mobile phones
  • A group chat set up to keep other family members informed.

Important documents

Keep your important documents in a sealed bag or safe you can easily access. You should also make copies of:

  • Your passport, birth and marriage certificates
  • Your Medicare, pension or personal identification cards
  • Your will
  • House, life, health, car or boat insurances
  • A list of valuable household goods
  • A back up of important files or scanned documents on a USB memory stick
  • Check with your bank if you can store your important documents (like wills or deeds to your property) in a safety custody envelope.


It’s best you pack durable, comfortable clothes made of natural, flame resistant fibres, and store them in a sealed bag. You might want to pack:

  • Strong closed-toe shoes or boots
  • Warm protective clothes like a waterproof jacket, jumper and hat
  • Garden and rubber gloves
  • Safety glasses and sunglasses.

Tools and supplies

It might also be useful to pack some tools or supplies that could help during a natural disaster. Here are a few items to consider:

  • A basic tool kit
  • Plastic garbage bags
  • A utility knife
  • Masking or duct tape for windows
  • Wool or thermal blankets and bedding
  • A tent or a tarpaulin
  • Sleeping bags
  • A whistle
  • A fire extinguisher
  • Books and games for the kids.

Items to help you evacuate quickly

If your home is in a bushfire or flood prone area, you should be ready to evacuate on short notice. Make sure you have ready:

  • Your car keys
  • Cash and credit/debit cards
  • A mobile phone and charger
  • Petrol, diesel or a fully charged electric vehicle
  • Your emergency plan.

Make sure you follow these important steps to prepare ahead of emergencies:

  • Store your emergency kit in a safe place that’s easy to find
  • Check your kit regularly to make sure your items are up to date
  • Talk to your family about what to do in an emergency
  • Plan two meeting spots in case you can’t get to the first one
  • Record important details like emergency numbers, household mobile numbers, insurance providers, family contact details, medications.

Understanding your insurance

With lots of different kinds of insurance to choose from understanding the right kind of insurance for your circumstances can seem complicated.

Get a home insurance quote

Find out more about choosing the right kind of insurance for your circumstances.

Get a quote


Keep in touch

Most insurance companies can help you in an emergency while you’re waiting for repairs. Make sure you call them if any of the following things happen to your home:

  • There’s no power or running water
  • Local authorities won’t let you access or live in your home
  • You can’t close or lock all windows and doors
  • There’s water damage to your home or contents
  • There’s damage to the building that allows the elements in, like a hole in the roof.


Tip: It’s a good idea to take pictures of your valuables and make copies of your receipts.


Ready to find out more?

Find out if Westpac Home Insurance provided by Allianz, could be a good choice for your property and circumstances. 

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Things you should know

This information is general in nature and has been prepared without taking your objectives, needs and overall financial situation into account. The information is not advice, recommendation or opinion on any products or services provided by Westpac or third parties.  For this reason, you should consider the appropriateness for the information to your own circumstances and, if necessary, seek appropriate professional advice. For more information on any specific products or services distributed or provided by Westpac, you may wish to read the relevant Product Disclosure Statement. To see some of the events covered and not covered, please refer to our Key Fact Sheets (KFS).

Home and Contents Insurance is issued by Allianz Australia Insurance Limited ABN 15 000 122 850 AFSL 234708 (Allianz). Westpac Banking Corporation ABN 33 007 457 141 AFSL 233714 (the Bank) arranges the initial issue of the insurance under a distribution agreement with Allianz, but does not guarantee the insurance. This information does not take into account your personal circumstances. Before making a decision, please consider the relevant Product Disclosure Statement. For more information call 1300 650 255.

If you take out Home and Contents with Allianz the Bank will receive a commission of up to 12% of the premium (exclusive of GST).

Where applicable, a Target Market Determination (TMD) has been created for these insurance products.