Health Professionals

Disaster Management

Information for North Coast health professionals

In the event of a natural disaster or emergency, the Healthy North Coast Disaster Management Framework and Disaster Management Action Plan guide our preparation, response and recovery activities. These are accompanied by a suite of internal procedures that support our staff.

Being prepared helps to ensure that when disasters happen, you and your staff are ready to respond effectively.

Respond to the health and wellbeing needs of our community during an emergency or natural disaster.

Support mental health and wellbeing following disaster.


Our region experiences a range of natural disasters including floods, bushfires, drought and pandemics. These emergencies can pose a risk to business continuity in general practice. It is a requirement of the RACGP Standards for General Practice that practices compile and maintain an emergency response plan. Our Primary Care Impact preparedness activity helps practices prepare for emergencies and support business continuity by developing and regularly reviewing an emergency response plan.


Tips for being better prepared

  • Develop an up-to-date emergency response plan.
  • Exercise your plan on a regular basis.
  • Contact other primary health care providers in your area to connect and offer mutual support.
  • Have a plan in place to send communications to patients about service disruptions or changes.

Training and resources

The following resources can help you and your staff prepare for emergencies and respond effectively in times of crisis.

Preparedness resources for health professionals 

Disaster medical management education 

NSW Office of Emergency Management Training

Workplace Mental Health and Wellbeing Program

Emergency and pandemic resources for general practices


Healthy North Coast offers a range of resources to support health professionals and the community respond in emergency situations.

Lismore Primary Health Precinct — free clinical service spaces

With support through the Australian Government PHN program, Healthy North Coast has worked with Southern Cross University (SCU) to secure temporary clinic spaces. These are for use by primary care clinicians and services in the Lismore region who have had premises impacted.

Find out more and get in touch today.

Visit the Lismore Primary Health Precinct Directory to view local primary care providers currently delivering services from this location.

We Are Open

Emergencies and natural disasters may disrupt access to health care, reduce the availability of the health workforce and cut off essential utilities such as electricity, water and telecommunications.

The Healthy North Coast We Are Open program supports general practice and AMSs to extend their opening hours so that local communities can access primary health care during and after an emergency.

Healthy North Coast GP Telehealth

The Healthy North Coast GP Telehealth service supports our local health care providers and communities during and after emergencies. North Coast residents who are not able to get an appointment with their regular GP due to disaster, distance, or lack of after-hours services, can now book a free telehealth appointment with a GP any time of the day or night, seven days a week.


HealthPathways offers health professionals local information to make the right decisions together with patients, at the point of care.

The pathways are designed primarily for general practice teams, but are also available to specialists, allied health professionals, and other health professionals in your region.

Health Pathways Disaster Management – Mental Health
Health Pathways Disaster Management – General Practice Response

Username: manchealth
Password: conn3ct3d

Keep up to date with relevant alerts and warnings during a disaster


Health professionals play a critical role in supporting individuals and communities to recover after natural disasters and other emergencies. People affected by recent natural disasters and the COVID-19 pandemic across the North Coast can seek information and support here:

Workforce Support and Wellbeing Program

The Workforce Support and Wellbeing Program has been developed in response to the catastrophic flooding which occurred across the Northern Rivers region in March 2022 to assist primary care teams through the recovery period.

The program aims to retain the primary care workforce by supporting:

  • Rest and relief for an overworked workforce
  • Debriefing and resilience amongst teams
  • Individual capacity to be responsive to patient needs

Mental health support

Disasters can affect everyone in the community and mental health needs often emerge in the months following a disaster. If a community member needs mental health support, there are services ready to help people through the difficult times.

Additional information and support for community members can be found here.

Anxiety, depression and suicide prevention support 

Australian bushfires mental health resources

Bushfires and mental health support 

Find digital mental health resources from trusted service providers
A guide to supporting people affected by disaster
Resources to support people before, during and after a disaster or traumatic event

Information on recovering after a natural disaster

Training and resources

The following resources can help you and your staff provide the best care for community members recovering from disasters. 

Free Training for Health Professionals

Disaster Mental Health Hub: Resources and Information for Health Professionals

Help for GPs to manage patient mental health with the StepCare Service

Health, wellbeing and self-care strategies for health care professionals

Mental health and wellbeing support for first responders 

Communication after trauma – online course

RACGP GP Support Program

Support for nurses and midwives

Support for doctors, dentists, veterinarians and students in these professions

Post-traumatic stress disorder course