Disaster readiness

Last updated 11 October 2023
Disaster readiness

Disasters and emergencies are increasing in prevalence and impact, and the Brisbane south region has a relatively high level of exposure to extreme weather events. With the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and lessons from the 2019 – 20 bushfires, it is now more important than ever for the primary health sector to plan and be ready for the impact of disasters on practices and their patients. 

Brisbane South PHN is working closely with our relevant Local Disaster Management Groups and Metro South Health Emergency Operations Centre to actively support their disaster management responsibilities by coordinating with and for primary health providers at the local level.

Disaster management and business continuity planning

We are currently updating our disaster management plan and business continuity plan and particularly encourage general practices and community pharmacies to do the same before the end of 2020 so that they are prepared, well stocked and best-positioned to respond to crises and the health needs of their communities.

Disaster management and business continuity planning resources 

Disaster management considerations

Mitigation and preparedness

  • Develop and maintain an up-to-date emergency response plan 

  • Exercise your plan on a regular basis 

  • Contact other practices in your local area and agree on how you can offer mutual support 

  • Have a plan in place to send communications to patients about service disruptions or changes. 

  • Update medication lists and health care plans – with consideration to impacts of compounding disasters (e.g. pandemic x floods) 

  • Have a system in place to routinely capture and confirm every patient’s current contact details 

  • Ensure that patients with a My Health Record have current information recorded and an up to date shared health summary where appropriate 

  • Take steps to encourage patients to have an in-person appointment to ensure continued telehealth eligibility.

Response during a disaster

  • Consider extending opening hours to accommodate an increase in patient demand 

  • Communicate to patients any changes to access or open hours and/or reinforce continued access 

  • Regularly visit and follow alert and warning updates sites (examples listed below) 

Recovery from a disaster

  • Review and identify lessons 

  • Communicate with patients about return to normal business hours 

  • Identify community population health needs post disaster and develop campaigns to address emerging needs e.g. focus on mental health assessments 

  • Identify and reach out to patients with increased vulnerability factors 

  • Connect with and refer to local social and community support agencies.

Alerts and warnings: 

Local Government Areas disaster management resources:

Queensland Health disaster management resources: