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Byron Shire
August 9, 2022

Flood adaptation service launches

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Local not-for-profit Mullum Cares has launched a new service to help flood-impacted locals make their homes liveable and more able to withstand future flood events.

The service will combine some of the key elements in rebuilding and repairing a flood-affected home.

This includes equipping people with a summary of the best information about retrofitting or rebuilding after a flood, and providing a service to case manage this project from start to finish.

It will also involve providing face-to-face and online education for those who want to do their own flood adaptation works.

Finally, there will be support in the form of assistance for local flood affected residents to get electrical safety inspections and adaptation reports.

This will give property owners an idea of the additional costs of raising power points, hot water, and air conditioning units, above flood levels.

This part of the project is being funded by a $10,000 grant from the Northern Rivers Community Foundation.

Mullum Cares founder, Sasha Mainsbridge, says she is using the retrofitting and rebuilding of her own home as a test case to help understand what is involved in not only returning a home to a liveable state, but making it flood resilient.

‘I’m fast-tracking the research and getting quotes from local tradies to retrofit my home, so it will be as flood resilient as it can be,’ Ms Mainsbridge said.

‘I’m paying all costs not covered by my insurer, out of my own pocket, to remove any conflict of interest.’

A key motivation behind the project is the fact that most insurance companies are only willing to pay the cost of returning a damaged home to its pre-flood state, rather than making it more resilient to future events.

‘We need to plan ahead,’ Ms Mainsbridge said.

More than 3,600 homes across the NSW Northern Rivers have been deemed uninhabitable, owing to floods, by State Emergency Services assessors.

To register for the project, visit mullumcares.com.au.

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