Natural Disaster Support

Natural disasters can affect any community at any time. AISNSW believes that Independent schools are in the best position to:

  1. Develop and implement a school specific Risk Assessment Protocol for their schools

  2. Make decisions about changes in school operations, including school closure in accordance with that protocol 

  3. Communicate these decisions to their community - both in preparation and in response to an emergency situation.

Considerations for Your Risk Assessment Protocol

Independent schools know and understand their community and the area in which it is located. Each school's:

  • location in terms of risk

  • access routes and the speed at which the school can be evacuated

  • bushfire, flood, storm and emergency response plans

  • community needs and concerns, including previous experience and trauma

are part of the considerations in your Risk Assessment Protocols.

Communicating with your community and broader emergency services 

Establishing a community emergency evacuation process, including how this is communicated, is part of Risk Protocols. Schools may set up a system where parents receive an SMS text if an emergency evacuation is necessary or if the school will be closed. Schools may wish to consider establishing a relationship with local fire services, to receive local information in a timely manner and to assist in any necessary planning for your local area. 

Letting AISNSW know of changes in school operations status 

AISNSW requests that Independent schools communicate changes in their operational status in the event of a natural disaster or adverse weather.

Principals can make this notification at any time via My Profile on the AISNSW website when logged on.

On the school's behalf, AISNSW will notify the State Emergency Operations Centre about the status of main schools, campuses and sites as follows:

  • normal operations (assumed when we receive no notification)


  • limited students and staff on-site

  • acting as an evacuation centre

  • resumed normal operations.

Public Schools and school closure

The NSW Department of Education's decisions regarding school closures do not apply to Independent schools. 

The DoE makes centralised decisions based on its Risk Assessment Protocols. You can check what the DoE has decided for schools in your area by checking the Public Schools School Safety website.

Independent school Heads can make their own decisions depending on their Risk Assessment Protocols and the needs of their parent community.

However, it is important to know that Public School closures may affect transport routes.

We're here to support you 

AISNSW offers both emergency and ongoing support for schools when preparing for, responding to and recovering from emergencies. If you need assistance with your Emergency Preparation and Response Planning, you can always contact us on 02 9299 2845 or email

AISNSW works with both the Australian and NSW Governments as part of the NSW emergency and recovery planning to facilitate access to services and funding for independent schools. This is supported within AISNSW by a coordinated response team.

This online portal provides a suite of resources and information for schools, including key contacts within AISNSW and other agencies.

Emergency Contacts and Support

Whole-School Wellbeing

Operational and Work Health and Safety

Key Contacts at AISNSW and FAQs