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National Capability Package

On 5 May 2021, the Australian Government announced a $4.5 million National Capability Package.

The National Capability Package is aimed at strengthening Australia’s resilience and enhancing the capability to prepare for, recover from and reduce the effects of natural disasters on Australian communities.

It arises from the Royal Commission into National Natural Disaster Arrangements, which recommended all levels of government work together to develop a national approach for recovery, and to champion disaster resilience.

As part of the National Capability Package, a new Recovery Exercising Toolkit is now available on the Australian Institute of Disaster Resilience (AIDR) Knowledge Hub.

The Toolkit enhances the ability of communities to plan and prepare for how they will recover from disasters. It contains specialised resources to help guide local councils, emergency management committees and other recovery organisations in the design and implementation of recovery exercises.

The Recovery Exercising Toolkit

The Recovery Exercising Toolkit provides a national reference for the planning and conduct of recovery exercises and includes practical guidance and resources to support the development of recovery focused scenarios, across the short, medium and longer term.


This Toolkit is a companion guide to the Managing Exercises Handbook and Community Recovery Handbook. The design and conduct of recovery exercises is based on the nationally recognised exercise management methodology, outlined in the Managing Exercises Handbook. This Toolkit provides evidence-based guidance that recognises the complexity of disaster recovery and includes recovery considerations and specialised resources to inform the design and conduct of recovery exercises.

Who is the Toolkit for?

The toolkit is a series of modules which local councils, state and territory governments, community groups, emergency management agencies and committees, and other organisations working in recovery can use to run emergency management exercising. Communities can select the modules most relevant to increase their capacity to respond to disaster situations.

Using the Toolkit

The modules include practical guidance and specialised resources to support the development of recovery-focused scenarios and a suite of “Recovery Considerations” based on evidence-informed recovery practice. Exercise planners can select specific modules to target local recovery priorities and inform ongoing planning. The Toolkit contains evidence-based guidance and specialised resources, templates and slides that enable emergency planners to follow in the development and conduct of a recovery exercise.

The Toolkit contains modules that support exercises related to elements of recovery such as working with Indigenous communities and supporting people with disability.

Recovery Exercising Toolkit Modules

Within the Recovery Exercising Toolkit are the following modules:

Fundamentals Community Recovery Module

Gives participants an overview of the context and complexity of community recovery and how disasters affect individuals and communities. It outlines recovery concepts and what to expect over the long journey of recovery.  It is essential learning for everyone who has any role in supporting communities following a disaster.

Coordinating Support for People with Disability

Designed to give participants a common understanding of the impacts of disasters for people with disability. It emphasises both the strengths and support needs of people with disability and their capability to contribute to emergency management and recovery planning.

Working With Indigenous Communities in Recovery

Designed to give participants a shared understanding of the intrinsic strengths of Indigenous peoples and the unique impacts on Indigenous communities affected by disasters. 

Foundations of Economic Recovery

Designed to give participants an overview of the context and complexity of economic recovery and how disasters affect small businesses, primary producers and local economies. It outlines concepts and what to expect over the long journey of economic recovery. 

Recovery Considerations Over Time

A core module designed to be included in all recovery exercises. Recovery considerations that emerge over the long journey of recovery are explored in 3 separate sessions run throughout the exercise day. Each session focuses on community consequences and recovery strategies at particular points in time.

Recovery Exercising Toolkit Development

The Toolkit has also drawn upon the expertise across jurisdictions, specialist recovery practitioners, latest research, and evidence and findings from studies and previous disasters. Its development has also been informed by three pilot exercises conducted in Queensland, South Australia and Tasmania across 2021- 2022.

The Toolkit can be used to support exercise management programs to include a recovery exercise component whenever exercises are conducted. The stand-alone modules in the Toolkit can also be used outside of an exercise activity and incorporated into recovery workshops or training sessions. The modules can also be used as a ‘just in time’ training resource to support Recovery Committees that are established after a disaster.

For more information on the Toolkit visit the AIDR website.