Pre-season checklist

In preparation for disaster season, councils should ensure they are ready to submit applications for funding under the Disaster Recovery Funding Arrangements (DRFA). This pre-season checklist covers key items that should be in place prior to disaster season. 

Management and Reporting System (MARS)

MARS access:

  • Does council have users who have appropriate access to MARS? (Refer to MARS - Authorised Users
  • Does council need to remove any users for all staff that have left and no longer require MARS access? (Refer to MARS - Authorised Users

MARS training:

MARS lodgment preparation:

  • Has the following benchmarking information (to inform treatment rates) been provided to QRA to upload in MARS in order to lodge submissions?
  • Has the following internal plant information (to establish eligible reimbursement rate - recommended) been provided to QRA to upload in MARS in order to lodge submissions?

Please note this information can be sent via your RLO.

Data capture

The capture of photographic evidence is a critical part of the application process. Councils must ensure that pre and post disaster photos are captured with GPS location/date and time in the photos meta-data.

  • Does council have capability to undertake damage assessments (either with experienced staff or an agreement with experienced external service providers)?
  • Does council have software, hardware and procedures in place to capture damage data to facilitate submission preparation?
  • Does external software have latest rates, DRN, treatments and submission templates? 
  • How does council collate photos? 
  • Where are photos stored? Are they appropriately named/checked for quality?
  • Who undertakes the works – how do they ensure evidence is captured before undertaking the work?
  • Who captures evidence (prior to, during and after completion of works)?
  • Has the precondition information been checked for pre-existing damage?

Refer to the following data capture tip sheets:

Digital Road Network (DRN)

QRA relies on DRN data from councils and state agencies to help verify the location of essential public assets.

  • Has council confirmed with QRA that the DRN in MARS is current and consistent with QRA’s record?
  • Has council checked that DRN data is consistent between council, QRA and any third party software?

Refer to the following DRN tip sheet:

Trigger points

  • Is council aware of their trigger point and how it relates to Reconstruction of Essential Public Assets (including Emergency Works and Immediate Reconstruction Works)? (Refer to local government trigger points).

Account/expense reporting

  • How are costs captured?
  • Are costs codes (job numbers) in line with QRA’s standard activities?


  • For REPA works: does council’s accounting system track costs by activity and can a list of assets for each activity be provided?
  • For CDO: can council identify the different activities undertaken and link the associated expenditure to it?


  • Does council have the resources to build, lodge and manage a submission process in MARS?
  • Is there a project manager to deliver the works?
  • Who identifies the works?
  • If the need for contractors is anticipated, are they on a panel of providers that can be engaged at short notice?
  • Is there a back up for CEO authorisation when not available for approving progress reports?
  • Are there resources to capture evidence (prior to, during and after completion of works)?
  • Are there enough resources to capture data before undertaking the work?

Repeat Events and Dollars Index (REDI) application

The Repeat Events and Dollars Index (REDI) is an interactive mapping application to help councils to understand their risk, costs and repeat damage from natural disaster events. Data is represented in a ‘heat map’ that identifies and highlights the most frequent and most costly damage sites. Each council has its own unique log in so they can access their own REDI data, the information is not shared between other councils.

  • Has council reviewed their REDI map at the ArcGIS online homepage? (For any questions about the REDI application please email

Downloading the Pre-season Checklist