Once the Army gave the all clear, the reserves were quick to move in to bushfire-affected zones along the South Coast.
Department of Human Services reserves that is; whose mission it was to offer financial assistance and support to those who needed it - and fast.
Evelyn Harriman, manager of the Corrimal Service Centre, was one of the team leaders - and it wasn't her first deployment to a disaster zone.
"We get special training to go to areas after disasters to offer our services as soon as possible," she said.
"I'd been involved in a team supporting people after the Brisbane floods, and was called down to the South Coast as part of a mobile service team during the recent bushfire crisis.
"Our team went in with the Army at Lake Conjola in early January and they set us up in a tent with a generator so we could set up IT equipment and access our systems.
"People were still in a bit of shock I think, and they were also surprised to see us, but very happy we were there."
The team helped residents access the Australian Government Disaster Recovery Payment - a one-off payment of $1000 for adults and $800 for children.
Those residents who'd lost income as a direct result of the recent bushfires in NSW were also eligible for a Disaster Recovery Allowance - a payment which is the equivalent of 13 weeks of Newstart allowance.
"We were able to help many people, such as a woman who'd lost her business in the bushfires," Ms Harriman said.
Department of Human Services general manager Hank Jongen was at the Wollongong office on Wednesday, to thank all the staff who've worked hard to support those affected by bushfires - as part of mobile teams, in service centres and on the phones.
"We have mobilised the organisation across the country to provide as quick and efficient services as we can," he said.
"Staff have been deployed to work in recovery centres, as part of mobile service teams to go to really remote or cut-off places with defence personnel to provide services."
Mr Jongen said the government recently announced changes to the payments - to ensure more people affected by the recent bushfires were eligible, and more assistance was available. The changes came into effect on Monday, January 20.
"That includes the increase in the one-off payment for a child from $400 to $800," he said.
"If families have already received a $400 payment for a child, they'll automatically receive an additional $400, while all new applicants will get the two payments.
"There's also a change to the eligibility for those who've sustained damage to their property as a result of fires.
"Previously people had to have had their house destroyed or significantly damaged or be injured to receive this payment.
"Now those with losses in excess of $20,000, whose sheds or fences have been affected but not their homes, can be paid as well."
Mr Jongen said the department had streamlined processes as much as possible, making it easy for people to be assessed for eligibility over the phone.
Once approved, payments were being made within 24 hours.
"Since December we've paid out $61 million, and processed 51,000 claims," he said.
"We've handled a total of 100,000 calls. Our role is to get some cash into people's hands as quickly as possible."
Mr Jongen said those who'd lost everything - including relevant paperwork and cards - in fires were being given additional assistance to get those replaced.
Check humanservices.gov.au to find out the locations of the mobile service centres.
Anyone in need of assistance should call 180 22 66.