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Bushfire Blog: How you can help, where you can find help.

A message regarding the devastating bushfires and how we can assist those people affected.

With a heavy heart, we watch the devastation from the wildfires burning across our country. We cannot begin to imagine what the people who are affected are going through. We know there isn’t much we can say to offer comfort for all that is lost, however, we can try our best to support what can be saved and protected.

There are currently more than 130 bushfires continuing to burn, lives have been lost and over 150 properties destroyed. With conditions set to worsen – it can leave us feeling heartbroken and helpless. But even from far away, there are ways we can come together to support our fellow Australians.

Below we have listed a few Community Relief Funds and Support Services, and we encourage you to comment with any others we have missed. If you have been affected by the fires, the first lists are for you. If you are seeking to help those affected, you can find all the information in the second half.

Based on latest forecasts from the Bureau of Meteorology as of November 11th, the following fire danger ratings are expected on Tuesday. These are subject to change as forecasts are updated:

Catastrophic – Greater Sydney and Greater Hunter (including the Blue Mountains and Central Coast areas)
Extreme – North Coast, Illawarra/Shoalhaven, Central Ranges, Northern Slopes and North Western
Severe – Far North Coast, New England, Far South Coast, Southern Ranges, Lower Central West Plains

These fires are still a threat and have been declared a ‘Catastrophic fire Danger’ in NSW and QLD – if you are in the area please heed the fire service warnings, check what your options are and stay safe.

 

You can find where the fires near you are on these websites –

NSW: https://www.rfs.nsw.gov.au/fire-information/fires-near-me

QLD: https://www.ruralfire.qld.gov.au/map/Pages/default.aspx

 

Services for those who have been affected:

 

For those who’ve lost their homes to the fire, the Australian Government Disaster Recovery Payment and the Disaster Recovery Allowance have been activated to provide financial assistance. Payments will provide $1000 for adults and $400 for children.

 The Red Cross 

The Red Cross is offering psychological first aid and helping reconnect families in Bega and South-West Victoria. They have launched the Register.Find.Reunite service for people affected by the fires. This service registers, finds and reunites family, friends and loved ones after an emergency.

You can use that service here: https://register.redcross.org.au

 

The Queensland Building and Construction Commission:

The QBCC assists Queensland communities to recover from natural disasters by providing technical and general advice on a wide range of rebuilding issues. If your home been damaged by the bushfires you can use ‘The Bushfire Rebuild Register’ to let you search for licensed contractors who are available to help with repairs or reconstruction: https://my.qbcc.qld.gov.au/s/bushfire-rebuild-register

 

St Vincent de Paul:

People in need of assistance can call Vinnies Helpline on 1800 846 643. Follow this link to make a donation.

 

BlazeAid:

BlazeAid is a volunteer-based organization. They assist rural families and individuals to help clear, repair or replace fences that have been lost as a result of natural disasters.

Register for Fencing Help here: https://blazeaid.com.au/how-to-get-fencing-help/

 

How to save your home and what to do in an emergency:

Download a discussion guide on what to do if a bush fire threatens you home here: https://www.rfs.nsw.gov.au/plan-and-prepare/bush-fire-survival-plan

Prepare your home and get it ready for bush fire season. Download a checklist here: https://www.rfs.nsw.gov.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0005/36599/Plan-Step2-Prepare.pdf

 

Services for those who want to help:

 

Charities taking monetary donations:

The Red Cross – https://www.redcross.org.au/donation

The NSW Rural Fire Service (NSW RFS):
https://www.rfs.nsw.gov.au/volunteer/support-your-local-brigade

The Salvation Army and Bendigo Bank: Donations can be made at any Bendigo Bank branch, or online: https://www.communityenterprisefoundation.com.au/make-a-donation/qld-bushfire-appeal/

The Fire Foundation: https://www.givenow.com.au/firefoundation

St Vincent de Paul: https://donate.vinnies.org.au/appeals-qld/vinnies-disaster-appeal-qld

The Salvation Army: https://www.salvationarmy.org.au/donate/make-a-donation/donate-online/?appeal=disasterappeal

BlazeAid: https://blazeaid.com.au/donations/how-donate/

GoFundMe fundraisers:

MidCoast Bush Fire Relief: https://www.gofundme.com/f/midcoast-bush-fire-relief

Wytaliba community bushfire devastation: https://www.gofundme.com/f/wytaliba-community-bushfire

Time to give back to our Hero’s: https://www.gofundme.com/f/time-to-give-back-to-our-heros

Community of Rainbow Flat & Surrounds Fire: https://www.gofundme.com/f/community-of-rainbow-flat-amp-surrounds-fire

Other Fundraisers:

For the Willawarren and Bobin residents: https://www.facebook.com/donate/426699788243615/1319521688209835/

 

 

Charities taking donated goods and services:

GIVIT:

In 2013, the Queensland Government entered into an official partnership with the not-for-profit GIVIT Listed Ltd for the management of all donated goods and services, including corporate offers of assistance, during the recovery phase of natural disasters. The GIVIT platform is free to use and makes giving easy by allowing you to see exactly what is required by vulnerable community members.

Find what items are needed for the residents affected by recent bushfires here: http://www.givit.org.au/items-needed

The Queensland Building and Construction Commission:

If you are a licensed contractor wanting to accept work from consumers affected by natural disasters, you can register with the Queensland Building and Construction Commission’s Find a Local Contractor directory: https://www.qld.gov.au/emergency/emergencies-services/help-disaster

 

Want to volunteer?

BlazeAid:

A volunteer-based organisation that works with families and individuals in rural Australia after natural disasters such as fires and floods. Their volunteers help to rebuild fences and other structures that have been damaged or destroyed.

Register here: https://blazeaid.com.au/

Red Cross:

How they help – greeting people at evacuation centres, or go door to door in communities following a flood or fire to check how people are coping, or register people on our registration service that helps people find their family and friends.

Find Volunteer opportunities here: http://volunteering.redcross.org.au/cw/en/filter/?category=emergency%20services

Emergency Volunteering CREW:

This service matches volunteers with disaster and emergency management agencies.

Register your interest here: https://register.emergencyvolunteering.com.au/

CFA (Country Fire Authority)

CFA volunteers do everything from fighting fires and road rescues to fundraising, marketing and community engagement.

Find Volunteering options here: https://www.cfa.vic.gov.au/volunteer-careers/volunteers

 

Help the local Wildlife:

The Port Macquarie Koala Hospital would like to raise money to purchase and distribute automatic drinking stations which will assist in helping koala and wildlife survival. Help them by going here: https://www.gofundme.com/f/help-thirsty-koalas-devastated-by-recent-fires

 

We wish to extend our deepest condolences to all those who have been affected and thank the brave fire fighting and emergency services who are risking their lives to contain the blazes and save lives. Our thoughts are with you all.

 

 

 

 

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