Australian Bushfires | How to Help

Updated: Jan 6



A state of disaster has been declared for six local government areas and three alpine resorts in Victoria, and a state of emergency has been declared in NSW. [date of statement: 04.01.20]


Many people at this time will be looking at what they can do to help.


The following is a brief list of organisations and individuals that can easily be supported no matter where you are in the world.




WHERE ARE THE FIRES?

If you are concerned about the locations of incidents please click on the image above or click here to be taken to the My Fire Watch website.


Landgate maintain and update the data collated on the My Fire Watch website.




WHAT CAN I DO?



HELP THE FIREFIGHTERS




State Fire Services

Donations can be made to the state-funded rural fire services. Some states allow pledges to individual brigades.


Victoria: CFA


NSW: RFS 


South Australia: CFS Foundation


Queensland: RFBAQ



New South Wales

Donations to the NSW Rural Fire Service directly benefit the volunteer firefighters on the frontline. To help, you can contact your local brigade directly or donate here.

You can also donate to the young families of Geoffrey Keaton and Andrew O’Dwyer, who were killed during the Green Wattle Creek fire, and Samuel McPaul, who was killed at the Green Valley fireground, here.



Victoria

For those interested in supporting the efforts of Victorian firefighters, you can donate to the state’s Country Fire Association here.


Families of fallen Firefighters

The NSW RFS has established official funds for the young families of Samuel McPaul, Geoffrey Keaton and Andrew O'Dwyer, who lost their lives battling fires this season.


HELP THE WILDLIFE



Sydney University have estimated more than 480 million animals have died in Australia since September, as a result of the bushfires.


WIRES

To help the NSW wildlife victims, you can donate to the NSW Wildlife Information, Rescue and Education Service (WIRES) here.


Port Macquarie Koala Hospital

More than 2000 koalas are feared to have perished in NSW since September.

The Port Macquarie Koala Hospital have raised more than $2 million for the wildlife affected in that area, with the initial aim of using the money to distribute automatic drinking stations in the burnt areas to help in koala and wildlife survival.


The organisation are now sharing the funds with other wildlife organisations in the fire affected regions across NSW. You can donate here.


NSW Wildlife Information, Rescue and Education Service (WIRES) say they received more than 20,000 calls in December alone, up 14 per cent. Donate here


Mogo Zoo and the Port Macquarie Koala Hospital have both set up GoFundMe pages, raising $50,000 and $3.1 million respectively.  Donate to Mogo Zoo Fire Recovery or Port Macquarie Koala Hospital on GoFundMe.com.



HELP THOSE AFFECTED




Victorian Bushfire Appeal

The Victorian government has launched a fund to help Victorians affected by the devastating bushfires, contributing an initial $2 million.


Bendigo Bank Community Enterprise Foundation and the Salvation Army are partners of the fund, which will help people rebuild their lives.


The funds will meet the most "urgent needs of local families – covering the cost of everything from a grocery shop to replacing school uniforms".


Funds will also be used for "the rescue and rehabilitation of local wildlife".


The Salvation Army

The Salvation Army have launched a disaster appeal to support the communities affected by the devastating bushfires. They are providing meals to evacuees and first-responders.

“Our teams are providing meals to evacuees and frontline responders, and will continue to provide whatever support is needed as the situation develops,”

Strategic Emergency and Disaster Management general manager, Major Topher Holland.


To donate to the disaster appeal, you can call 13 SALVOS (13 72 58), donate at any Woolworths checkout, or donate online here.



Australian Red Cross

The Australian Red Cross have launched a joint disaster appeal with the ABC to support the communities affected by fires, and have raised more than $2 million already.

Donations are being accepted through the general disaster relief fund, which goes to helping those affected by bushfires, heat, floods, cyclones and other emergencies.

More than $8 million has been raised since New Year's Eve.


While they are heartened by donations of food, clothes and people offering to open up their homes, Red Cross say they’re not in a position to take and distribute these items. The Charity states:

“Our experience with emergencies shows that donations of money, where possible, help affected communities recover soon,”
“Our specialist emergency volunteers are providing psychological first aid, working at evacuation centres and helping people to get in touch with their loved ones.”

You can also donate here.



Vinnies

Vinnies is helping with bills, clothing, bedding and food. The Queensland government chipped in $25,000 in September as part of a wider $100,000 donation. Donate here.


The St Vincent De Paul Society is also running a bushfire appeal, to help those affected rebuild their lives with food, clothing, furniture, other essentials, and funds to pay bills.

They explain exactly where your money could go:

• $50 “can provide food for a family who have been evacuated from their home.”
• $150 “can help with bills and unexpected expenses for a household recovering from a bushfire.”
• $300 “can provide clothing for a family who’ve had to leave their belongings behind.”
• $1,100 “can help those whose homes have been damaged or destroyed to set up again with bedding, furniture and appliances.

You can donate at any Vinnies store or head here.




Givit

Charities like Givit specialise in goods, where the exact items people need are listed via charities and the public can match that or register the items they have, in case someone has use for them.


Givit is currently running two specific campaigns supporting NSW and Queensland bushfire victims.




Foodbank

Foodbank is delivering emergency food relief and water to East Gippsland, helping firefighters and local communities caught up in the bushfires.


It is fundraising to send about 5,000 food relief hampers in the coming days.

You can donate here.




Gippsland Emergency Relief Fund

The Gippsland Emergency Relief Fund was established in 1978, and is operated by local volunteers for Gippsland communities affected by natural disaster events.

Donations can be made via Paypal at gerf.org.au, at any branch of the NAB across Australia, or in person at Alan Wilson Insurance Brokers at 40 Argyle St, Traralgon.




Bendigo Bank Bushfire Disaster Appeal

Bendigo Bank have partnered with The Salvation Army to establish an appeal that will raise funds for fire affected communities including East Gippsland, Hume, southeast New South Wales and Adelaide Hills.


You can make a donation here.




GoFundMe

GoFundMe pages have been set up for the Victorian communities of Cudgewa and Mallacoota.





Emergency Accommodation

Airbnb have set up pages to share free accommodation for people who are evacuating the fire zones. Find emergency housing or list your property via the NSW or Victoria page.

Free accommodation will be available until 16 January 2020.


Offers of emergency accommodation for people displaced by the East Gippsland bushfires are being managed by the local council. Those able to help should email feedback@egipps.vic.gov.au, with details of location, bedrooms available, facilities and return contact details.


Elsewhere, writer and sports commentator Erin Riley says more than 5500 people have used Find A Bed to offer beds or homes to evacuees.




Sources and information validity

VUCAP has ensured due diligence on each of these options to support the efforts of individuals and organisations. This includes verifying the accuracy of links to websites and verifying the authenticity of websites.


The information on this pages was originally sourced and collated via the following channels.


My Fire Watch

Landgate

SBS News

News.com


Information was then verified by the VUCAP due diligence process which includes link and web page analysis using SEMrush, conducting VUCAP sentiment analysis and other general due diligence measures to ensure the accuracy of this information.


Page last updated at 1131hrs on 06.01.20



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