The videos and pictures coming in of the bushfires ravaging the east coast of Australia are incredible and terrifying all at once. Stories of lost homes, lost lives, and people going out of their way to help out have been emerging over the past few days, and today is predicted to be the day that fire conditions reach their worst.
These bushfires have been particularly anxiety-inducing, it doesn’t matter whether or not you live in the affected areas or know anyone who does, the footage has been hard to stomach. If you’ve been looking for a way to help but don’t know how, then here are some ways to get involved.
If you’re close to the areas affected, there are a number of Facebook groups that have been set up for people to offer shelter for people and animals alike. Some of these include Newcastle Open Doors for Catastrophic Fire Risk, Fire and Flood HELP for Horses Mid North Coast NSW, and Fire Evacuation Pet Assistance NSW. If you have a spare room or can look after someone’s dog, you can let people know there.
The Red Cross are very experienced in providing bushfire disaster response. They’re accepting donations and volunteers, so if you have you have a bit of extra time then you can sign up to help out here.
If you’re nowhere near the fire zones, you can still help. The Salvation Army is currently running a Disaster Appeal for the bushfires, collecting money to help them stay in the area after the fires have been put out and help the communities rebuild. You can donate here.
Speaking of koalas, Koalas In Care are looking for all your spare Napisan, unscented washing powder, disposable gloves, cotton-wool balls, and tubes of papaw ointment.
These bushfires are terrifying. Watching the footage and feeling helpless is a horrible feeling, so no matter what resources you have, there is a way to chip in to the relief efforts and get involved.