NSW Bush Fires – How you can help
Thank you for your concern for our fellow Australians affected by the devastating fires.
If you are in a fire-affected area please look after the safety of yourself and your family, friends, neighbours and local community first. At this time, the best action you can take is to stop and listen to, and follow the directions of trusted sources including authorities. They will let you know how to stay safe and what the best course of action is. This will ensure the right help is given at the right time, in the right place.
There are a number of sources where you can keep up-to-date with the latest bushfire information. Keep an eye on the NSW Rural Fire Service website and social media – they provide regular updates on the fires, advice and how you can help. Download the Fires near Me app to keep up-to-date with all developments. Go to the NSW Office of Emergency Management website for emergency management information.
There is no call for recovery volunteers just yet.
The best course of action at this stage it to apply or pre-register your intereset in volunteering for disaster recovery organisations. These organisations will require you to register and complete training in order to effectively coordinate relief, if and when the time comes.
The eventual recovery effort is going to be huge. Volunteering for volunteer-involving organisations in your local community will support the long recovery and rebuilding process. Your help will be needed when the immediate danger has passed, and affected individuals and communities are ready to ask for and receive assistance. By volunteering locally you strengthen your own and your community’s connectedness, disaster resilience and preparedness.
Here are a number of ways you can help:
- Pre-register to Vvolunteer on the Centre for Volunteering’s Emergency Volunteering Website. We will assist with coordinating pre-registrations made on this website with community organisations requiring volunteers if and when they are needed.
- Register directly with disaster relief organisations via their websites. Disaster relief organisations will contact you directly if and when you are needed. This is an evolving emergency across multiple states and so this approach may well change in the coming days and weeks.
- Volunteer with the Red Cross. While not specifically recruiting for Emergency Services volunteers at the moment, the Red Cross are working on a ‘register your interest’ link where you can register your contact details and location, so that – if needed – they can contact you with opportunities. Any other general volunteering enquiries for Red Cross NSW can be sent to email@example.com (or call 1800 833 489).
- Register your interest directly with the NSW Rural Fire Service
Currently one of the best ways to help is to donate money. This allows people to buy the things they need, and it supports local businesses which have also been impacted. We know many people want to donate physical items such as food and clothing but these take up much needed community space.
Please take care when making donation as there have been a number of ‘scams’. The National Bushfire Recovery Agency has published a list of registered charities that accept tax deductible donations and are running bushfire appeals. The list was compiled at the Prime Minister’s request by the Australian Charities and Not-for-Profits Commission (ACNC), the Australian Taxation Office and Treasury to help Australians identify credible bushfire appeals to donate to.