Bushfires: How can I help?

by JAMES POYNER
3rd January 2020

THE MEDIA COVERAGE around the bushfires currently raging around Australia is as intense and terrifying as the fires themselves — as well it should be.
Warrandyte and its surrounding communities have been lucky so far this season and many people want to know how they can help those in Victoria and beyond who have been impacted by the recent and ongoing bushfires.
But the number of groups asking for money, supplies or time is overwhelming and it can be daunting trying to decide who and how to help.
If you are suffering from analysis paralysis then this list is for you.

Five ways you can make a difference

1. Donate to the Bushfire Disaster Appeal

Bendigo Bank and The Salvation Army have partnered to raise funds to assist all communities affected by bushfire in Australia.
Donations can be made through the appeals website or over the counter at a local Bendigo Community Bank branch.

2. Give provisions to the CFA

Coldstream, Belgrave, Lilydale and Gruyere Fire Brigades are currently accepting donated provisions as part of their East Gippsland Bushfire Appeal.
Supplies will begin their journey to Bairnsdale and communities impacted by bushfire on Monday and locals who are looking to contribute have time this weekend to give what they can:

THESE ARE THE ITEMS DESPERATELY REQUIRED:
Long Life Milks / Breakfast Long Life Drinks
Cereals
Non perishable Can items.
Biscuits (Salada, Ritz, Cruskits etc)
Salt / Pepper / Sugar
Small Drink Bottles
Bottled Water
Pet Items – Especially Food, Leashes, Bowls, Bedding
Camp Chairs
Camping Beds
Sun hats
New Kids Thongs and Sandals
Toiletries – Shampoo/Cond, Deodorants
New Make up
New Brushes and Combs
Face Washes & good Towels
Moist Towelettes
Nappies
Tampons and Pads
Any Bedding, Doonas, Blankets or New Pillows (Please mark size on items)
Childrens Pyjamas
Packs of New Childrens Underpants and Socks (Boys or Girls)
Suitcases
Backpacks/handbags/purses
Zip-lock bags (all sizes)
Shopping bags (all sizes)
***STRICTLY NO 2 minute noodles, adult clothing, books or bbq’s – there is already an abundance donated.****
(source: Facebook)

Times and locations for donating:
Coldstream: Currently not accepting due to overwhelming community support and a lack of space.

Lilydale: Saturday, 10am–12pm and Sunday, 10am–11:30am.
Unit 1/100 Beresford road Opposite super soil and behind Melbourne heating.
Please enter from Hiltech place.
There will be a CFA vehicle on site helping to direct you

Gruyere: Saturday, 10am–12pm and Sunday, 10am–11:30am.
103 Killara Road — this is opposite the Gruyere fire station and next to the primary school.
There will be a CFA vehicle on site to direct you.

Belgrave: Saturday, 2pm–6pm and Sunday 10:30am–1:30pm.
4 Bayview Road, Belgrave.

3. Donate to Wildlife Victoria

Wildlife Victoria are currently seeking donations to provide support to Wildlife Shelters impacted by bushfire.
Donations will allow these shelters to repair fences, building and enclosures to continue to the work of caring for Australian wildlife.
Donations can be made through their website.

4. Share your space

Airbnb’s Open Homes program aims to provide free, temporary housing for those affected by bushfire in Victoria.
If you would like more information on how to get involved, visit their website.

5. Don’t become the next problem

The messages of preparation and planning are still relevant and people should continue to prepare their property, update their fire plan and follow-through when the weather, fire danger rating, total fire ban, etc. trigger you to leave.
With potentially still months of hot weather ahead of us, we should not let our guard down on the home front.
If you were not able to attend the Be Ready Warrandyte event held late last year, Eltham CFA will be running a Fire Ready Victoria meeting on Tuesday, January 14 at 7:30pm at 909 Main Road Eltham.
Ensure you understand the risks and know what to do in the event of an emergency.
To get the latest on the Plenty Fires there is a Community Readiness Meeting being held on Sunday, January 5 at the Plenty Hall.
Finally, remember if you do want to go camping in the bush, walking for the day or spend the weekend at the beach — be mindful of the fire danger rating, where the bushfires are, the weather and the current dangers (via the Vic Emergency app).
Smoke from bushfires across Australia are having a detrimental impact on air quality, the current advice is: if the visibility is less than 1.5kilometres limit your time outside.
Stay safe.