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09 February 2009 @ 10:44 am
Australia's current natural disasters: how you can help!  

I'm not sure how far the news has travelled, but Australia has been hit with its worst bushfires in history, the toll now at (UPDATED 11/02/09) 173 dead and expected to rise as the areas affected are searched and especially since the fires are still burning.  Fires have covered a great deal of southern Australia, affecting states Victoria, South Australia and New South Wales.  Some of the fires were deliberately lit.  Here is the latest BBC article about it: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/asia-pacific/7877178.stm (UPDATED 10/02/09) Here is an Australian newspaper summary, including further evidence of arson and a prediction of a death toll higher than 200: http://www.news.com.au/couriermail/story/0,23739,25031822-952,00.html (UPDATED 11/02/09) Death toll is now expected to reach 300.  26 fires are still blazing uncontrollably in Victoria.  Aside from the death toll, the property damage has left families without homes and they are currently living in tents provided by the State and Federal governments. 

At the same time, southern Australia has experienced a heatwave that has had numerous people hospitalised for heatstroke (http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/asia-pacific/7860776.stm) and in far north Queensland, at the very top of Australia, flash flooding has taken at least (UPDATED 11/02/09) 7 lives, including a 5 year old boy who was taken by a crocodile after following his dog into the rising floodwaters (http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/asia-pacific/7868854.stm).  The floods have also destroyed property and homes but in a wonderful show of spirit, some of the flood sufferers have donated their disaster payment from the government to the Red Cross appeal for the bushfire victims.

Not to mention the ongoing drought which has affected farmers in central Australia for at least the last 5 years, destroying livelihood.

Native animals and pets are also hard hit.  There have been quite adorable pictures circulating the net of the usually reclusive (and aggressive towards humans) koalas and other native wildlife drinking from cups handed to them by humans or from swimming pools or from hoses, but the reality is dire: the poor animals are dying of thirst and that thirst has overcome their natural fear of humans.  Really saddening.

The need for immediate support, counselling, blood and financial assistance is enormous.  In these harsh economic times, I know it's hard for people to help, but if you can, Australians and their wildlife and pets need your help! 

HOW?  DONATE!

** BLOOD (for Australian readers)
http://www.donateblood.com.au/
(UPDATED 11/02/09) Please note that while there is enough blood held at the moment you need to book for an appointment to give blood over the coming weeks so that burns' victims can get ongoing treatment.  Blood can only be stored for approximately 5 days, so more donations will be necessary in the coming months.

** MONEY (Worldwide)

Australian Red Cross "Victoria Bushfire Appeal"
The Australian Red Cross has now set up a Victorian Bushfire Appeal. Donations can be made via
http://www.redcross.org.au/vic/services_emergencyservices_victorian-bushfires-appeal-2009.htm 

At this stage, the Red Cross is not accepting donations of goods and is unsure if they will set up an operation to do so. The above link has information as to why they are not accepting goods donations at this time, as well as detailed information as to how the money you donate will be applied.

Salvation Army donations - appeals for both Bushfire victims AND Flood victims
Donations to the Salvation Army can be made via
http://salvos.org.au/.

Wildlife Victoria
Wildlife Victoria has set up an appeal and donations and information can be found
http://www.wildlifevictoria.org.au/cms/index.php?option=com_wrapper&view=wrapper&Itemid=43

Wildlife Rescuers
Wildlife Rescuers has a 'heatstress' appeal underway. They are requesting cash donations, fresh fruit and veg and cages/cardboard boxes for the animals to sleep in.
http://www.wildliferescuers.org.au/Pages/heatstress.html

National Australia Bank donations
Donations can be made the the NAB by calling 132 622 (Australian number) or you can transfer your donation to the NAB via the internet.

Account Name: Victoria Bushfire Relief Fund
BSB: 082001
Account: 860046797

For those wishing to check the details independently, click on the banner across the top of
www.nab.com.au

Bendigo Bank donations
To make a donation to the Bendigo Bank Appeal, go to their website
http://shop.bendigobank.com.au/public/foundation/ or contact 1300 366 666.

AUSTRALIANS ONLY: shop on a specified day!

Coles
Wait until Friday, 13 February to shop at Coles as it is donating all its supermarkets' profits to the Victorian Bushfire Relief for that day.
Click here to view coles media release
 

Woolworths will be donating all its supermarkets' profits from the trading day of Friday, 20 February to support farmers and communities suffering the effects of the ongoing drought.
Click here to view Woolworths media release


Please help if you can but if not, spread the word.

 

 
 
Current Location: Brisbane, Australia
Current Mood: distresseddistressed
 
 
( 9 comments — Leave a comment )
Mirandamandydax on February 10th, 2009 05:54 am (UTC)
Neil linked to here, and I put it in my LJ. I wish I could provide more than a donation from up here. :| Keep cool.
cleverthingscleverthings on February 10th, 2009 09:56 pm (UTC)
Thank you!
I appreciate you getting the word out through your own LJ and donating. The worrying thing about these sorts of disasters is that even when the fires are controlled, the rebuilding and rehoming those affected will continue for months upon months, if not years, and interest will die down, so the more donations we receive now the more money the appeals will have to assist in this process. Thank you!
Mirandamandydax on February 10th, 2009 10:31 pm (UTC)
Re: Thank you!
You're welcome. I know what you're talking about. We had a lot of major flooding in our state last summer and the governments are still working on rebuilding funds and so on. Stay safe.
SJ Farrellessjayeff on February 10th, 2009 10:07 am (UTC)

Came from Neil's blog. I'm in Melbourne.

can you just let people know that they need to book for blood donation as they have enough for now, but will need more in the coming month. Please don't just turn up and expect to donate.
cleverthingscleverthings on February 10th, 2009 09:54 pm (UTC)
Blood donations
I have updated the section on blood above to include this information - thank you! I hope you and your family and friends are OK down there. Luckily Brisbane has just had a mild heatwave and none of my family have been affected by any of the crazy weather disasters.
darkpinkydarkpinky on February 11th, 2009 01:37 am (UTC)
A few more specifics
Another directee from Neil's blog here.

Thanks for doing this.

Regarding the NAB account, some institutions won't accept transfers unless the account name is correct. I don't know if they'll enforce that rule in this case, but it would be nice not to risk it. From the NAB's site, the account name is Victoria Bushfire Relief Fund. For those wishing to check the details independently, click on the banner across the top of www.nab.com.au.

The site for the Bendigo Bank (for those not into google) is http://shop.bendigobank.com.au/public/foundation/. I'd link directly to the Bushfire Appeal, but their site doesn't appear to allow it.

Good work. You just made the appeal another $2000.

Take care,

D
cleverthingscleverthings on February 11th, 2009 01:55 am (UTC)
Re: A few more specifics
Thank you for the further information. I've incorporated it into the entry and restructured it as well to make it all clearer and easier to follow.

Thank you also for your generosity! I know that those affected will appreciate it greatly.
where all the scars from the nevers and maybes die: stand outjiangyin on February 13th, 2009 03:01 am (UTC)
Here via an IM from a friend who keeps tabs on Neil Gaiman's blog. :) I'll be posting a link to this post in the next update of my website on Monday - I get a lot of international visitors, so the word will be getting out even further. I'm hoping that some of them will want to do their bit.

I'm also going to be donating all my savings to the Australian Red Cross as soon as I can (my savings tin is at home, and I'm at my grandparents' for a week), because those who have lost everything need it more than I do right now. It's not much, but it is something at least.

- Ez
cleverthingscleverthings on February 16th, 2009 08:32 am (UTC)
Thanks!
Thank you! I know it will be welcomed.
( 9 comments — Leave a comment )