Australia

Our response to the bushfires: 6 Feb 2020

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Learn what Red Cross is doing to support communities affected by the Black Summer bushfires and how your donations are helping.

Snapshot

This week we announced new immediate assistance for bushfire-affected people in financial hardship.

A $5,000 grant is available for homeowners whose primary place of residence was structurally damaged in the bushfires. A $7,500 grant is available for people who have spent two days or more in hospital for injuries or mental health conditions as a direct result of the bushfires. We’re also providing up to $20,000 to homeowners whose primary residence was destroyed and who are still experiencing financial hardship.

People can apply online now, and our teams will continue to go out to recovery centres and knock on doors to help. So far more than $14 million has been distributed to support immediate needs of people who have lost their homes.

Since July 2019, Red Cross teams have responded to more than 20 bushfires and supported people in 110 relief centres and recovery hubs. We’ve registered over 64,000 people through our Register.Find.Reunite service. More than 2,800 Red Cross people, mostly volunteers, have powered this relief effort.

Among other things our teams have been supporting people at evacuation, relief and recovery centres, registering people’s locations so their loved ones can contact them and providing psychosocial first aid to reduce trauma and distress.

We provided food, water and relief items to people cut off by fires in Victoria and have been conducting welfare checks on the phone and in person. Red Cross teams have been conducting psychosocial needs assessments in some affected communities, making home visits and outreach calls to people impacted and conducting needs assessments.

We are also creating a tailored recovery plan to support families and communities for the next three years or more.