Photo credits to Daniel Lupton

It’s impossible to miss what’s been happening in Australia over the past few months. The devastating consequences of the raging fires are hard to comprehend with at least 500 million animals perishing in the flames, people losing their lives and thousands of homes burning to the ground. The alarming part is that fire disasters have been recurring events over the past few years in other countries as well.

Despite the awareness for the upcoming bushfire season in Australia, this was definitely something no one was prepared for. Still, a lot of additional factors played their role in the disaster’s escalation. Take the driest spring season, the high temperatures and lighting, along with increased winds as natural catalysts and the results are more than we can bear.

It is good to know, though, that in moments of crisis, people are always coming together to help. Like all, we’ve been following closely the raging bushfires’ development over the past few months. The incredible efforts of everyone to help the Australian wildlife and people cope and recover as fast as possible has touched us deeply. This also inspired us to contribute by giving our support to one special cause. And, hopefully, we will inspire you to do the same.

 

Celeste Barber’s Fundraiser Cause

With more than 1.2 million people donating, the bushfire fundraiser campaign of Celeste Barber has already raised more than A$50 million!

The impressive campaign is making headlines as the largest on this social media platform and it is definitely worth pitching in. It is a fast, secure and, not to mention, a very easy way to give your support to all people out there who are fighting the Australian fire disaster and those who are suffering from its devastating power.

The donation money will go to the Trustee For NSW Rural Fire Service (RFS) & Brigades Donations Fund. It is meant to help the general community in Australia, who’s been heavily affected by the bushfires, people in rural, regional and remote communities and victims of a disaster.

The donation process is pretty straightforward, too. You only have to click on the “donate” button and your job will be done. Then your contribution will be processed with no additional fee involved. More details about the distribution process you can find out here.

 

How you can best help the wild animals

Leave out food and water

With the fires destroying the animals’ natural habitat, they have no choice but to flee to other areas looking for food and shelter. This doesn’t mean that their normal sources of nourishment can be easily found there. So putting out food in your backyard or anywhere around your home can really help these animals survive.

Before you do that, though, take a look at the specific types of food that different species prefer:

  • Koalas – Their diet consists mainly of eucalyptus tree leaves. However, due to the situation and their scarcity, you can eventually try and give them leaves from some other trees like Corymbia or paperbark. Just to be on the safe side, better resort to giving koalas only water and transporting them to wildlife centres where they will get their favourite food.
  • Birds – Create a few feeding stations around your property for birds. Bread crumbs will not sustain them for long, therefore it’s better to stick to seeds and nuts.
  • Kangaroos – Leave out carrots, bananas, apples and also grass pellets, which are seed-free. You can hang them on trees or leave them close to such. While the veggies and fruits won’t be affected by the weather conditions, the pellets do not react well with water, so make sure you leave them somewhere protected. Wallabies have the same diet, so they can benefit from your contribution, too.
  • Possums – While brushtail possums can survive on fruit, the same food is not favourable for ringtail possums. They would prefer eucalyptus tree leaves, but if you don’t have those, just stick to carrots, sweet potatoes and the likes.

Water can be put in small and large bowls or other containers you have available. Do not forget to place a stone or two inside, as well as around the bowl. This way not only large but also smaller animals can drink without the chance of drowning.

Save an animal every chance you get

If you happen to find an injured animal that you want to take in, use a blanket, towels or even a shirt, preferably made from cotton or another breathable material. You can stock these items in your car, along with a few boxes and water.

Being scared and disoriented, the animal may pose a danger to you even if you are just trying to help. So, make sure you are extra careful and provide a quiet place for it to rest.

warning

Saving reptiles and aggressive species is quite dangerous. In such cases, better avoid the risk and call a trained professional to collect and take care of the animal.

Don’t postpone providing specialised care

Calling a rescuer or taking a burnt animal to the closest vet immediately could be what saves the animal’s life. You may want to treat the injuries yourself, but you may not have the necessary supplies or the injuries could be more complicated than they seem. So, don’t wait too long to call for an expert’s help.

Here are a few places you can call for assistance:

Do not let your pets outside for a while

Since wildlife animals are forced out of their homes by the blazing fires, they can go to urban areas. This makes them, especially small species like the brushtail possum, easy prey for cats. Others may be chased by dogs, which are protecting their territory. It will be safer for both your pets and the wild animals to keep the former at home for the time being.

Put out birdbaths

Birds are especially sensitive and stressed in these extreme circumstances. Therefore, you can help them cope by leaving birdbaths with clean water throughout your garden. Provide fresh water daily and make sure they are firmly put in place, so they can serve their purpose. In case you find an injured bird, better take it to the closest vet or centre for treatment instead of feeding it and giving it water straight away.

Equip your swimming pool for animals

Your swimming pool can be an escape for scared wildlife looking for relief from the heat. You need to add a few things to adjust it for any unexpected visitors. This includes adding stones inside to help animals get out easily, as well as providing some platform for them to hold on to while they are inside.

 

What you can do to help people affected by the fires

Photo credits to Daniel Lupton

So far, the bushfires have taken the lives of at least 28 people. Many others have either lost their homes or have been forced to leave them due to the fires. It’s expected that things may even get worse. Firefighters from all around the world have joined forces with their Australian colleagues to stop the raging fires.

So here are some ways you can also help your neighbours and others in need:

Donate money

Many people have started fundraisers. Just like Celeste Barber, many other celebrities have given their substantial contribution. This includes actors, singers, and professional athletes, such as Chris Hemsworth, Elton John, Leonardo DiCaprio, and Serena Williams.

Even the smallest amount can make a difference. We are the ones that can make a change. So let’s do this together!

We doubt there's someone that isn't aware of what's happening in Australia at this point.

Help the firefighters

Firefighters are doing whatever they can to curtail the disaster, though it may burn until cooler fall temperatures arrive in the Southern Hemisphere several months from now. Many of them are unpaid volunteers, risking their lives to help others. All we can do is pay our respects by supporting them.

Food, water, and place to rest are just a few examples of things we can do for those heroes.

Help with food supplies, clothes and shoes, blankets, even furniture

If you wish to help in any other way, the Salvation Army is an organization which provides meals and clothing to evacuees. You can donate a variety of items. They accept anything from food supplies to used shoes and clothing. They can even take your old furniture. You can find them in multiple locations.

Give shelter

The bushfires have forced many people to leave their homes, to seek safer ground. If you have an extra room at home, or you know someone that does, and you live in Victoria or NSW, you can offer it to the evacuees. Airbnb has set up pages where people can share or find free accommodation for the people fleeing from the fire zones. You can find them below:

 

Bushfire Emergency Plan

Photo credits to Daniel Lupton

Fire agencies recommend that you develop a written bushfire survival plan and discuss it with your family and close ones. If you live in or plan to travel to a high-risk bushfire area, know where the closest bushfire safe place is and how to get there.

There are a couple of important things to remember.

Know the fire danger ratings and what they mean

Knowing the fire danger ratings and what they mean is extremely important. It can save your life. They will help you figure out if it’s right to leave or stay in the area.

Leave on time

If there are signs of fire in your area, and you have been notified to leave, do not wait. Leave as fast as possible. Make sure you’ve made a plan where you will go and how you will get there. Consider helping elderly people and people with illnesses or disabilities.

Remember that, any bushfire plan is better than no plan at all.

  • Last update: January 16, 2020

Posted in Home Improvement

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