Tens of thousands of people have fled from the fire-ravaged regions of New South Wales and Victoria as bushfires continue to devastate Australia.
The worst is yet to come, with extreme fire conditions expected to kick in tomorrow.
A state of disaster has been declared for six local government areas and three alpine resorts in Victoria, and a state of emergency has been declared in NSW.
Homes have been destroyed, thousands of people are stranded or in limbo and at least nine people have died.
Here’s what you can do to help those affected by the devastation.
HELP THE FIREFIGHTERS
New South Wales
Donations to the NSW Rural Fire Service directly benefit the volunteer firefighters on the frontline. To help, you can contact your local brigade directly or donate here.
You can also donate to the young families of Geoffrey Keaton and Andrew O’Dwyer, who were killed during the Green Wattle Creek fire, and Samuel McPaul, who was killed at the Green Valley fireground, here.
For those interested in supporting the efforts of Victorian firefighters, you can donate to the state’s Country Fire Association here.
HELP THE WILDLIFE
Sydney University have estimated more than 480 million animals have died in Australia since September, as a result of the bushfires.
To help the NSW wildlife victims, you can donate to the NSW Wildlife Information, Rescue and Education Service (WIRES) here.
Port Macquarie Koala Hospital
More than 2000 koalas are feared to have perished in NSW since September.
The Port Macquarie Koala Hospital have raised more than $2 million for the wildlife affected in that area, with the initial aim of using the money to distribute automatic drinking stations in the burnt areas to help in koala and wildlife survival.
The organisation are now sharing the funds with other wildlife organisations in the fire affected regions across NSW. You can donate here.
HELP THOSE AFFECTED
The Salvation Army
The Salvos have launched a disaster appeal to support the communities affected by the devastating bushfires.
“Our teams are providing meals to evacuees and frontline responders, and will continue to provide whatever support is needed as the situation develops,” said Strategic Emergency and Disaster Management general manager, Major Topher Holland.
To donate to the disaster appeal, donate online here.
Australian Red Cross
The Australian Red Cross have launched a joint disaster appeal with the ABC to support the communities affected by fires, and have raised more than $2 million already.
While they are heartened by donations of food, clothes and people offering to open up their homes, Red Cross say they’re not in a position to take and distribute these items.
“Our experience with emergencies shows that donations of money, where possible, help affected communities recover soon,” the charity said.
“Our specialist emergency volunteers are providing psychological first aid, working at evacuation centres and helping people to get in touch with their loved ones.”
The St Vincent De Paul Society is also running a bushfire appeal, to help those affected rebuild their lives with food, clothing, furniture, other essentials, and funds to pay bills.
They explain exactly where your money could go:
• $50 “can provide food for a family who have been evacuated from their home.”
• $150 “can help with bills and unexpected expenses for a household recovering from a bushfire.”
• $300 “can provide clothing for a family who’ve had to leave their belongings behind.”
• $1,100 “can help those whose homes have been damaged or destroyed to set up again with bedding, furniture and appliances.
You can donate here.
Charities like Givit specialise in goods, where the exact items people need are listed via charities and the public can match that or register the items they have, in case someone has use for them.
Givit is currently running two specific campaigns supporting NSW and Queensland bushfire victims.
Foodbank is delivering emergency food relief and water to East Gippsland, helping firefighters and local communities caught up in the bushfires.
It is fundraising to send about 5,000 food relief hampers in the coming days.
You can donate here.
Gippsland Emergency Relief Fund
The Gippsland Emergency Relief Fund was established in 1978, and is operated by local volunteers for Gippsland communities affected by natural disaster events.
Donations can be made via Paypal at gerf.org.au.
Bendigo Bank Bushfire Disaster Appeal
Bendigo Bank have partnered with The Salvation Army to establish an appeal that will raise funds for fire affected communities including East Gippsland, Hume, southeast New South Wales and Adelaide Hills.
You can make a donation here.
Free accommodation will be available until 16 January 2020.