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Salvation Army Responds to Bushfires in Western Australia

Update: 29 January 2016

In early January bushfires destroyed more than 180 buildings in parts of Western Australia, leaving thousands of people without a place to live. Since then The Salvation Army has provided cash grants to more than 2,300 people and practical assistance in the form of fuel cards, vouchers and food to many others. This support has helped to meet the initial immediate needs of many communities in areas like Harvey, Yarloop, Preston Beach, Waroona and Cookernup.  

The Salvation Army is concluding this emergency disaster response phase but will continue to provide practical emergency relief in communities and will have a shop front in the Salvos Store in Harvey. This will provide further assistance as families and individuals start to make longer term decisions about accommodation and needs moving forward. 

Spokesperson for The Salvation Army Warren Palmer said, “the next phase will be just as important so that people are not forced into long term disadvantage and are given every chance to restore their position and life circumstances.” 

Thank you to the broader community who has assisted our efforts through financial donations to The Salvation Army or through the Bendigo Bank Appeal. The Bendigo Bank has assisted greatly with over $80,000 currently being raised. 

To support the ongoing work of The Salvation Army, including our work in communities affected by fires and other natural disasters, please consider making a donation to the Red Shield Appeal. 

Update: 21 January 2016

The Salvation Army is continuing to support communities of Western Australia affected by bushfire. Fires have been active across the state for the last month and have caused significant devastation to towns like Yarloop, where approximately 550 people live, which has been completely wiped out by fire. 

We currently have teams working in Harvey, Yarloop, Waroona, Preston Beach and Cookernup providing support such as direct financial assistance, fuel cards, vouchers, counselling and groceries and other food items. 

We are also currently assessing the future needs of these communities as they begin the tough journey to recovery. At this stage, ongoing support will be provided from Cookenup, Hamil and Harvey, where a One Stop Shop for support will be established. 

With school returning in the next few weeks, we are assessing the support required to ensure children are ready return to school. This will include uniforms and other essential items to help provide a sense of normality for children as they begin the new school year. 

With many families experiencing disadvantage prior to the fires, we are aware that this loss creates even bigger hurdles for them to overcome. 

We are grateful to the community and to organisations such as major national partner Woolworths who have launched a Bushfire Appeal along with Bendigo Bank and other organisations to help provide critical funds and support. These resources equip us to respond to the initial emergency and to offer ongoing support to communities as they recover from devastating loss. 

While we appreciate the willingness of the community to donate physical goods, we are unable to receive them at this stage. 

To support the ongoing work of The Salvation Army, including our work in communities affected by fires and other natural disasters, please consider making a donation to the Red Shield Appeal.

Update: 15 January, 2016

The Salvation Army has commenced the distribution of emergency disaster payments to people affected by the bushfires in Western Australia that have claimed the lives of two people and destroyed more than 160 homes. To date, more than $30,000 in direct financial assistance has been provided to ensure people can meet their most urgent needs. 

The small town of Yarloop, where approximately 550 people live, has been completely wiped out by fire. To support this community, The Salvation Army is distributing emergency assistance payments to those affected.

In addition to financial relief, we are continuing to provide chaplaincy and emotional support around the clock to these communities, and emergency relief and material aid items to help meet their immediate needs. Our centres in both Bunbury and Mandurah are currently providing support to people affected. 

The distribution of emergency disaster payments will continue this week as residents re-enter their town. We are currently working with other agencies to support a ‘One Stop Shop’ at key locations to ensure people affected are provided with comprehensive and coordinated assistance from all organisations providing relief.

We are grateful to the community and to organisations such as major national partner Woolworths who have launched a Bushfire Appeal along with Bendigo Bank and other organisations to help provide critical funds. These resources equip us to respond to the initial emergency and to offer ongoing support to communities as they recover from devastating loss. 

While we appreciate the willingness of the community to donate physical goods, we are unable to receive them at this stage. 

Other communities across Australia have also been greatly affected by bushfires in recent weeks and we continue to be active in other states to ensure support is available. 

To support the ongoing work of The Salvation Army, including our work in communities affected by fires and other natural disasters, please consider making a donation to the Red Shield Appeal.

Update: 8 January 2015

Devastating bushfires continue to cause significant loss and destruction across Western Australia. The recent fire in Yarloop has destroyed 95 homes and three people have been reported missing. 

The Salvation Army has been serving meals and providing support to more than 300 Yarloop evacuees from our centre in Bunbury. We are working with all government agencies involved to ensure a coordinated response.

While access to affected areas is difficult, we remain ready to provide financial and material aid to people affected as they come to terms with their losses and begin their difficult paths to recovery. With hot and windy conditions forecast, our prayers are with all affected communities.

Salvation Army volunteers have been active across the state including responding to earlier fires in Wibinga and Eglinton throughout the Christmas and New Year period.

Other communities across Australia have also been greatly affected by bushfires in recent weeks and we continue to be active in Victoria and South Australia to ensure support is available.

We are grateful to the community and to organisations such as major national partner Woolworths who have launched a Bushfire Appeal to help raise critical funds. These resources equip us to respond to the initial emergency and to offer ongoing support to communities as they recover from devastating loss.

While we appreciate the willingness of the community to donate physical goods, we are unable to receive them at this stage.

To support the ongoing work of The Salvation Army, including our work in communities affected by fires and other natural disasters, please consider making a donation to the Red Shield Appeal.

Update: 5 January 2016

Communities across Australia continue to be affected by bushfires and with challenging weather conditions expected danger remains high. 

Over the Christmas and New Year period, The Salvation Army has continued to respond to bushfires and other emergencies, like flooding in the Northern Territory. 

In Victoria, we have responded to fires along the Great Ocean Road and in particular supporting those affected at the Apollo Bay recovery centre where we are offering practical and financial aid to people who have lost their primary place of residence. Salvation Army Emergency Services also responded to a grass fire in Sunbury on Christmas Day. 

Fires have been active in Western Australia and our teams of volunteers have been active in response to the fire in Wibinga on New Years Day and the fire at Eglinton which began on 30 December, 2015. Our Emergency Services teams have also been supporting fire crews in Mosquito Hill, South Australia, by providing meals and refreshments to the people working tirelessly to control the blaze.  

While many communities are affected by fires our thoughts are also with those who have been evacuated from the Daly River area of the Northern Territory due to flooding. We have been working alongside other agencies to provide meals, shelter and other practical support for up to 300 people who have had to seek temporary refuge at the Darwin Showgrounds.

We are grateful to the community and to organisations such as Woolworths who have launched a Bushfire Appeal to help raise critical funds that allow us to not only respond to the initial emergency but also allow us to support communities as they recover from devastating loss. While we appreciate the willingness of the community to donate physical goods, we are unable to receive them at this stage.

To support the ongoing work of The Salvation Army, including our work in communities affected by fires and other natural disasters, please consider making a donation to the Red Shield Appeal.