Bushfire response and recovery
The Black Summer bushfire disaster is having a long-lasting impact on Australian communities. As we move forward together to recover from the devastation, the Salvos are providing help to those in need.
As council permits get approved and land clearing is mostly completed, many in communities impacted by the bushfires of 2019-2020 are preparing for the next stage of recovery – rebuilding. But recovery is about more than rebuilding homes, it’s about rebuilding lives.
The Salvation Army is continuing to provide practical and emotional support to affected individuals and families as they reach different stages in their personal recovery journeys.
For those impacted by the devastating bushfires, recovery has been an ongoing journey that, for many, has only just begun. Responding to the needs of people impacted by disaster is a long-term commitment that requires different approaches at different phases of recovery.
The Salvation Army is active throughout the three major recovery phases:
Activating at evacuation and recovery centres during and in the immediate aftermath of the disaster, Salvation Army Emergency Services (SAES), rural chaplains and local Salvos met the immediate needs of those impacted. In this phase food, water, shelter and medicine, were a priority. Salvos were also providing emotional and spiritual support to people during that stressful time.
After the initial emergency settles down, impacted people have time to assess the damage to their homes and livelihoods. Finding temporary stable accommodation and adjusting to a ‘new normal’ happens in this phase.
The Salvation Army assessed and provided up to $18 million in direct financial assistance during this phase to assist people in early recovery to cover expenses such as living costs and the extensive clean-up of their properties.
This is the phase many people are now in and where they come across large expenses. As council permits get approved and the initial shock of the disaster eases, many are beginning to rebuild permanent structures. For others, this is the first time they have reached out to The Salvation Army for help. In addition to providing individuals and families with further financial assistance, this is where we also support with community activities. Local Salvos are active participants in community consultation to support recovery needs, help map out a way forward and invest in local initiatives to restore vibrant communities. As a national organisation that is locally embedded, Salvos not only understand their community – they are a part of it, which means they are often there before, during and after a disaster strikes.
In collaboration with state and local governments, we are providing a range of services and assistance measures – including financial assistance, emotional support and referrals to help people and communities across Australia that have been impacted by disasters.
For more information on how we provide help and support during disasters and emergencies please see our FAQ page.
Bushfire recovery grants available
The Salvation Army is providing financial grants to assist people in fire-affected areas. These grants can help people:
- Experiencing financial hardship
- In the process of rebuilding
- Through education and workplace pathways
- To replace lost furniture, household items and tools
Impacted by the fires? Learn more about our bushfire recovery grants
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