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How to help others

Supporting mates and family

  • Encourage mates and family to look after themselves.
  • Be patient. When people are stressed, it’s a good idea to stay calm and allow time for things to pass.
  • Respect that they will have different reactions to you.
  • Be a good listener. You don’t have to say anything, just let them know you heard them - a small hug or a nod is sometimes enough. Just being there is the important thing.
  • Discourage risky or extreme behaviour. If mates are getting out of control, help get them back on track.
  • Make plans for the future. This might include rebuilding or gardening on your property, or planning a holiday or event for everyone to have a good time.

 Helping around the house

  • clean up where possible
  • help look after younger siblings (download the After The Emergency kid’s booklet)
  • prepare simple meals
  • if your parents own a business, you might be able to help them at work.

Looking after pets and animals

 This information is from the Teenagers in Emergencies booklet and includes tips for before, during and after a disaster:

  • The best way to look after your animals is by moving them out of the path of danger.
  • Move stock (cows, sheep, horses, goats) to a safe place like a heavily grazed paddock with enough food and water until the danger has passed.
  • If you have birds, rabbits or guinea pigs, place them in smaller cages, put a towel or woollen blanket over the cage and put them in a shed or the house, if it is protected. Make sure they have plenty of water and food.
  • If you have cats and dogs put them in the house with you. Make sure they have plenty of water available and keep them cool. Keep a lead and some feed inside the house for them.
  • If you are taking pets with you in a car make sure they are restrained or in a cage.
  • Remember to take registration and vaccination records with you.
  • Leave some water supplies outside for native birds and animals.
  • The reality is, if your animals are injured during an emergency a vet is the best person to help them.
  • In the long-term you can support pets and animals by sitting with them and reassuring them if they appear anxious or stressed. Stay calm, offer them some water, make them as comfortable as possible.
  • If your pets or animals didn't survive, you might like to create a memorial or memory book to acknowledge their importance in your life.

Seeking more help

If you are worried about someone you know, it’s okay to seek extra help. You may not feel like you can handle it right now or if you’re not living near the person you can still help by telling someone, like a parent, teacher or doctor. It’s important to be honest with your friends if you are seeking help on their behalf. Let them know you care about them and want them to be okay. Read here about how to get extra support.