As the Tasmanian bushfire emergency continues, Red Cross is encouraging affected communities to access a range of advice and resources from its website to help cope with the psychologically taxing threat caused by the fires.
Red Cross emergency services teams are on the ground helping those affected.
Howard Colvin from Red Cross Emergency Services Tasmania said, “Crisis events like the fires in Tasmania can be very distressing and it’s normal to feel upset, anxious or overwhelmed. Stress caused by such events can impact all aspects of your life and may continue for a long time. This is a normal response to an abnormal experience.”
More Red Cross teams are on stand-by and ready to respond as Bureau of Meteorology forecasts indicate conditions are set to worsen, with no rain in sight, and predictions that fires could continue for weeks.
“Red Cross emergency services teams are in place as needed, and we’re geared up to support those who need help as the fires continue,” says Mr Colvin.
“It is a difficult time for the community to be on high alert for weeks on end, but we’d urge everyone to keep up-to-date, and take steps to get prepared now if you haven’t already, including packing things that will help you stay safe as well as important documents and precious belongings.”
“For those who have had to leave their homes, our Red Cross volunteers provide psychological first aid to support people’s wellbeing in times of crisis.
From our experience in emergencies we know that people are capable and resilient. We’re often amazed by people’s strength, courage and generosity, even in the toughest of times,” added Mr Colvin.
Red Cross tips, advice and information about how you can help yourself and others through the emotional distress caused by the Tasmania fires are available at redcross.org.au/crisiscare
Red Cross is urging people affected by the Tasmanian South West Fires to get in touch with their families and friends via the Register.Find.Reunite. service.
“Let people know where you are. Inform family and friends as quickly as possible. Use Register.Find.Reunite service at redcross.org.au to register your location or to search for someone you can’t contact,” added Mr Colvin.
For media enquiries contact Red Cross media adviser Angela Lemme firstname.lastname@example.org or 0437 331 310.