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Red Cross urges people to seek help as bushfire emergency continues in Victoria

Monday 4 March 2019 – FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

As the Victorian 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.

With 19 blazes burning across the south east, teams of trained Red Cross emergency services teams are on the ground helping those affected.

Damien Moloney from Red Cross Emergency Services Victoria said, “Crisis events like the fires in Victoria 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.”

“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 Moloney.  

“It is a difficult time for the affected communities to be on high alert, 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 Moloney.

Red Cross tips, advice and information about how you can help yourself and others through the emotional distress caused by the Victorian fires can be found at redcross.org.au/crisiscare 

To help people affected by these fires, donate to Red Cross’ Disaster Relief and Recovery fund online at redcross.org.au/disaster. Donations to Disaster Relief and Recovery ensure specialist Red Cross teams are on the ground to support people through the emergency and aid their long-term recovery in the weeks, months and years afterwards.

For media enquiries contact Red Cross media adviser Angela Lemme
alemme@redcross.org.au or 0437 331 310