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Our response to the bushfires: 21 Feb 2020

Learn what Red Cross is doing to support communities affected by the Black Summer bushfires and how your donations are helping.

Deb Egan is one of thousands of Red Cross volunteers and staff who have been part of our ongoing response to the Black Summer bushfires. Photo: Australian Red Cross/Dilini Perera


Great news this week with fewer fires now burning and an easing of conditions after significant rain over fire grounds in New South Wales and Victoria.

For the first time since September we have closed Register.Find.Reunite., our service to help connect families and loved affected by the bushfires. Since July we have registered over 65,000 people through the service.

Recovery activities are underway in states affected by the bushfires. We are providing support to affected communities at recovery centres, over the phone and through home visits. We are assessing needs and developing tailored recovery programs to help support communities over at least the next three years.

Red Cross is also helping people meet their immediate needs through a range of emergency grants. As at Thursday 20 February, $44 million has been paid in cash grants.

Find out more about how we are using Disaster Relief and Recovery funds to help those affected by the bushfires.

In Victoria, Red Cross teams are currently supporting people at Mallacoota and Bairnsdale.

We are working with Agriculture Victoria to make outreach calls to people who have faced significant livestock losses, and recovery planning is underway.

In New South Wales, we are currently supporting people at five recovery centres, including Batemans Bay, Ulladulla, Narooma, Bega and Snowy Valley (Batlow and Tumut area) and through mobile outreach services operating across a number of areas.

We are making weekly outreach visits to communities in Bega, supporting people at community recovery meetings, and countining needs assessments to inform our recovery program in these communities.

In South Australia, Red Cross teams are visiting and phoning people identified as having a priority need.

In the Adelaide Hills and on Kangaroo Island we are supporting people at two recovery centres as well as through outreach in person and over the phone. We are also carrying out outreach with affected communities on Yorke Peninsula, in particular at Price, Yorketown, Edithburgh and Coobowie. Red Cross personnel visited 344 homes in Cudlee Creek, Kangaroo Island and Yorketown.

In Western Australia, Red Cross is supporting people impacted by the Katanning bushfire. Teams are making home visits, helping with grant applications, liaising with and supporting schools, and organising beginning recovery training with local government.

How we’re using funds: our plan to help people and communities recover well

Read the details about our plan It will continue to evolve as needs arise. It is part of a bigger effort by government and other agencies, to make sure collective funds do the most good.

The underrated power of tea and comfort

Deb Egan knows the tangible power of a listening ear, a smile and a simple cup of tea to someone caught up in a crisis like this summer’s bushfiresperties suffered significant structural damage.

First aid ups fire-fighters’ skills

SHow fire-fighters are using first aid and mental health first aid taught by Red Cross to help during this season’s devastating bushfires.

Resources to help you recover from a disaster

See our library of resources to help you and your family recover from an emergency. Please share with anyone you know who might need help.

Disaster Relief and Recovery Fund

Your donation helps Red Cross give people the support they need in disasters, whenever and wherever they happen.


More on the Emergency Services blog

Australian Bushfires

Report: January 2020–June 2021

Mt Beauty’s journey of resilience

After 2020’s devastating bushfires, the community of Mt Beauty has come together to recover – and get better prepared for the next disaster.

Australian Bushfires

Grants and recovery program update December 2020.