Tuesday, October 22, 2013

NSW Blue Mountains State of Emergency

Like many others living at the foot of the mountain, we have friends and family affected by the current bush fire situation. Lorelei and Sebastian's preschool teacher has been evacuated, along with friends, and we have family teetering on the brink of leaving. I've read that some of our blogging community is affected, and somehow, the fate of these people I have never met is just as important to me as the friends and family we are worrying about.

In true Aussie fashion, this country has rushed to provide support for the displaced - the victims that the fire has picked out for special attention. Crisis centre's are overflowing with clothes, toys, and furniture, and everywhere you go there is a tin rattling for contributions to the Red Cross.
PAWS Dance Studio Penrith/Springwood

This week and over the weekend we have been contributing to collections and delivery of supplies up the mountain to the Fire Brigade. And it's them I want to drag into the spotlight right now.

At this point in time, there are over 1800 firefighters from all across the country, doing everything to keep a blaze with no end in sight under control. Some days this blaze gets the better of them, today they have sucked it back.

Tomorrow is D-day though. The day that has been predicted all along to be the Superbitch of all bushfires, as weather conditions do their best to spread the damage far and wide. Our firies are working night and day, to the point of exhaustion to protect lives and homes. They stagger, exhausted, back to one of the welfare points for their breaks, and eat a bite and suck back a drink while they have the chance. Their clothes are blackened, and they look buggered. But I cannot describe how much pleasure they get out of a cold drink and a sausage sandwich.

When we've taken loads of supplies up, these fire fighters are so sweet. So appreciative. And a little in shock that the deliveries are coming from people who are not from the mountain.

Because so many people in my life, and in my community have rallied around this week. When I take the cash donations of the many people in my life who are not nearby to buy supplies, stores are throwing in freebies and offering discounts when they hear its for the firies. People from my workplace made platter after platter of sandwiches, friends and family are donating nappies, drinks, snacks etc. Many business's have donated outright.

Every last item is appreciated. So it's now that I put out to my wider community, if you were looking for ways to help but were at a loss, here are some of the things that our firies desperately need:

-Sports drinks
-Individual packet snacks (chips, shapes, muesli bars, etc)
-Lollies. It's incredible what a sugar pick me up can do
-Long life milk
-Picnic plates/cutlery/cups
-Tin foil
-Old, clean, cloth nappies (to wet and cover faces)
-ICE! Only people nearby and buying it at the last second can deliver on this, but ICE is a big one

There are massage therapists up there giving massages during the day, there are cool rooms for storing food that have been donated, anything though, that provides comfort to the hundreds of firies is needed, many who are far from home and will not be going back to their own beds for quite a while.

There are firies who have lost their own homes in the blaze - but still they fight.

If you want to contribute and are able, I can point you towards drop off points in the Penrith region where items are being gathered for delivery each day when a whole load is full. I know there are fires in other regions besides the mountains, but this is the area that I know most about. This post is not me asking my reader network for cash - I am not a registered charity so would not want you to think that's what I'm reaching out for. But I also know that many people would help moreif they knew how - I jumped on board this particular soapbox at the encouragement of a wonderful family in this area who have been coordinating the effort and canvassing business's for major contributions.

Please feel free to contact me if you would like to know drop off points - I am reluctant to just post them on the internet as some are business's that are only open at particular times, and others are peoples home addresses - people who are coordinating deliveries constantly each day.

Just think - $8 buys a 24 pack of generic brand water. $3 buys 5kgs of ice, $2 buys a pack of muesli bars. Contributions don't have to be expensive. Everything counts.

1 comment:

  1. Heartbreaking post , though the human spirit of the community is astounding.


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