It’s easy to feel helpless when watching the devastation play out in front of our eyes, or through our screens if you’re further afar. Power, internet and services are all limited- so it can be hard to stay up to date with where your help is best placed. We’ve compiled some of the best ways to lend a hand and support.
The most mobilising help you can give right now is cash. Donations of goods can be tied up with logistics and distribution issues, cash is liquid and be allocated to the highest priority at that time, because we know things are changing by the hour.
Lismore Council Official Flood Fund
This is crucial for supporting clean up efforts, the council are going to be able to facilitate this best with their resources.
Name: Lismore City Council – Flood Fund Account
BSB: 062 565
The Salvos have released $1 million to support flood affected communities and have on the ground support providing meals and refreshments to first responders. You can donate online there, select ‘Australian Disaster Relief’ as the destination for your donation: https://bit.ly/SalvosDonateFloodFund
Red Cross are accepting donations to enable volunteers and staff to help with evacuation and relief centres and outreach services. The funds will also be used to support individuals and communities in their recovery efforts and disaster resilience building: https://bit.ly/RedCrossFloodsAppeal
How can you help as a local?
The Byron Shire Council Facebook page is posting updated recovery plans and information on what is currently needed, this post is a great summary of what to look out for: https://bit.ly/ByronShireFacebook
If you or someone you know owns an Airbnb in the region, offer this to someone who has lost their home or has nowhere to go.
Offer specific help, like ‘can I clean the walls’ instead of asking ‘what can I do to help?’. People are overwhelmed right now, and don’t know what needs to be done or how to delegate that. Take the thinking pressure off them and make it easy for them to say yes. A great article to help understand what to do and not to do right now is this piece from The Conversation: https://bit.ly/TheConversationHowtoHelpFloodVictims
How to help businesses:
The best thing you can do to support flood affected businesses is to keep supporting them.
- Buy their products, even though there may be a delay in shipping and communications.
- Buy a gift card to use in the future, cash flow for small businesses is vital right now.
- If you can’t support them financially, share their posts, engage with their content and subscribe to their newsletters. All of these things make a big difference to the people behind the brand.
The situation is evolving, and as conditions change so does the communities needs. By no means is this an exhaustive list of what you can do to help, but it’s a great place to start. Stay safe and look out for each other, the strength in our community is a beautiful thing.
Image: Zak Insch via ABC News