For months, massive bushfires have been tearing through Australia. This is the most devastating bushfire season on record, with the fires on track to burn for another 3-4 months.
So far, at least 20 are reported dead, hundreds of homes have been lost, half a billion animals have been killed, nearly 15 million acres of land have burned and many residents are still missing.
These numbers are rising every day. This is a climate emergency.
As the severity of the situation increases, Australia’s bushfires are starting to make international news. Influencers, celebrities, and media outlets abroad are now covering the disaster and raising awareness. This has left a lot of people both near and far wondering, “What can I do to help?”
While relief organisations have confirmed that monetary donations are the most valuable form of public aid, there are a few other ways to show support for those who can’t afford to donate money.
Here are some alternative ways you can help the Australian bushfire crisis.
Now more than ever, it’s imperative that we understand what’s happening and why. Read up on climate change. Learn about the politics behind this disaster. Understand the history of the bushfires. And when the time comes, use your voice and your vote accordingly.
You can read about climate change and the bushfires at Australia’s Climate Council.
Follow relief efforts
Get your news from reliable sources by following accounts involved in relief efforts. This will also help you point others in the right direction if you ever get asked where to donate. Here’s a few to get you started:
NSW Rural Fire Service: @nswrfs
Fire and Rescue NSW: @frnswmedia
NSW DPIE Enviro Energy & Science: @nswenviromedia
Victoria Country Fire Authority: @cfavic
South Australia Country Fire Service: @sa_countryfireservice
Australian Red Cross: @redcrossau
WIRES Wildlife Rescue: @wireswildliferescue
Use your platform — even if it’s small
If you have social media, you have a platform. Sharing posts, photos, tweets, statistics and links to donate are all incredibly helpful ways to spread awareness and remind others to do their part. Jump on your stories and speak to your followers. Make a TikTok to show support. Tweet out updates on bushfire news and relief efforts.
Use trending hashtags like #AustraliaOnFire, #FireCrisis and #AustraliaBurning for the best chance of your content being seen.
Write letters to the government
If you’re in Aus, write letters to your local state and federal members of parliament saying your vote will be largely based on how they respond to this crisis. Put pressure on those in power to take climate change and environmental issues seriously. If you live internationally, consider tweeting at Australian politicians or sending emails urging action.
You may not have money to donate, but you probably have some old clothing, canned goods, or even rolls of toilet paper you could do without. Though many relief efforts have stopped accepting donations that are not monetary (the resources required to sort through goods are lacking now that so many people are displaced), there are still local fire brigades and community activists, such as Allana Ferguson, accepting these types of donations to distribute to those in need.
Please contact your local fire brigade to better understand what donations they are currently accepting.
Donating blood is a great way to support victims of the fires, including the firefighters and relief workers being injured on the job. You can give blood as often as every 12 weeks. Book an appointment with the Red Cross here.
Leave water outside
Whether you live rurally or inner city, animals and wildlife are seriously suffering from the smoke, heat, and dry conditions. Leave a shallow dish of water outside at night for any animals in need of a drink and encourage your friends to do the same.
Every dollar counts. To donate (even as little as $1!) here are some resources:
Our country is burning. It’s time to step up.