10 February, 2009

responding to bush fires & floods in Australia

I have been fielding enquiries about the tragedies in Victorian Bush Fires and the flooding in NQ.What can we do?Here are some of my thoughts....

1. We can stay away.....unless you are a vollie with the SES, CFA or facsimile, it is probably a good idea to stay out of the disaster areas;* embers, snags and all sorts of hazards will remain for days, possibly weeks...

2. We can donate stuff: * money (the Federal Govt and Victorian & Queensland Govts all have appeals);* blood (Australian Red Cross - blood bank);* non-perishable food;* clothing, blankets, toys;

3. We can start thinking about the things that need to be replaced. We can lobby our politicians to

"re-build green"

4. we can start acquiring useful skills:* book in for a senior first aid course (including Cardio-pulmonary resuscitation);
* learn about water & sanitation;
* brush up on:Davis & Lambert (2005) Engineering in Emergencies - 2nd Edition - A practical guide for Relief WorkersRedR, ITDG PublishingISBN 1-85339-521-8
* help organise a "Pathways to working in developing communities" event in your town.http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=44857265793

5.We can put our own homes in order
* do you have an emergency plan?
* do you have fire extinguishers, fire blankets, first aid kits;
* are you ready for increased incidences of extreme weather?

6. Do you know your neighbours?
* we can comfort people in their loss;
* the people who may be the first to need help or the first to help you are your immediate neighbours;

- do you know who they are?
- Do they know you?
- do you know how to contact their next of kin?

7. we can assess our ecological footprint & tread a little softer on the earth;
* audit your lifestyle,
- the food your eat;
- transport & travel choices;
- housing, water, energy efficiency;
- apparel & other consumer choices.....
* learn about transistional living (beyond peak oil);


* learn about permaculture....

I would be interested in your thoughts!



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