SA Fires December 2019 – Recovery Message

To stay up to date on the latest recovery information, visit www.dhs.sa.gov.au/recovery, follow us on Facebook or Twitter, or phone the Recovery Hotline on 1800 302 787 (8am – 8pm).

Relief centres

If you have been affected by the fire and need emergency relief information and support, you can attend a relief centre. The centres provide a safe haven and other assistance for people unable to return to their home due to the fires. For the latest information on locations and opening hours please visit www.dhs.sa.gov.au/recovery or phone the Recovery Hotline on 1800 302 787.

{For noting: relief centres will be closed on Christmas Day, Boxing Day and New Year’s Day}

Donations for the local community

A financial donation is the most helpful way to contribute to disaster-affected communities. It helps the community to buy exactly what they need and spend locally. The donation of goods is not encouraged as they often don’t match community needs and can pose challenges to administer, store, distribute and dispose of.

The South Australian Government has activated the State Emergency Relief Fund (SERF) for the Cudlee Creek fire. The fund will collect donations to provide financial relief for people directly affected by the fire, including those who suffered injury or loss. All money raised will be administered by the independent SERF Committee which will ensure fair distribution to those most in need.

You can make a tax-deductible donation to the SERF online, via cheque, or in person at any Commonwealth Bank branch:

  • Electronic funds transfer to the State Emergency Relief Fund, Commonwealth Bank of Australia, BSB 065 266, Account 10020160, Description must state ‘donation’
  • Credit card – visit the State Emergency Relief Fund BPoint payment website at bpoint.com.au/payments/serf or dial 1300 276 468 (1300 BPOINT) and enter biller code 1002359
  • Cash – go into any branch of the Commonwealth Bank and donate over the counter giving the details: BSB 065 266, Account 10020160
  • Cheque – send to State Emergency Relief Fund, Donations, QA Finance, GPO Box 292, Adelaide SA 5001

{For noting:

  • livestock fodder donations and requests can be directed to Livestock SA at 8297 2299 or admin@livestocksa.org.au
  • food donations can be directed to Foodbank SA; the drop off point is 377 Cross Rd, Edwardstown
  • donations for SA bushfires other than Cudlee Creek can be directed to the St Vincent de Paul SocietySA Bushfire appeal}

Volunteering

Volunteering your time and skills can make a real difference to communities recovering from disaster. Community groups seeking volunteers and individuals seeking to volunteer their time can now connect on the WeDo app.

An initiative of Volunteering SA&NT, WeDo lets aspiring volunteers search for volunteer roles that fit their profile to find a good match from hundreds of different roles in South Australia.

For more information and to download the app visit wedo.volunteeringsa-nt.org.au.

Grants and financial assistance

  • Personal Hardship Emergency Grants

South Australians directly affected by the Cudlee Creek fire can apply for one-off emergency grants to assist with immediate, temporary relief.

The Personal Hardship Emergency Grants of up to $700 per family (or $280 per individual adult) can be used at the discretion of each recipient, but are intended to pay for essential items such as food, toiletries, clothing and medication.

This assistance is provided through the jointly funded Commonwealth-State Disaster Recovery Funding Arrangements.

Please visit a relief centre for more information and to apply.

  • Disaster Recovery Payment

The Australian Government Disaster Recovery Payment is a one-off payment to help you if a declared disaster significantly affects you. It is currently available for the following local government areas: Adelaide Hills, City of Playford, Lower Eyre Peninsula, Yorke Peninsula.

If you’re eligible you will receive $1,000 per adult and $400 for each child under 16 years of age.

More information on the Disaster Recovery Payment, including eligibility criteria, is available on the Department of Human Services website or call 180 22 66.

Local Recovery Coordinator

The State Government has appointed a Local Recovery Coordinator to support communities affected by the Cudlee Creek fire. Having a designated person to coordinate the recovery will help residents and local businesses get back on their feet.

Alex Zimmerman, a South Australian Police Officer, will begin work with the local community to understand their recovery needs and identify what additional assistance is required. Mr Zimmerman is familiar with the challenges of supporting a community in recovery, having served as Local Recovery Coordinator during the Pinery fire and the Virginia floods.

Agricultural losses

PIRSA is assessing agricultural losses at Cudlee Creek and Kangaroo Island. A 24-hour hotline number – 1800 255 556 – is available for animal owners seeking urgent assistance and information. For more information visit the PIRSA website.

Mental health and wellbeing

People may experience grief or stress after a disaster like a bushfire. Sometimes the impact is obvious straight away, but often it is a slow process. Some impacts include shock, anger, depression, tension, irritability, anxiety or difficulty making decisions.

Find out more about mental health support services after a disaster:

Bushfires and water quality

Bushfires generate large amounts of ash and debris which have the potential to contaminate rainwater supplies. Although the presence of ash and debris in rainwater does not represent a health risk, it could affect colour, turbidity and taste.

The SA Health Water Quality team is available to answer questions during business hours on (08) 8226 7100.

Find out more about water quality after a fire:

Document replacement

If you have lost documents as a result of the December 2019 bushfires, you can access a priority service to replace birth, marriage and change of name certificates.

The Registrars of Births, Deaths and Marriages in any state will replace certificates free of charge. Free replacement certificates are restricted to documents for you and your immediate family.

More information is available on the Sa.gov.au website or from the Recovery Hotline on 1800 302 787.

Insurance help

The insurance industry has activated a 24-hour disaster hotline for bushfire claims: 1800 734 621. They can help you with your claim, even if you’ve lost documents in the fire and can’t remember which insurer you’re with. Bushfire-related claims will be prioritised for assistance and processing. For more information visit disasters.org.au.

Scam alert

Police wish to advice the public of a possible scam where victims of the recent bush fires are being targeted. Members of the public have reported receiving calls from someone claiming to be from the bank. They were told the bank would like to provide them with some disaster relief funds and wanted their bank details to deposit money into their accounts. Calls have also been received from people not in the bush fire regions.

Police wish to remind the public not to disclose your bank details to anyone over the phone. Anyone who receives a call of this nature is asked to contact police on 131 444 or report to scam watch on www.scamwatch.gov.au.

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