One year after devastating fires swept across southeast Tasmania, Red Cross is still there for the Tasman Peninsula, Molesworth and Collinsvale communities as they recover.
Support in the weeks and months after the fires
Working closely with the local councils shortly after the fires, 150 Red Cross volunteers visited 442 homes to provide personal support and information to those affected in the Tasman Peninsula and Dunalley areas.
Red Cross volunteers greeted and provided information and personal support to more than 460 bush-fire affected people for months after the fires at information service hubs in Sorell, Dunalley and Murdunna. Red Cross volunteers enabled these hubs to operate and provide support to people affected that would not otherwise have been possible. The Sorell and Murdunna hubs closed in May.
Support where it's needed most
In addition to supporting families and communities on the Tasman Peninsula, Red Cross also provided support to communities close to Hobart affected by bushfires in February of 2013, who were not eligible for government or other assistance.
The small communities of Molesworth and Collinsvale experienced repeated evacuations over a number of weeks due to severe and unpredictable fires that threatened the only serviceable road into those areas. Red Cross has provided ongoing support to many people in the area, especially children, who experienced ongoing stress and anxiety as a result of the ongoing disruption.
Red Cross helped more than 120 children whose primary school was directly threatened by bushfires. Through Red Cross School Recovery Lesson Plans delivered by local teachers, the children are better able understand and cope with what has happened.
Red Cross worked closely with bushfire affected schools, Tasmania Fire Services and the local community to organise a recovery event, 'Molesworth Fires Up', for more than 230 people affected by the fires in the Molesworth area. 6 Red Cross staff and volunteers provided support at the event, delivering personal support and Red Cross recovery resources.
Support one year on and long-term
Red Cross has been working closely with local government and communities to support people in their long-term journey to recovery.
Recovering from a major disaster can be a long and complex, and often emotional, journey.
Experiencing the anniversary of an emergency can be stressful. Anniversaries are often a time for reflection on how life has changed, which can cause feelings of guilt, sadness or regret.
Red Cross staff and volunteers continue to work with communities in bushfire-affected areas: attending and helping to organise community recovery events, providing recovery lesson plans for schools in the affected areas and supporting community activities to provide emotional support, information and referrals to recovery services.
Tasmanian Bushfires 2013 Appeal
The Tasmanian Bushfires 2013 Appeal closed on 27 March 2013, after the Australian public generously donated to the appeal.
The Tasmanian Government and Red Cross established an independent Tasmanian Bushfire Appeal Distribution Committee whose key responsibility is to oversee the distribution of public donations made to the Tasmanian Bushfires 2013 Appeal.
Red Cross recovery work in Tasmania is not funded from the Tasmanian Bushfires 2013 Appeal funds.
The Red Cross Tasmanian Bushfires 2013 Appeal was run at the invitation of the Tasmanian Government.
Funds raised through the appeal are being used to assist individuals, families and communities directly affected by the January 2013 Tasmanian bushfires.
Every dollar donated will go to help those affected.
The Tasmanian Bushfire Appeal Distribution Committee has been distributing the funds to the people affected. For more information, refer to www.bushfirerecovery.tas.gov.au
To support ongoing Red Cross work to help people prepare for, respond to and recover from emergencies, donate at any time to our Disaster Relief and Recovery work.
Photos: Nick Lovering registers and seeks advice at the Sorell relief centre. Maurice Webb is "all churned up inside" and receives personal support from Red Cross worker, Beth Stapleton. Red Cross volunteers are providing personal support and registered thousands of people who were forced to flee the Tasmanian bushfires. (Australian Red Cross/Antony Balmain)