3 Effective Ways to Support Communities Impacted by Flooding on Australia’s East Coast

3 Effective Ways to Support Communities Impacted by Flooding on Australia’s East Coast

If you’ve been watching the devastation of the floods hit communities across NSW and Queensland along with the rest of us, chances are you might be feeling at a loss at what to do right now. It’s hard to know how to respond when natural disasters strike, but the simple truth is that there are flood victims who very much need a helping hand – and there’s no reason why it can’t be yours.

With extreme weather events continuing on, the list of Australians in need of support is only going to grow.

Here’s a list of ways in which you can help those affected by the flooding across the east coast of Australia.

First, what not to do

Nicole George, an Associate Professor in Peace and Conflict Studies, The University of Queensland, and someone who lost “pretty much everything in the 2011 Brisbane floods”, wrote an explainer on what does not help in situations like these for The Conversation.

For those physically near to the sites of damage, she suggested avoiding asking “what can I do?” and instead offering to take ownership of a specific task.

“People will often be grateful for your initiative,” she wrote.

For example, you might offer to:

  • empty people’s kitchen cupboards
  • take those items back to your own home (wheelbarrows, if you live close by, or plastic crates are great for these tasks)
  • wash those things and see what can be saved.

George also highlighted that donating unwanted physical items is more impractical and, frankly, deflating than it is helpful.

As she put it, “Please do not ‘donate your old junk and expect gratitude in return”.

What to donate to flood victims in Australia

Your time, if possible

According to the SES, two of the best ways to support folks impacted by flooding is to:

  • Check on your neighbours, friends and family following a flood and see if there is anything you can do to assist. (Just remember George’s advice, here – don’t ask ‘what can I do?’)
  • Volunteer to help out in your local community after a flood. Check with your local recovery committee to see what needs to be done.

If you would like to volunteer your time, Global Citizen has highlighted that initiatives like Queensland Fire and Emergency Services and NSW SES accept volunteers.

Donate funds to organisations assisting flood victims

If you’d like to help contribute financially to the cause, there are a number of organisations accepting donations in the name of supporting NSW and QLD’s flood-affected regions.

Here are a few places where you can donate to flood victims:

  • Red Cross Flood Appeal: Donations support emergency evacuation efforts and relief centres as well as support and and recovery for impacted communities. You can also donate to the Australian Red Cross directly here.
  • GIVIT: This is a platform where people in affected areas can request items they actually need, you can donate funds to secure these items here. 100% of your donation goes towards these communities.
  • The Salvation Army flood appeal: Per the Salvo’s website “The Salvation Army 2022 Flood Appeal is aiming to raise $10 million which will directly support the estimated 18,000 homes expected to be impacted during these unprecedented floods”. Donate here.
  • Vinnies Flood Appeal: Donations to St Vincent de Paul are directed towards providing food, clothing and essentials and assisting families move back home and replace damaged furniture. Donate here.
  • WIRES: WIRES Rescue Office has allocated staff and volunteers to assist with the care and support of animals in areas impacted by flooding in NSW and QLD. If you’d like to donate to the organisation you can do so here.
  • Foodbank: Foodbank is urgently seeking donations to help support NSW communities with access to food. Per the organisation’s website, “In the past week, Foodbank has distributed 1,500 emergency hampers, 15 pallets of water and 23 pallets of bulk food and essentials”. Donate here if you’d like to help.

Other donation options helping flood victims

If you would like to donate specific needed items you can do that through the GIVIT website. You can pledge to buy or give a requested item here. MMAD is also urging workplaces to compile flood aid packages full of urgently needed items for flood-affected communities.

Alternatively, Lifeblood is urgently seeking blood donations. The Lismore centre is closed, but other locations are open and eager for donors.

This article has been updated since its original publish date and we will continue to update with additional resources.

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