Out Of The Smoke: A Message About The BushfiresJanuary 7, 2020
Imagery of crimson skies and desperate wildlife, news of entire communities evacuated or trapped without power, extreme conditions our firefighters face day after day. In our usually upbeat clinic, a few of us have been brought to tears just talking about it. It feels so strange to continue business as usual while so much of our country burns.
If we can find any hint of a silver lining in all this smoke, it’s in the hearts and minds of all the people who have offered to help however they can. So many Australians, organisations and businesses have mobilised to donate crucial funding and supplies. Donations have come from around the world, too. Our rural firefighters continue to show unbelievable perseverance. Volunteer firefighters from New Zealand, Canada and America have come to support their efforts.
So many of us feel frustrated, scared or powerless on our own. When we work together, we earn some positivity, and we find hope; hope that we can support our firefighters, hope that we can provide for those who lost so much, hope that we can rescue our surviving wildlife and enable our bushlands to one day flourish again.
Below are some organisations to whom you can donate, and tips on saving water which has become so precious during this drought.
If you would also like to donate medical supplies to WIRES Wildlife Rescue, they’re in need. They also have an emergency fund set up. https://www.wires.org.au/
The New South Wales Rural Fire Services created a web page with links to donations pages, including the Red Cross Disaster Recovery and Relief, The Salvation Army Disaster and the NSW Fire Services themselves. https://www.rfs.nsw.gov.au/news-and-media/general-news/how-you-can-help
You can also donate directly to the families of the two firefighters who lost their lives in the line of duty. https://www.rfs.nsw.gov.au/news-and-media/general-news/featured/support-for-firefighter-families
Food Bank Australia has also set up an emergency bushfire appeal. https://www.foodbank.org.au/?state=nsw-act
Celeste Barber’s Donations page has raised over $45,000,000 and includes links to other causes to which you can donate directly. https://www.facebook.com/donate/1010958179269977/
Many of these wonderful organisations are asking for money rather than items. According to the Red Cross, “Our experience at Red Cross in emergencies is that that donations of money, where possible, help affected communities recover sooner. This is because people can make their own choices – including purchasing the goods they need for their own families.” https://www.redcross.org.au/campaigns/disaster-relief-and-recovery-donate#donate
If you’d like to donate items instead of money, GIVIT has listings for what items are needed by charities. https://givit.worldsecuresystems.com/items-needed?campaign=50
In our industry, we know how much water can be used in a regular personal grooming routine. Here are some practical tips on how you can cut down:
•When shaving, use a container of water to rinse your razor as you go instead of running it under the tap.
• Use makeup wipes or a tissue with makeup remover instead of washing your makeup off with water.
• Use a damp washcloth to remove cleanser from your face instead of splashing water from the tap.
• Place a bucket in the shower to collect water you can use for cleaning.
• Turn off the shower water while you lather and exfoliate, then turn it back on to rinse.
• Challenge yourself to take shorter showers by setting a timer on your phone.
• Check your plumbing to make sure there are no leaky taps, a small drip loses more than you think over the course of a day.
• Divert the grey water from showers and washing machines to your garden. See tips here http://www.sydneywater.com.au/sw/your-home/using-water-wisely/greywater-reuse/index.htm
The lives that are directly affected by the fires belong to our friends, our colleagues, our patients and our neighbours. The wildlife is part of our natural habitat and so important to our ecosystems. Let’s all do whatever we can to help, together.
We will resume our regular blog topics on skincare and cosmetic medicine next week. If you have an enquiry or would like to come in for a consultation, please get in touch.