Saturday, February 14, 2009

Bushfires and Floods

So many people express surprise at the generosity, thoughtfulness and care of other Australians in extraordinarily bad times. With the Victorian bushfires and the Queensland floods there have been many individuals not only donating money, but giving time and skills to create special services, to organise others to transport goods, to help their neighbours and to help strangers.

Last night on television I saw a bloke who is a builder. His home was spared and he has five families staying with him. Every day he goes out to see who he can help. He delivers generators, fuel, food, clothing, pumps - all sorts of different items to members of his community. He helps them if they need to repair something which involves building skills. He's doing it for nothing. He just knows that these people need help and he does what's needed according to his skills. He has a utility and a trailer and he's doing what he can. He is hoping to set up a mini caravan park on his property for people who have lost their homes so that they can stay in the community while they decide what they'll do, and further down the track, when/if they decide to rebuild. I'm sure that I have people like him living near me, fortunately we just haven't had a natural disaster in our area for a few years (a flood a few years ago, and more recently torrential rain overnight which flooded parts of Ipswich and Brisbane last year).

Sarah Lukas organised for two semi trailer loads of food, toys and clothes to go to Melbourne from Adelaide. A businessman, Robert Finkeldey, Managing Director of has used his skills/business to set up a database of 150,000 tradesmen, many willing to work for free and eager to work in rebuilding.

I am not surprised to see these people doing what they can. It's human nature to nurture and to try to help, and I am not surprised. It's wonderful, but not surprising to me.

Here's some video from the fires taken by a couple who thought they would die. (Tearful goodbye...)


RebeccaH said...

I just can't imagine living through something like that. I saw plenty of grass and brush fires in Texas when I was a child, but I never saw flames advance as fast as in some of these videos.

kae said...

Hi RebeccaH
I think that's what caught everyone off-guard. It was a very fast travelling fire with the wind and perfect fire conditions.
Insiders today (Sun 15/2/09) talked about what can be done to prevent the future loss of life as high as that as a result of this fire. Views were expressed that it was fortunate that it was a Saturday on which the fire came as the schools and kindergartens were closed and empty. Had it been a work day the casualties would have been much higher, as the schools and the kindergarten were destroyed.