Mundaring, Western Australia
As victims of the Perth hills’ bushfires begin returning to investigate the damage, volunteers from the Adventist Development and Relief Agency (ADRA) Australia are working to secure emergency accommodation for evacuees.
The public have been extraordinarily generous. We are currently managing a database of more than 250 homes offered to those in need.
Fifty-two homes were destroyed following Monday’s fires and hundreds of families were evacuated from the region. Many are still unable to return to what the Department of Fire and Emergency Services have called the ‘hot zone’ due to damaged infrastructure, downed power lines and the risk of falling tree limbs.
“The team here have been helping those displaced find accommodation either in commercial venues or in private accommodation,” says Suzanna Cuplovic, ADRA’s Disaster Welfare Coordinator for Western Australia. “The public have been extraordinarily generous. We are currently managing a database of more than 250 homes offered to those in need.”
As part of a formal agreement with the West Australian Government, ADRA is charged with facilitating emergency accommodation during times of natural disaster across the state. The agency also holds similar arrangements in NSW and the ACT.
Volunteers from the agency have also been called upon by Volunteering West Australia to assist the Salvation Army sort the large amounts of donated goods flooding to the region.
“Our trained volunteers are on call around the clock and are held in great esteem across the sector,” says Kevin Munro, ADRA’s National Manager for Emergency Services. “We are always one of the first ports of call when other agency’s need a hand.”
It is expected ADRA volunteers will remain in evacuation centres until the end of the week.
ADRA responds to numerous disasters across Australia and around the world each year. Current, ongoing responses include the Syrian refugee crisis, Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines and Cyclone Ian in Tonga.
For more information about these or any of ADRA’s work overseas or here in Australia visit <www.adra.org.au> or call 1800 242 372.