Here’s what no one tells you about living through a bushfire.
First, nobody thinks it’s going to happen to them.
On the day the fires hit my area, I sat at the kitchen table of my farm thinking everything was fine. (I was a member of the local CFA, and my pager hadn’t gone off — yet.)
What I didn’t know was that the areas surrounding me were already being evacuated.
As I jumped in my ute, the ABC radio announcer said of my area: “It’s too late to leave. You must take shelter now to protect yourself.” And in that instant, my entire world turned upside down.
The second thing nobody tells you is that the road back from losing everything in a bushfire is a long one.
The harsh reality is it takes years for people to get back on their feet, and for communities to rebuild.
As I write this, I’m looking out to the paddocks on my farm and I can still see blackened trees staring back at me.
Which brings me to the third thing nobody tells you:
Everybody moves on, quicker than you think … and the survivors are left trying to put the pieces back together.
Yet right now people haven’t moved on. It’s still the biggest story in the country, and we need to harness that.
There are plenty of amazing organisations with their sleeves rolled up helping people who need it most, like the Australian Red Cross, who are supporting communities affected by fires in NSW, QLD and SA.
Empty out the Give Jar.
Tread Your Own Path!