Supporting communities affected by recent floods
The current flood crisis in Victoria, NSW and Tasmania has required local communities to band together, more now than ever. The devastating and sudden loss of a roof over one’s head, the rush to evacuate to safety and the stress caused by the unknown can have a lasting impact on individuals, families and businesses.
Whilst some are grateful to have people nearby to bare the load, others are feeling scared and alone. And this is where The Salvation Army is equipped to assist. According to Captain Ronald Stobie, who is at the Echuca centre, the town has experienced a mass line of traffic to evacuate. This is not surprising, given that there are already measures in place to build a new levy to mimimise the impact a flood can have.
Captain Stobie is seeing signs of stress and mental health, “For those with pre-existing mental health issues, this is exacerbating.” He is committed to supporting the team, led by Auxiliary Lieutenant Sonia Edwards, to provide meals and refreshments to evacuees and first responders. It’s times like now that bedding, toiletries and clothing are accessible for those in need. As it stands there are 9 evacuation centres that The Salvation Army is supporting across flood-affected areas in Australia.
“Just make sure you have someone to talk to. The Salvos are out and we’re here to chat, the big thing is not to hold it in. Chat it through as it is actually happening,” advises Captain Stobie.
This sentiment is echoed by Warren Elliott, The Salvation Army’s Public Relations Officer who is supporting the Shepparton evacuation centre. “Despite what happens around us, we can still put our trust in Jesus. If it’s providing comfort and sense of peace, then we get. Despite what happens to our material things, in our heart, we’re ok.”
Warren is part of a team of six, helping people in the community affected by the floods. Alongside this, they are providing the much-needed emotional support to get people through each stage of the recovery journey. “We’re in the Emergency phase and will be involved in recovery for months to come,” he explains.
The aftermath of the floods will have a devastating impact on local communities. The Salvation Army is here for the long haul to help communities to recover and rebuild. One day at a time.
The Salvation Army is releasing funds to assist with the flood recovery. For more information about this and how you can donate please click here.