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Thursday 10 January 2013

ShelterBox on standby to help in Australia
ShelterBox on standby to help in Australia New South Wales. Temperatures cooled somewhat in New South Wales on January 9, 2013, a day after record-breaking temperatures seared Australia’s most populous state on back-to-back days. Despite the reprieve, bush fires continued to rage throughout New South Wales and many other parts of the continent. Photograph by NASA - NASA’s Earth Observatory

ShelterBox stands ready to respond to the devastating bush fires that are sweeping through Australia’s southeastern states, destroying homes and forcing people to seek shelter elsewhere.

Over 100 separate fires continue to burn in New South Wales while Tasmania’s small communities of Dunalley and Boomer Bay have been almost completely destroyed with nearly 130 properties burnt to the ground.

Australian ShelterBox Response Team (SRT) members Greg Moran and Scott Jarman are on standby to fly to Tasmania if required to distribute prepositioned stock from Melbourne.

Tasmania. Extreme heat and strong winds fueled the fires. Temperatures in Hobart, the capital of Tasmania, soared to a record high of 41.8°Celsius (107.2°Fahrenheit) on January 4. Photograph by NASA - NASA’s Earth Observatory 

Mike Greenslade, ShelterBox Australia’s Communications Officer, said, "We have been in touch with the State Emergency Service in Tasmania and made them aware of the resources we have to offer. Greg is coordinating efforts and has also contacted emergency management in New South Wales, where serious fires are sweeping through the countryside threatening homes. Thankfully, no deaths have been reported but our hearts go out to those who have lost homes and livelihoods."

In February 2009, the state of Victoria was devastated by the country’s worst ever bush fires. Estimates suggest that around 900 homes were destroyed leaving about 7,000 survivors registered for assistance with the Red Cross. ShelterBox deployed 79 boxes containing emergency shelter and other lifesaving supplies to the fire-ravaged Whittlesea area.
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