Support for evacuees

Support for evacuees

15 January 2009

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Australia — The State Government provided emergency relief to almost 100 evacuees on Tuesday afternoon as the Proper Bay bushfire threatened Port Lincoln.

Locals were directed to the Emergency Relief Centre at the Port Lincoln High School where they received help from Department for Families and Communities (DFC) agencies Families SA and Housing SA, as well as Centacare, Australian Red Cross, St Johns Ambulance, the Salvation Army and local church representatives.

Families SA Port Lincoln manager Martin Charman urged anyone who felt traumatised by the bushfires to seek help.

That help could be from their family, friends, their general practitioner, mental health workers or their church.

“We can breath a sigh of relief that this bushfire was not as serious as Black Tuesday, but some people may remain worried about the threat,” Mr Charman said.

He encouraged anyone who was feeling anxious for themselves or their loved ones to call Port Lincoln Mental Health Service on 8683 2083, between 8.30am and 4.30pm Monday to Friday, or the after hours state-wide number, 131465.

The Emergency Relief Centre was closed Tuesday evening after fire conditions eased and residents returned to their homes, but it will be re-opened if required.

For further relief information contact Families SA on 8688 3344 or Crisis Care on 131611.

Of the 98 Port Lincoln residents who registered with DFC on Tuesday, two households were offered emergency accommodation while the remainder stayed with family and friends until the threat passed.

DFC will follow-up with the residents who lost their homes. They are eligible for emergency funding for short term accommodation, as well as emergency grants to cover immediate expenses.

DFC will continue to work with all other Port Lincoln residents who were directly affected, or who are struggling with the after-effects of the fires, to provide all possible support and assistance.

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