The first convoy of Red Cross trucks brought sighs of relief to many, as they went door to door in Pigeon Valley last weekend.
Now that the cordons have been lifted and people in the other fire-affected valleys have returned home, the outreach teams are working their way up the remaining valleys.
“Our volunteers are giving people about seven days to settle back down in their homes before we visit,” says Recovery Manager Richard Kirby. “So over the next few days we are working our way through Teapot Valley, Eves, Redwood Valley, Greenacres, Malling, and Golden Hills.”
Volunteering on behalf of the Tasman District Council, the outreach teams are a collaboration between local Rural Support Trusts, Red Cross and MPI. They are carrying out a needs assessment to identify how each household is faring and what support they might need over the coming weeks.
Water supplies and worsening drought are on everyone’s minds,” says Richard. “Our teams are armed with the latest information from the Tasman District Council about water restrictions and options.”
The teams leave information packs with residents or in their mailboxes if they aren’t home. Otherwise they take down all the information to share with other agencies and ensure everyone has what they need to support their recovery.
“It’s a real joint effort. We’re using Red Cross iPads with MPI software, CDEM questions, police and council maps, and of course we are able to access the areas because of the amazing work the firefighters have been doing.”
The Rural Support Trust, usually focused on farmers and growers, are visiting larger farms with information about drought management for their animals and crops.
“The unpredictability of when it might rain is on everyone’s mind, and smaller owners of livestock with less experience in this kind of weather event are also finding the farm, feed and animal welfare information handy,” says Barbara Stuart, Coordinator for the Rural Support Trust. “It does mean that we are having some tough conversations about destocking, but we are here to help people with their options.
“It’s not easy for people who are still on alert for further fires, but we are all here to help these strong communities get through.”
For more information on water contact TDC: 24-hours: 03 543-8400 firstname.lastname@example.org https://www.tasman.govt.nz/
People with livestock in need of being moved for grazing, or needing extra feed, can contact Federated Farmers feedline by filling in the form on:
https://www.fedfarm.org.nz/FFPublic/Adverse_Events_Farmer_Support_and_Feedline.aspx, or calling 0800 327 646, option 2. You don’t need to be a Feds member to use this service – it is open to anyone whose ability to feed their livestock is affected by fire and/or drought in the Tasman.
If you have grazing near the area and sufficient water for some stock, please consider offering it on the feedline webpage also.
Animal welfare concerns:
For sick or injured animals talk to your vet.
For more information about f