How to support fire-affected people in times of COVID

A partnership between Australian Red Cross and Hummingly saw an innovative response to supporting the recovery of fire-impacted communities in Australia.
Australian Red Cross
When COVID threw a spanner into all aspects of bushfire recovery, Australian Red Cross needed a way to connect affected people to support and information in a meaningful and non-contact way. Another challenge was that many affected people were in rural areas that didn’t always have internet connection and so made accessing information and services difficult when everything moved on-line due to COVID.
Aim: Bushfire impacted communities feel supported and have access to recovery knowledge despite COVID complicating the usual ways of doing things.

Cards for Calamity distils decades of recovery knowledge and neuroscience into an easy-to-use tool to make life-changing decisions in the days, weeks, months and years after disaster.

The cards can be used to support recovery privately for individuals and households, but are also ideal for creative approaches to gathering people online and sparking collective recovery conversations.

In group settings, the Cards for Calamity will:

• Normalise the reactions people experience after disaster (reducing anxiety)

• Encourage social connection and peer support

• Support group-efficacy and constructive problem-solving

• Provide a recovery-knowledge base for informed decision-making.

“Cards for Calamity is a secure, tactile and comforting option for moments of doubt, fear and high anxiety when no one is around.”

— Amelia Hartney, Australia

 The Cards for Calamity give people the information to steer them through the decisions, the processes, and the stress of recovery. This information is critical - these cards will literally be life changing.

— Louise Scott, Experienced Australian community bushfire recovery practitioner

The cards are terrific. They’re short and to the point -just what’s needed when there’s so much going on and you don’t have energy or time. This was our experience after the Black Saturday bushfires.

— Kerry Clarke and Larry Challis (Community Recovery Committee, Whittlesea, Australia

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