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Black Summer Series: Kangaroo Island Bushfires

21 December 2020

 

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Catastrophic conditions 

As we reflect on a year like no other, the end of 2020 marks the first anniversary of the Black Summer Bushfires, which can only be described as the worst bushfire season on record. For the residents of Kangaroo Island, off the coast of South Australia, the bushfires were the largest in the island’s history.  

Kangaroo Island is a resilient community, but nothing could have prepared them for the catastrophic fire conditions they faced through-out the 2019/2020 spring-summer period. Days of extreme heat, strong winds and low humidity creating the perfect storm for dangerous fire weather.

On the 20th December dry lightning struck the island sparking fires, that would ultimately merge into a complex fire system, which would ravage well into the new year and see hundreds of firefighters deployed to battle the blazes and mass evacuations.

The challenging aftermath

The Kangaroo Island fires burnt 211,500 hectares, almost half the island, and tragically killed two people. Fifty-six people lost their homes and many businesses and farms were lost, countless numbers of livestock, and precious habitat and wildlife perished.

The impact was unprecedented, but the community united and the road to recovery continues.

For Peter Martin and the team at Elders Insurance Kangaroo Island, the aftermath of the bushfires was a challenging time with more than 100 Elders Insurance customers impacted. 

One year on the support remains

To mark the anniversary, we visited Kangaroo Island to reflect on the bushfire catastrophe with Elders Insurance clients impacted by the events. They share with us their harrowing experience of the fires but also the relief in having the support of their local Elders Insurance Agent during their time of need.

Greg Downing, Livestock Producer, Kangaroo Island SA
“My family have had their insurance with Elders Insurance for more than 20 years. Our local Agent, Peter, is like one of the family. It was a ferocious fire, tornado winds, black skies. I always knew in the back of my head I was well insured. I could trust in Peter’s advice and his local knowledge. I was always comfortable that if everything I owed was destroyed, we were going to be fine. Right through-out the fires Peter kept in touch. To have a good relationship with your insurance agent, who knows what is going on in your area, is so, so important. I couldn’t be happier with Elders Insurance.”

 

At Elders Insurance our Agents are here to help. Your local Agent will make sure you have the right cover, tailored to your needs, and most importantly should the worst happen, and you need to make a claim, we’ll be there to help. Contact us today to learn more.  

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