The 2019–20 bushfires in Australia destroyed 2,476 homes and killed 26 peoples. The fires highlighted the need to be prepare and to know what to do. So now is the time to get ready for the 2020–21 Bushfire Season.
Having an emergency plan will help you to reduce the negative impacts of bushfires and could even save your life.
Here are 3 main things to consider when creating your plan:
Sit down and discuss with your family what you will do in the case a bushfire threatens your home. Having all your family members on the same page will help to enact the plan more smoothly and empower everyone to be prepared and respond faster.
Your first decision will be to leave or stay at your home.
Only choose to stay if:
The fire is not of an Extreme or Catastrophic state ( check Fire Danger Rating)
You have checked with your local authorities that is safe to do so
Your house is well prepared, can withstand the impact of the fire and has a cleared area around it
For a complete list of how to prepare your home for bushfires download the check list done by the RFS
You have Firefighting equipment ready ( for a comprehensive list check myfireplan.com.au)
Family members are physically and mentally fit and ready
If you decided to leave, do it as earlier as possible.
Identify the location of the nearest Neighbourhood Safer Place, meeting point or evacuation centre. These are places of last resort during a bush fire emergency, such as sporting grounds or local buildings. Learn how to get there, including alternative routes, so you can have a plan B in case of road closures.
And remember to call 000 in case of an emergency and to notify them where you are.
Be informed about the latest news and developments in your area.
You can find fire level alerts on your local Fire Service Website, on the ‘Fires Near Me’ App ( we recommend to download it in all your families devices) and on the Bush Fire Information Line 1800 679 737 (NSW RFS)
Also, you can find information on your local radio, local ABC/emergency broadcaster frequency, TV and newspapers.
Create a Survival Kit and keep it ready to go. And if you need to evacuate, these are the important things you should take:
Drinking water (consider having 10 litres per person to last three days).
Food: dried and long-life food to last three days, include a can opener and utensils
Clothing and comfortable shoes
Toiletries including soap, hand wash gels, alcohol wipes, toilet paper, tissues, toothpaste and sanitary items.
Radio, Torch and batteries – https://firstaidkitsaustralia.com.au/emergency-torch-radio
Mobile Phone & charger
Copies of important documents ( passport, insurance, etc) on a waterproof bag