Are you Prepared?

Posted by Phil Astle on 20 October 2011 | 0 Comments

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As the bushfire season approaches, we hear phrases such as "be prepared" and "have a plan", but what do we actually need to do?

In the current age of technology and Smartphone's the first thing that I would do is go to the website of your state fire authority and bookmark the site - put it on your home pc, laptop and Smartphone. This site will be updated regularly with warnings, information about community meetings, and helpful hints for making your house and surrounds safe for the fire season.

So now that is done, take a look around your property. Do your gutters need a clean out? Is the grass too long? Do you have piles of garden clippings and other stuff that you meant to take to the tip but didn't? Now is the time to act. Get it all cleaned up, just because you aren't in "the bush" doesn't mean that you are not at risk. Being prepared is the key.

After all the hard work is done around the house, sit down with your family and work out your own strategy. Talk about what you feel comfortable with. The warnings are a guide. Have a think about your own situation and make sure that you all know the plan. Maybe even pack a few things in the car just in case. It can't hurt and you can always unpack them again at the end of the main season. You might like to find a safe place for things like birth certificates, passports and other important documents.

Make sure you understand Fire Danger Ratings and be ready to respond appropriately, try and avoid any unnecessary travel into high fire danger areas when a code red fire danger day is declared. If you are going to wait for an emergency warning, don't rely on just one source. Use the radio, the internet and the emergency alert. Remember that there might not be ANY warning given. Fires can start and be devastating very quickly, you need to be alert and enact your plan when you feel it is right to do so. Obviously if the authorities tell you to evacuate, do so ... nothing material is worth a human life.

There are a number of resources available on the CFA website, take the time to check them out here.