Alongside the warm afternoons and days at the beach, the Australian summer also brings with the risk of bush fires. Research from the UN suggests that only around 20% or people with disability would be able to leave immediately in the event of a bush fire. No matter where you live, it’s important to be prepared and to have a plan. Read on for some bush fire safety tips.
Have a plan
The most important thing you can do is be properly prepared. Make sure you have a plan in place for what you’ll do in the event of a bushfire. Think about things like:
- Decide where you’ll go if you must leave. Can you stay with a friend or family member?
- Work out a plan for how you’ll get there. You might need a taxi or car service and if you drive, you’ll need a plan for the route you’ll take. It’s a good idea to prepare a backup route, just in case.
- Have someone you can call to let them know when you’re leaving and when you arrive safely at your destination. Keep their number handy or program it into your phone.
- Write a list of the things you’ll need to take with you. Any medications or health records, your mobile phone or laptop and chargers, any important documents, photos, clothes and toiletries.
Often, the safest thing to do is to leave early. The NSW Rural Fire Service has a booklet that can help you to prepare you bush fire survival plan. You can access it here: http://www.rfs.nsw.gov.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0003/36597/GetReadyforaBushFire.pdf
There’s also a video, which you can access here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MWaAR0ZcdGI
Keep up to date
Know what the fire danger ratings are and what they mean. Read more about the danger ratings here: https://www.abc.net.au/news/emergency/2012-01-12/bushfire-danger-ratings/3759726
Monitor the situation via your ABC Local Radio, find your nearest station here: http://reception.abc.net.au/
Social media can also be useful to keep up to date about what is happening.
- Rural Fire Service (NSW)
- Fire and Rescue Service (NSW)
- Country Fire Authority (VIC)
- Metropolitan Fire Brigade (VIC)
- Country Fire Service (SA)
- Northern Territory Fire and Rescue Service
- Department of Fire and Emergency Services (WA)
- Queensland Rural Fire Service
- Queensland Fire and Emergency Services
- Tasmanian Fire Service
- ACT Fire and Rescue
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